This study was carried out with the cooperation of farmers owning communally grazed indigenous goats in southwestern KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, where farmers had identified poor reproductive performance in their herds as one of their major problems. The aim was to quantify the effects of 3 interventions and the interaction between these interventions on goat productivity and gastrointestinal nematode infection. The interventions were: urea-molasses block supplementation during the dry winter seasons of 2004 and 2005, tactical anthelmintic treatment with ivermectin (400 Âµg/kg) during the wet summer period (on 3 January 2005) and symptomatic treatment with ivermectin (400 mg/kg) of all goats judged anaemic throughout the entire study period. The FAMACHAÂ© system was used as a gauge of anaemia. It was noted that goats considered anaemic tended to remain so throughout the study period. The tactical anthelmintic treatment was effective as it markedly reduced (P=0.066) the summer peak in faecal egg counts and is therefore recommended. By contrast, while the urea-molasses block supplementation appeared to reduce the faecal egg counts immediately following the 2004 supplementation (P < 0.05), this did not hold true in 2005. Interestingly, in the tactically treated anaemic goats, the improvement in the number of kids suckled per doe year-on-year tended to be greater than in the non-anaemic goats. It is considered that the routine symptomatic treatment of anaemic goats may have been a key factor. More detailed investigations into the routine symptomatic treatment of anaemic goats are therefore recommended.
Vatta, A. F., De Villiers, J. F., Gumede, S. A., Krecek, R. C., Mapeyi, N. P., Pearson, R. A., … Harrison, L. J. S. (2012). Benefits of urea-molasses block supplementation and symptomatic and tactical anthelmintic treatments of communally grazed indigenous goats in the Bulwer area, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. Journal of the South African Veterinary Association, 78(2). https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v78i2.295