Keeping Goats Safe From Nematodes

Oct 19, 2017

Credit SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Goats and sheep are called small ruminants. Ruminants are animals with four-chambered stomachs, and they regurgitate partially digested food, called cud, and chew it more thoroughly. Goats are probably the oldest animal which was domesticated by humans, they can browse foods with far more tannins and fiber than cows so didn’t require lush pasture lands for survival.  In the south, goats do not fare well on grass pastures as they accumulate life threatening levels of barber pole worms, a nematode, that explosively reproduces in our moist, warm soils. There is a test for anemia called FAMACHA that compares the eyelid color of goats and sheep to a chart, at a certain color producers must treat that animal with a vermicide.  Selectively treating only threatened animals rather than the whole herd can help prevent worm resistance to these drugs.