Minimizing parasitic in­fes­ta­tion in ruminants dur­ing wet sea­son

Agriculture - - Contents -

IN THE PHILIP­PINES, the rainy sea­son, es­pe­cially dur­ing La Niña, is a crit­i­cal pe­riod for graz­ing an­i­mals. This is the time when live­stock grazed in pas­ture ex­pe­ri­ence prob­lems of poor nu­tri­tion, re­s­pi­ra­tory dis­eases, and gas­troin­testi­nal par­a­sites com­monly known as worms.

Par­a­sitism brings enor­mous losses to the farm and causes ane­mia, de­creased re­sis­tance to in­fec­tions, poor breed­ing ef­fi­ciency, re­duced pro­duc­tion of meat and milk, and weight loss, all of which can lead to death when left un­treated.

To al­le­vi­ate the ill ef­fects of par­a­sitism, farm­ers need to in­sti­tute an in­te­grated farm man­age­ment ap­proach. How­ever, they need to un­der­stand first the cy­cle of in­fec­tion, which be­gins when par­a­site­in­fested an­i­mals ex­crete ma­nure with worm eggs. Th­ese eggs ma­ture into ef­fec­tive lar­vae in the pas­ture. The lar­vae travel to the blades of grasses and shrubs, usu­ally early in the morn­ing when blades are moist. Then, th­ese ma­ture into full-grown worms in the stom­ach of graz­ing an­i­mals that in­gested them.

Farm­ers are ad­vised to be con­scious of the graz­ing time and avoid graz­ing dur­ing rainy days. They can to­tally con­fine their an­i­mals in pens dur­ing the en­tire wet sea­son (Fig. 1) and prac­tice ro­ta­tional graz­ing when weather be­comes fa­vor­able.

This prac­tice is ap­pli­ca­ble in all re­gions of the Philip­pines. Adop­tion of this tech­nol­ogy can help avoid or min­i­mize par­a­sitism and even­tual death and in­crease farm pro­duc­tiv­ity.


• Es­sen­tials - Ap­pro­pri­ate pen or shel­ters with good ven­ti­la­tion - Ad­e­quate clean for­ages for stall-feed­ing - De­wormer (chem­i­cal and herbal) - Water • Sup­port Sys­tem - Fe­cal­y­sis and pres­ence of di­ag­nos­tic lab­o­ra­tory to an­a­lyze re­sults - Im­proved man­age­ment sys­tems - Vac­ci­na­tion pro­gram against dis­eases preva­lent in lo­cal­ity - Vi­ta­min-min­eral-elec­trolyte sup­ple­ments

• Equip­ment and In­for­ma­tion - Ap­pro­pri­ate chem­i­cal de­worm­ers and cor­rect dosage

- Dif­fer­ent for­ages with de­worm­ing prop­er­ties - Type of par­a­site and parasitic load


• Herd Man­age­ment Pro­vide pens or stalls ap­pro­pri­ate to the type of an­i­mal, and en­sure that pens, feed­ers, and water buck­ets are cleaned daily. Main­tain­ing hy­giene will re­duce vul­ner­a­ble stages of the parasitic cy­cle in­side the barn.

In­stall cov­ers on walls dur­ing in­clement weather.

For the small ru­mi­nant pens, use slat­ted floor­ing for more con­ve­nient clean­ing and in­stall ma­nure catch­ers un­der­neath. For large ruminants, pro­vide ce­mented floors that are sloped for easy clean­ing.

Ev­ery day, pro­vide balanced nu­tri­tion that in­cludes en­ergy feeds, for­age, min­er­als, pro­tein, salt, and plenty of clean water. Prac­tice cut-and-carry sys­tem of feed­ing and gather for­ages from clean pas­tures, un­grazed by other an­i­mals.

Trim hooves as needed to pre­vent foot rot.

Quar­an­tine newly-pur­chased stocks for a month be­fore in­tro­duc­tion to the herd.

With the help of a li­censed vet­eri­nar­ian, im­ple­ment a vac­ci­na­tion pro­gram against dis­eases that may be a prob­lem in the lo­cal­ity.

Keep in­di­vid­ual an­i­mal records, and pay par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion to kid­ding and calv­ing dates. To avoid neona­tal mor­tal­i­ties, pro­vide boxes and bed­dings for the new­born, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing the cold, wet months.

Closely mon­i­tor the health sta­tus of the an­i­mals through daily in­spec­tion.

Iden­tify and iso­late sick an­i­mals, and seek the ad­vice of a li­censed vet­eri­nar­ian. Sub­ject the herd to the re­quired tests ap­pro­pri­ate in the lo­cal­ity as rec­om­mended by lo­cal gov­ern­ment units. Pro­vide sup­port­ive ther­apy for sick an­i­mals, es­pe­cially those with di­ar­rhea, hy­po­glycemia, and pneu­mo­nia.

• Pas­ture Man­age­ment To avoid in­ges­tion of lar­vae-laden grass, avoid graz­ing the an­i­mals dur­ing the early hours of the morn­ing when the sun has not yet dried the dew on the grass blades.

Prac­tice rapid ro­ta­tional graz­ing to rest parts of the pas­ture and break the parasitic cy­cle. To im­ple­ment rapid ro­ta­tional graz­ing, di­vide the pas­ture ar­eas into at least 10 pad­docks where ma­ture an­i­mals are al­lowed to graze for 3-3.5 days/pad­dock be­fore be­ing moved to the next pad­dock. Re­turn to the first pad­dock af­ter a month, which is a sched­ule based on the premise that lar­vae be­come in­fec­tive 4-7 days af­ter be­ing trans­mit­ted in fe­ces.

• Strate­gic De­worm­ing Strate­gic de­worm­ing in­volved ap­pli­ca­tion of an ef­fec­tive an­thelmintic twice a year. Give the first dose a month be­fore the on­set of the rainy months, and the sec­ond one at the peak of the rainy months. The sec­ond dose is usu­ally op­tional for con­fined an­i­mals. Sub­se­quent an­thelmintic ap­pli­ca­tions may be given when nec­es­sary. Seek the ad­vice of a li­censed vet­eri­nar­ian.

The ben­e­fits of strate­gic de­worm­ing in­clude re­duced worm bur­den; lower mor­tal­ity by up to 70%; and pre­served ef­fi­cacy of an­thelmintics used.

Us­ing chem­i­cal an­thelmintics. In the past, in­dis­crim­i­nate use of chem­i­cal de­worm­ers has led to the de­vel­op­ment of an­thelmintic re­sis­tance when the worms no longer re­spond to the ef­fect of the an­thelmintic. To pre­vent re­sis­tance, col­lect fe­cal sam­ples and have them an­a­lyzed to iden­tify the worm pro­file. The re­sults will de­ter­mine the ap­pro­pri­ate an­thelmintic to use.

De­worm us­ing a broad-spec­trum de­wormer, e.g., Iver­mectin. There are groups of an­thelmintics avail­able in the mar­ket, and each hav­ing a dif­fer­ent mode of ac­tion. Con­sult a li­censed vet­eri­nar­ian re­gard­ing the ap­pro­pri­ate de­wormer for your an­i­mals.

Ev­ery year, ro­tate the use of th­ese an­thelmintic groups to pre­vent an­thelmintic re­sis­tance. Prop­erly ad­min­is­ter the drug to en­sure that ef­fec­tive dosage is given. Un­der­dos­ing may also lead to an­thelmintic re­sis­tance.

Us­ing shrubs and tree leaves. The use of herbal plants with de­worm­ing prop­er­ties has gained re­newed in­ter­est in the de­vel­op­ment of an­thelmintic re­sis­tance and pref­er­ence for or­ganic prod­ucts.

De­worm us­ing any of the fol­low­ing plants (Ta­ble 1) given as fresh feed, de­coc­tion (ex­tract from boiling), or ‘ bo­lus’ (a pre-mea­sured dose of medicine shaped into a large solid pill to be swal­lowed). Reg­u­lar use of th­ese shrubs and tree leaves im­proved the gen­eral con­di­tion of an­i­mals and re­duces the an­thelmintic treat­ments to once a year or none at all.

MAN­AG­ING THE HEALTH STA­TUS OF AN­I­MALS Ob­serve proper hy­giene to mit­i­gate the ill ef­fects of the La Niña phe­nom­e­non. Dur­ing trans­porta­tion, pigs should be bed­ded with straw or other ma­te­ri­als with high in­su­lat­ing

Fig. 1. Con­fined goats stall-fed with for­ages dur­ing the wet sea­son.

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