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

  • Vatta A
  • De Villiers J
  • Gumede S
  • et al.
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Abstract

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 µg/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 FAMACHA© 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.

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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

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