HOW can pastures be cleaned up to reduce transmission of gastrointestinal nematodes?

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Ninety percent of the worm population resides on pasture.

Management Practices for Internal Parasite Control in Small Ruminants

Nematode-trapping fungus may be the answer.

To understand how nematode-trapping fungus might help, a basic understanding of the worm life cycle is necessary. Briefly, the worm life cycle consists of two parts: one that takes place inside the animal and one that occurs on pasture. Adult worms reside in the gastrointestinal tract of the animal and after mating, female worms lay eggs that are passed out in the feces. The eggs hatch in the feces and develop through two larval stages until reaching the third larval stage that migrates out onto the surrounding vegetation where it is ready to be consumed by grazing animals. Once ingested, the larvae develop into adult worms (which do damage to the host animal) and the life cycle is complete.

When an animal is dewormed, worms inside the animals are eliminated which reduces the number of worm eggs that are passed in the feces to contaminate the pasture. The more worms that dewormers kill, the fewer the number of eggs on pasture, but eventually worms become resistant to dewormers and egg shedding returns to higher levels. Reliance on dewormers for worm burden within the animal and on the pasture has proven to be unsustainable.

Besides deworming, there are other strategies to help reduce worm burden and egg shedding, including copper oxide wire particles (COWP), forages containing condensed tannins (e.g. Sericea Lespedeza), and genetic selection for resistance to parasites. But they also have limitations. In addition, all these approaches target the worms in the animal. Until recently, there was no proven product on the market to specifically target the worm burden on pasture. Nematode-trapping fungi may be the first.

Nematode trapping fungi have been shown to be efficient biological control agents against the worm larvae in livestock feces. These fungi are found naturally in environments that are rich in organic matter where they produce a variety of mycelial (vegetative part of the fungus) structures that trap, destroy, and feed on nonparasitic soil worms. Spores of various species of these fungi have been isolated, concentrated, and introduced into feces that contain developing gastrointestinal worm larvae. Of those investigated in livestock, Duddingtonia flagrans spores have the best ability to survive passage through the ruminant gastrointestinal tract. When passed in the feces, D. flagrans spores germinate. The mycelia grow rapidly into sticky, sophisticated traps/loops that trap and digest larvae.

Taenia hydatigena in dog. | Download Scientific Diagram See related image detail
The trapping structures are usually present within the first few hours after defecation, and a sticky substance is present within 48 hours to help with larval contact, followed by hyphal cuticle penetration (Figures 3). The moving parasitic larvae are trapped by the structures of the mycelium. Once the larvae are trapped, the hyphae penetrate the larval cuticle and grow, filling the body of the larvae and digesting the contents. Most importantly, trapped larvae are unable to migrate out of the fecal mass and onto plant material that could be consumed by the grazing host animal. Fewer larvae on pasture result in healthier animals.
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The primary delivery system of the spore material is thorough mixing with supplemental feedstuffs which provides a continuous source of the fungus in the feces. Daily feeding so that each animal consumes an adequate amount of the feed/spore mixture is necessary. Another delivery system would be thoroughly mixing the fungal spore material into a loose mineral supplement. The mineral would need to be kept covered and dry. This method does not require daily feeding, but the mineral supplement would need to be available and regularly consumed to provide a constant source of spores for the duration of the treatment period. There has been little research on this method, but it would provide a good alternative for producers who do not provide supplemental feed to their livestock. Unfortunately, the spores cannot be incorporated into pellets or cooked blocks as the heat of the pelleting process will kill the spores.

To achieve adequate control of larvae in the feces during the transmission season (May-October for most US areas), spores would need to be fed for a period of at least 60 to 120 days. Feeding should commence with the beginning of the grazing season, especially for young freshly weaned livestock. Similarly, to help curb the periparturient egg rise, feeding spores to females during late pregnancy and lactation should help to reduce pasture contamination for lambs/kids that graze the same pastures with their dams. Feeding studies with sheep, goats, and cattle have shown a reduction of 68 to 86 percent of larvae in feces and on pasture. Fecal egg counts can be expected to decrease over time due to the reduced reinfection. During periods of drought or low transmission (winter and other non-grazing periods), it would not be necessary to feed spores as there would already be a reduced amount of larvae in the feces. There would also be no need to feed the spores to animals being raised in confinement, since there is little to no source of parasitic infection.

In the US, two formulations of Duddingtonia flagrans are FDA-approved and commercially available: BioWorma® and Livamol® with BioWorma®. Livamol® with BioWorma® is a protein supplement that can be mixed with other feed supplements or top-dressed over feed. Anyone can purchase and feed Livamol® with BioWorma©. BioWorma® is a concentrated feed additive that is meant to be mixed with other feeds or supplements. Its distribution is limited to veterinarians and EPA-certified feed manufacturers.

The cost of feeding BioWorma® is relatively expensive compared to dewormers, but the long-term benefit of reduced pasture contamination is a factor that must be considered. In addition, it is possible that research will determine more cost-effective ways to utilize BioWorma©. For example, feeding BioWorma© every other day or for two weeks out of the month would reduce cost by half if it is proven to be as effective as daily feeding.

Both products are the only control method that specifically targets the worm population on pasture, where the majority (estimated at more than 90 percent) of the total worm population resides during the parasite season. This form of control has been successfully applied under field conditions and is an environmentally-safe, biological approach for pasture-based livestock production. When introducing anything new into the environment, the long-term effect on trapping advantageous native free-living worms that help recycle fecal matter also needs to be considered. It has been demonstrated that D. flagrans had no adverse effect on such advantageous worms, and the fungus was no longer detectable in the environment two months after treatment.

It is important to understand and emphasize that these products are just one component of an integrated parasite control program and should not be relied on alone for gastrointestinal worm control. One still needs to address the worm population in the animal using the targeted selective deworming approach to conserve longevity of effective dewormers. Nematode trapping fungi are the first product to specifically target the worm population on pasture. Find out more info on  BioWorma website or Duddingtonia website.




‘bleated-into, grassy spaces’ | Norfolk Archaeological Trust


This dairy goat management calendar is designed as a guide to assist you in preparing for each season. Some breeds and breeders may have unique needs or practice out-of-season breeding. Always seek the advice of your small ruminant veterinarian and never disregard professional advice or delay seeking professional veterinarian assistance because of something you read on this website.




  • Have kidding area cleaned and bedded with fresh straw several days before the doe’s due date.
  • Get supplies ready:
    • A good light in the delivery area.
    • A clean bucket for water.
    • Surgical scrub such as Nolvosan, or a bottle of mild detergent (e.g. Dawn, Ivory, Joy) for cleaning hands and the vulva of the doe.
    • Obstetrical lubricant (Lubrisept, K-Y) and, if possible, disposable obstetrical gloves for assisted births.
    • Dry towels for cleaning and rubbing kids.
    • Iodine (7% tincture) for dipping navels. A small jar or film canister for individual use is handy. Dip navel immediately after birth, and repeat in 12 hours.
    • Scissors and dental floss for umbilical cord.
    • Keep frozen colostrum from a safe, CAEV-free source. To heat-treat colostrum, heat colostrum to 135ºF in a double boiler or water bath and maintain temperature for one hour.
    • Clean bottle and nipple for feed­ing colostrum.
    • Feeding tube (12-18 French) and large syringe (35-60 cc, with cath­eter tip) for giving colostrum to weak kids.


  • Tape doe’s teats one week before due date with teat tape. This will prevent kids from possibly nurs­ing a transmittable diseased doe.
  • Segregate disease-positive parturient does from the rest of the herd to prevent horizontal transmission from infected genital secretions.
  • Remove kids from doe immediately after birth.
  • It is advised to bathe each kid in warm water with a mild detergent (e.g. Dawn, Ivory, Joy) to remove any vaginal secretions from the doe. Thoroughly dry kid with a warm hair dryer until completely dry.
  • Feed colostrum from a safe source within the first couple hours after birth. Give 10% of kid’s body weight within 18 hours (e.g., 13 oz. for an 8 lb. kid). Then feed pasteurized milk, disease-free milk, or milk replacer.


  • Have pregnant does on a rising plane of nutrition in late gestation, i.e., good quality grass hay, supple­ment with some leafy alfalfa. Grad­ually increase grain ration in last few weeks to provide energy.
  • Work with your veterinarian or livestock nutritionist about increased energy and calcium needs during gestation.


  • Be sure does are boostered for CDT in last 4-6 weeks prior to due date. Consult your veterinarian for advice on selenium supplementation for does and kids in deficient areas.
  • Deworm doe 1-2 weeks postpartum.


  • Begin Coccidiosis preventive or start monitoring fecals by three weeks of age.
  • CDT series at 4, 8, and 12 weeks of age.
  • Begin strategic deworming at 6-8 weeks.


  • Be sure kids receive their CD-T boosters (e.g., 8 – 12 – 16 weeks).
  • Wet weather has given parasites a big boost in many areas. Practice strategic helminth (worm) control in all groups of animals. Doses of deworm­ers in goats are usually 2X the cow or sheep dose (4X the cattle dose for Fenbendazole–PanacurR). In the case of Ivomec, use the oral formulation. Resistance to all dewormers is appearing, so monitor success with quantitive fecal exams.
  • Rotate pastures every several weeks or allow forage to grow to 6-8” tall before reintroducing animals. Another common practice is to allow another species to graze the pasture while goats have been rotated off.
  • Coccidiostats for kids.
  • Check for external parasites; keep animals clipped and clean.
  • Be careful with grain overload dur­ing peak lactation, and when get­ting ready for show. Increases in concentrate feed must be made gradually, over a couple of weeks.
  • Be sure fresh water is always present. Consumption goes way up in warm weather, and during lactation.
  • Monitor presence of poisonous plants which may have grown within reach of animals.
  • When hauling in hot weather, provide good ventilation. While traveling, will animals have fresh air and water?
  • At show time, be careful not to “over-udder” a doe as she can develop an allergic reaction to backed-up milk under pressure and be at risk for developing mastitis.


  • Administer Vitamin-E/Selenium in Selenium-deficient areas.
  • Keep feet trimmed.
  • Offer a diet of forage and increasing amounts of concentrate in late summer.



  • Check and trim feet. Treat foot rot as necessary.
  • Check teeth on older bucks.
  • Shorten or remove scurs prior to breeding season.
  • Clip belly. Examine penis and prepuce for injuries and inflammation.
  • Check general body condition. Improve nutritional status if too thin.
  • Perform fecal and de-worm as needed.
  • Bo-Se in selenium-deficient areas.


  • Check and trim feet before rainy season.
  • Correct body condition before breeding, especially if she is too fat. Fat around the ovaries may cause poor fertility. In general, corrections in body condition (too thin, too fat) are easier and safer to make before the doe is dried off.
  • Bo-Se in selenium-deficient areas.
  • Perform milk cultures to pick up subclinical mastitis. (Contact your testing lab for specific instructions.)
  • Consider dry-treating the herd, where mastitis has been a persistent problem.


  • Offer good quality loose minerals.
  • Check fecals in different age categories (does, kids) – to evaluate parasite loads. Treat accordingly.
  • Consider fall strategic deworming, coming off summer pasture.
  • Disease Testing: Kids over 6 months old, new additions to the herd, any animals of questionable value or con­dition.
  • Cull animals of questionable value or con­dition to reduce feed costs and maximize indoor space for the winter.


  • Pregnancy check does early enough to be able to rebreed this season if open.
  • Booster vaccinations (Clostridium perfringens C & D, and Tetanus) in mid- to late-gestation at least 4 to 6 weeks prior to kidding. This pro­motes high colostral antibody levels at parturition.
  • Booster Vitamin E-Selenium in mid- to late gestation, in Selenium deficient areas. This bolsters uterine muscle tone and helps prevent uterine inertia and retained placentas.
  • Get does into their desired body condition while they are still milking; e.g., if too fat, gradually reduce grain before drying up. There will be fewer problems with pregnancy toxemia if weight changes are made while doe is still metabolically active.
  • Pregnant does should get plenty of exercise. Fit and trim does are easier to freshen, less susceptible to pregnancy toxemia.
  • Keep an eye on geriatric animals for weight loss and chilling.
  • Routine foot care for all animals.
  • Monitor for external parasites (lice) during this period where animals may spend more time indoors with less sunlight.
  • Eliminate moldy feed.
  • Get to know and enjoy your animals better during this slow time!


Best Heirloom Tomato Toast with Feta – Easy Sandwiches Toppings Recipe

Heirloom Tomato Toast with Feta | Allrecipes


Tomato toast is summer simplicity at its best! This recipe Heirloom Tomato Toasts with Feta is an easy summer sandwich. All you need ripe, juicy, flavorful tomatoes for this recipe, as well as real Greek feta made from sheep and goat milk. Given there are so few ingredients, make each one count!


This recipe requires 5 minutes Preparation time and 5 minutes Cooking time, Yield 2 tomato toast pieces, and Serves 2




  • 3 ounces feta cheese, sliced
  • 2 slices crusty bread
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 1 large heirloom tomato, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil





  • Toast the bread until golden brown. Remove from toaster and rub each slice with 1/2 a clove of garlic, rubbing cut-side down.


  • Top each slice of toast evenly with the feta cheese, tomato, oregano, salt, and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.


Each serving provides 309 kcal; protein 9g, carbohydrates 16g, fat 24g.