|MESSAGE FROM THE OWNER
A report from our farms ...
We keep these to field test our feeders, waters, fences, nest boxes, et al.
- We acquired 65 baby chicks 2 months ago. We're included a variety of breeds, including cochins and bantams. My sister cares for them on the East Farm.
- Our remaining 35 two-year old chickens were moved to the Home Farm. We gave some to our employees. The rest are enjoying their new location—a pond pasture between the Premier offices and barn. We built a wire mesh enclosure in our barn and cut a small opening in side of the barn so the chickens can go in/out.
- The ducks and geese have been dispersed to various ponds on our farms and allowed to fend for themselves. Last year there were several successful hatches of ducklings. None so far this year.
We're expanding our ewe numbers by retaining ewe lambs. We will continue expanding until we optimize the capability of our 300 acres.
- 120 wool ewes lambed inside in March/April with minimal issues. Their 2010 drop rate (1.75 lambs born/ewe) was lower than the 185% norm for these ewes. Lamb losses for any and all reasons was 8%. One ewe had a cervical prolapse, which we fixed with a harness. Another ewe had an intestinal prolapse. (I've seen this only 3 times in 40 years of overseeing lambing for perhaps 15,000 ewes).
- 380 ewes and ewe lambs dropped their lambs on pasture beginning April 25. We'll bring them in soon to count live lambs, remove tails (dock) and castrate. We had them scanned mid February:
We used the scan results to divide the outdoor lambing ewes into groups of 30 to 60 head to minimize ewes clustering together for water, shade, etc. They lamb on their own. We don't intervene for dystocia or mismothering. We lost 2 ewe lambs (unknown causes) and 1 ewe. 2 ewes had small cervical prolapses for which we intervened to apply a harness.
- Of the 196 ewe lambs (Katahdin/Dorper/Romanov/Border Leicester/Ile de France) that were exposed to Dorper/Romanov rams, 14 were open, 145 had singles, and 37 twins.
- Of the 190 older ewes (same genetics), 5 were open, 45 had singles, 120 twins, and 20 triplets.
- 20 Colored ewes (Welsh Mountain/Romanov/Suffolk/Border Leicester) also lambed on pasture in May. No scan totals.
- We have 15 nannies. They're kept indoors all winter right through kidding in May. Why? Because we've noticed that our goats suffer from parasites and foot problems if they're outside when our grass or soil is wet (November-June).
- In mid summer and fall we let them into brushy acres to browse on multiflora, grapevines, and poison ivy—and they thrive.
- Kidding went well except for 1 nanny, who lost all 3 due to dystocia.
Livestock Guard/Protection Dogs:
- 5 are in use keeping the many local coyotes at bay. Three of these were pups born here last year, and they are all working very well and reliably.
- 2 (Athena and Grizzie) had pups in May. It was intended that only one have pups but “things happened”. The 10 pups are being raised as a single group by both mothers in our lambing barn.
- The breeding is Polish Tatra/Spanish Mastiff/Shar, etc. We will keep 4 of them; 2 are sold; and the other 4 are available, if you are interested.
- We continue to gradually convert acres from native grass CRP to quality cool-season grasses and legumes.
- Each autumn we install more permanent fences.
- We experimented this spring with big-bale silage using a rented in-line wrapper to wrap 300 bales. We'll see how this works as feed this winter. It was a good year for trying silage because it's been a very wet spring here—almost impossible to make hay.
Stan Potratz, Owner
4 Premier livestock guard/protection pups available,
6 weeks old:
Two Dams whelped (Athena and Grizzie) within 1 week of each other. All puppies (including 4 that we are retaining) have been with sheep (2 month old orphan lambs) from 2 weeks of age.
- Dam no. 1 is Grizzie (obtained from Cindy Wolf as a pup 5 yrs ago). She is 1/4 Great Pyrenee, 1/4 Shar, 1/4 Maremma, 1/4 Polish Tatra. We have 4 female pups available from her – 3 white and 1 brown/black.
- Dam no. 2 is Athena (obtained from Cindy Wolf a a pup in 2007). She is 1/2 Polish Tatra, 1/4 Maremma, 1/4 Great Pyrenee. We have 1 pup left from her – a white male.
The sire of all pups is Big Foot. He is 1/2 Spanish Mastiff, 1/2 Polish Tatra. We obtained him from J. McNally as a pup 2 yrs ago. He is white.
FYI, Athena had pups from Big Foot last year also. We kept 3 for Premier. They have all become excellent, reliable working dogs.
Call Jean for details at 319-461-1129 or e-mail email@example.com
Parasite control for individual animals
During this time of the year internal parasites can be a major problem for many producers. Even if you have just drenched your animals you may still see signs of parasites. This could be from missing the animal altogether, or they may have spit out the drench.
In any case it is a good idea to have a small flock drencher on hand to treat those animals that slip through and need a second treatment. The new version has an adjusting nut that allows you to be more accurate with dosing each animal.
Click here to see all of Premier's drenchers.
by Premier sales consultant, Gordon Shelangoski
What are you going to do about worms this summer? Part 2
Understanding parasite resistance to dewormers
If you missed the first article, click here to read about What are you going to do about worms this summer? Part 1
In the first article
(Goat Rancher, June 2009), we discussed management for controlling worms, rotation grazing, not grazing close to the ground, FAMACHA,
culling, etc. We visited on genetic resistance, and since that time various producers have told me about goats that have not been dewormed
in 3-7 years on their place.
Yes, the real
solution to worms is genetics with good management and worms will be much less of a problem as some producers in Oklahoma have
However, to survive
in the short term, we will need some dewormer until we get our management and genetics right and, in the long term, occasional use of
dewormers may still be needed. This article examines the dewormers that are available, their use, and some alternative dewormers.
This summer, control
of worms will be more challenging, because of the lack of availability of Prohibit (Levasole Tramisol), which has been the dewormer of
choice when worms develop resistance to Cydectin. Prohibit should become available again sometime in the future, but it is uncertain when
this will happen.
One problem with
controlling parasites (we are talking mainly about the Barberpole worm, Haemonchus contortus) is that dewormer resistance may catch you by
surprise and even though you are deworming, you could still have wormy animals or may even lose some animals.
Each year, the first
time that you deworm animals, you should take a fecal sample 1-2 weeks later and have it examined by your vet. Or you can do fecal egg
counts yourself (see Diagnosis of Internal Parasitism in Goats or
Modified McMaster Egg Counting For Quantitation of Nematode Eggs).
It should have no or
few eggs in it. If it has very many eggs, you have resistance to that dewormer (assuming a correct dose of dewormer was properly
administered) and likely need to change dewormers. Dewormer resistance is a major problem in sheep, goats and horses, but parasitologists
are now realizing it as a potential problem in cattle. Fecal egg counts and FAMACHA are now being recommended for other animal species to
monitor the need for deworming.
We get dewormer
resistance because worms have a highly variable genome. One parasitologist used the illustration that there is as much genetic difference
within a population of Barberpole worms as there is between primates and humans. This means that 1 in a million worms naturally has
resistance to a given dewormer.
They have verified
this in Australia, where they have a brand new dewormer (Zolvix). Before it was ever used, they discovered that a few worms already exist
that have genetic resistance for the dewormer (they even know the gene and which chromosome it is located on).
Repeated use of a
dewormer will kill off all worms that lack resistance genes to that dewormer until we have a worm population where most individuals carry
resistant genes and therefore are resistant to the dewormer. This 1 in a million worms can grow very rapidly if you kill the rest off
because a Barberpole worm can lay several thousand eggs per day.
When worms become
resistant to a dewormer, it is considered permanent; i.e., they will be nearly as resistant to the dewormer 10 years later as they are now.
is a natural consequence of the use of dewormers. The only way that we can control the Barberpole worm sustainably with dewormers is to
change our paradigm from trying to kill every worm to using the dewormer only on animals that need it and using it in such a way as to
reduce the rate at which dewormer resistance develops.
There are two ways
to get dewormer resistance: develop it yourself with repeated dewormings with the same dewormer or you can take the shortcut and buy in
resistant worms. Yes, in the nice animal(s) that you bought in, you also bring in their worms and their dewormer resistance if present.
If the worms in the
new animal are resistant to the dewormer that you are using, within a year, all your animals will be carrying those resistant worms to
varying degrees and your dewormer will be less effective or may not be working any longer. Higher priced animals, especially those from more
humid areas, are more likely to be carrying resistant worms because they have been dewormed more frequently.
To prevent bringing
in dewormer resistance, any new animals should be dewormed in quarantine with dewormers from two or three different classes (see below).
Then a week later, take a fecal sample to the vet (or you can do them yourself) and make sure that it is free of worms. If it is not, the
animal may need to be dewormed with other dewormers at a higher dose to get rid of the resistant worms.
Check his fecal sample and be sure
it is clean of worms before he is released from quarantine.
There are two major
factors in the development of dewormer resistance. The first is the number of times that worms are exposed to the dewormer. The more times
you deworm, the more you are selecting for dewormer resistance. Some of the previous strategies for controlling worms that prescribed
multiple dewormings during the season were especially good at developing dewormer resistance.
The second (and more
important factor) in developing dewormer resistance is the lack of refugia. Refugia is the worm population on pasture (larvae) that were not
exposed to the last deworming and therefore have a lower proportion of resistant worms. If some animals are not dewormed, larvae which hatch
from eggs produced by their worms also contribute to refugia.
Refugia is important
in slowing the development of dewormer resistance, because when you deworm, the few worms that are resistant (which may be close to 1 in a
million initially) are left in the animal and produce eggs.
These eggs are
deposited on the pasture in the fecal material and develop to infective larvae that are resistant to that dewormer (by virtue of their
mother surviving the dewormer). These larvae are consumed by the animal and after maturing to adults, they mate and then produce eggs.
If there are other
infective larvae on pasture that were not selected by deworming (i.e. refugia, higher proportion of non-resistant worms), and these were
also consumed by the sheep/goat, then there are more non-resistant worms for the resistant worms to mate with in the stomach and the
resultant eggs (eventually larvae then adult worms) will be mostly susceptible to the dewormer. Therefore, we want more refugia (within
reason) since it dilutes resistant genes.
(See photo #1) Resistance is a natural biological consequence of deworming treatment and
therefore is an inevitable outcome of controlling worms. This is because dewormers kill those worms that are susceptible to the drug, but
leave any resistant survivors to form the next generation of worms. The rate of development of dewormer resistance is affected by how we use
the drug, and once resistance occurs it is permanent. Therefore, long-term control of the Barberpole worm will only be possible if dewormers
are used intelligently with prevention of development of dewormer resistance as a goal. To save the effectiveness of the few remaining
dewormers, we must use deworming strategies that maximize the effectiveness of dewormer treatments while at the same time reducing the rate
at which we create dewormer resistance. This approach is referred to as "Smart Drenching". An important component of Smart Drenching is the
FAMACHA method, which permits producers to apply selective deworming to only those animals that require treatment.
- Ray Kaplan, Parasitologist
FAMACHA reduces the
frequency of deworming and it increases refugia (additional eggs and larvae from animals that did not get dewormed) which slows (but does
not stop) the development of dewormer resistance. We deworm individual animals when the worm numbers are great enough to reduce animal
Some of our old worm
control strategies, such as deworming all animals or deworm all animals and move to a clean pasture, minimized refugia and therefore
promoted the development of dewormer resistance. Remember, healthy animals can tolerate some level of worms without reducing their
production. Our objective on worm control is to get rid of worms when the infection level is great enough to reduce production.
The rate of
development of dewormer resistance can be increased by giving only a partial dose of dewormer. A standard dose of deworrmer will kill worms
carrying 0 or 1 copy of the gene for resistance to that dewormer but not the worms carrying two copies of those genes.
A partial dose of
dewormer (such as about half the dose) however, will only kill those worms with 0 genes for resistance and allow those with 1 or 2 copies of
genes for resistance to survive (greater number of worms and resistant genes) and thereby greatly increase the rate of development of
This is especially
important when the level of dewormer resistance is very low and there may be 20 times the number of worms carrying 1 gene for dewormer
resistance as the number of worms carrying 2 genes for dewormer resistance.
Dewormers need to be
used properly. For goats, they need to be given at an effective dose which is 1.5 to 2 times the sheep dose and they must be given over the
back of the tongue so they go to the rumen.
A greater dose of
dewormer is required to achieve therapeutic blood levels because digesta in a goat's stomach and intestines passes faster than in a sheep's,
and goats have a larger liver, which deactivates the dewormer in the blood more rapidly.
If the dewormer is
swallowed from the front of the mouth, it can bypass the rumen and go to the true stomach and pass through the digestive tract faster and
kill fewer worms in the process as compared to getting the dewormer into the rumen.
In the past, it was
thought that rotating dewormers regularly prevented the development of resistance. From research that has been done in Australia and New
Zealand, they recommend staying with a dewormer for at least a year before moving on to another one. If we rotate dewormers several times
during the year, we will tend to develop resistance to all dewormers in the rotation at the same time.
However, for most goat producers who
have resistance to all but one or two dewormers, this is a moot point since they have little that they can rotate to.
There are three
major classes of dewormers: the benzamidoles or white dewormers, the ivermectin/milbemycins or macrocyclic lactones and the cell
depolarizers (nicotinic agonists). Anthelmintics within each class have a number of similarities, but some may have unique properties not
shared by other members of the class.
includes Panacur/Safeguard, Synanthic and Valbazen. All kill lungworms, and tapeworms as well as the Barberpole worm and other roundworms.
Valbazen is the most potent member of the group and is also effective against adult liver flukes. This group has been used the longest in
goats and therefore worms have developed a greater degree of resistance to them.
depolarizers include Rumatel, which is mixed into feed, and Prohibit (Tramisol, Levasol), which may be injected, but is usually given
orally. These basically control the Barberpole worm and other roundworms including arrested larvae. This is a fairly potent group since they
have historically been used the least on goats. Prohibit is more potent than Rumatel and will often work when worms have developed
resistance to Rumatel.
ivermectin/milbermycins were a very effective group of dewormers. Many goat farms have a high level of resistance to Ivomec due to its
historic high level of use in goats. Resistance to Cydectin is rising rapidly because of its current high level of use. Cydectin is the most
potent member of this class, which also includes Dectomax and Eprinex. They have been injected as well as used orally. This group kills
roundworms, arrested larvae, lung worms and lice.
There are several
ways to cope with dewormer resistance. The first is to change to another dewormer, hopefully another class of dewormer is preferable or at
least a more potent member of the same class (such as going from Ivomec to Cydectin).
One can give a
higher dose, but that is not greatly effective. For example, when there was resistance to Ivomec, the standard dose killed only 45% of the
worms. When the dose was doubled, it killed 62% of the worms and when doubled again, it killed 78% of the worms.
It takes a lot more
dewormer to kill resistant worms, which can become a very expensive proposition.
One can use
combinations of dewormers. This works on the assumption that most worms only carry resistance genes for one dewormer and few are resistant
to more than one dewormer. Therefore, using a dewormer combination is likely to be more effective than a single dewormer and in fact, may be
very effective for several years. So, if we use two dewormers, we are likely to get most of the worms.
We choose two or
three dewormers of different classes. A combination such as Valbazen (most potent member of benzamidoles) and Cydectin (most potent member
of ivomectrin/milbermycin class) and give each at twice the dose at the same time. Some producers mix them together, but one problem is that
they have to be mixed (i.e. shaken up) regularly because Valbazen is water soluble and Cydectin is oil soluble and they gradually separate.
Levasol/Prohibit is water soluble and would be good to mix with Valbazen (also water soluble) when it becomes available again.
Dewormer options for producers with Cydectin resistance:
- Feed Rumatel dewormer in the feed
- Copper oxide wire capsules
- Copper sulfate solution
- Pyrantel pamoate
- Cayenne pepper
Another option would
be to feed Rumatel (morantel tartrate), a dewormer that is mixed into the feed, but one may have some degree of problem with the shy animals
not getting a sufficient dose.
Some producers fast
animals overnight so when they turn them to feed, there is not much fighting since all animals have their heads in the trough eating.
Rumatel still seems to be a pretty effective dewormer.
One veterinarian is recommending pyrantel pamoate (horse dewormer), which is the same
class as Prohibit/Levasol, but it is less potent member. However, little is known about its efficacy in ruminants. It may be good in
combination with Valbazen, but be sure to check fecal egg counts a week or two later.
Copper oxide wire
particles have been demonstrated to be effective dewormers. Since they remove 70-95% of the worms, they may be slightly less effective than
a good dewormer, but they are definitely more effective than a dewormer that your worms have significant resistance to.
Copper oxide wire
particles are a slow dissolving form of copper that is used to treat copper deficiency in cattle. When used in sheep and goats, they
initially have a deworming effect. However, due to potential copper toxicity problems in sheep, they should be used at the lowest dose and a
limited number of times.
Because goats are not as susceptible as sheep to copper toxicity, COWP capsules may be given several times during
the summer. There is an excellent publication from ATTRA on the use of copper oxide wire particles.
Copper sulfate was
used as a dewormer in the early 1900s before we had synthetic chemical dewormers. It often was given in combination with nicotine sulfate,
which enhanced its effect against temperate species worms such as the brown stomach worm (Teledorsagia circumcincta) and black scour worm
Recent research in
sheep and goats has documented that copper sulfate kills about 70% of Barberpole worms in an animal. A 4% solution can be made by mixing 5
ounces by weight of copper sulfate with one gallon of water. The dose is 1 cc/5 lbs of bodyweight. Since you are only killing 70% of the
worms animals are likely to need dewormed sooner than if a more effective dewormer was used.
However, if you have
no other effective dewormers, this will keep you in the sheep/goat business. Research with copper sulfate given top-dressed on the feed or
mixed in the mineral was NOT effective as a dewormer.
Cayenne pepper has
been touted on the Internet as a dewormer with some purported success in a zoo. We did a mini study with only three animals, so we don't
have good science to show it works. It killed over 85% of the worms in two animals and only 13% in one animal (did he spit it out? or did it
not work in him?).
The dose was 1
heaping teaspoon cayenne pepper out of the kitchen cabinet, wrapped in a heaping tablespoon of peanut butter (prepared on wax paper) and
spooned into their mouth. The oil in the peanut butter will prevent pepper from burning the mouth.
Next time we hope to
weigh out 4 grams of cayenne pepper into a gelatin capsule and give the bolus with a balling gun. It may be advisable to have some whole
milk available when dosing to flush the mouth if a capsule breaks and the pepper causes the mouth to burn. Since this dewormer has not been
adequately tested, any producer who chooses to use it must monitor FAMACHA scores regularly on the animal. We hope to accumulate more data
on this dewormer this summer.
The worms are
a-coming this summer. Planning will help prevent parasite problems and prevent panic when you do have a problem. We will have to start the
summer without Prohibit, so for some producers, they will have to decide on an alternative dewormer.
With limitations on
dewormer, using management practices as discussed last month will become more important. The dewormer resistance problem will not go away.
survival in the goat business depends on realizing this and developing animals with good resistance to worms (may take several generations)
and utilizing worm preventive management.
Article taken from the Goat Rancher Magazine, July 2009.
Steve Hart is a Goat
Extension Specialist at Langston University in Oklahoma. He conducts research on internal parasites and presents parasite workshops. He is
also a member of the Southern Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control.
Goat Extension Specialist
Langston University in Oklahoma
This article taken from Goat Rancher Magazine
Tharren Keith is Premier's featured employee this month. He has been with Premier for only 2 weeks but has already proven to be a valuable addition to our design/photography department. He will be taking photos, helping with layout of the catalogs and working on various other projects. He appreciates that Premier is close to his home, which means he can spend more time with his family.
Tharren lives in nearby Washington with his wife Dawn, daughter Emme (12), son Kiowa (10), stepson Joe (10) and son Summit (3). He tries to go mountain climbing at least once a year. He also enjoys working out and taking pictures for his photography business (www.tharrenslight.com).