WORM CONTROL IN PASTURES
Goat raisers often ask me if there is something they can use in their pastures to control or kill the barberpole stomach worm (Haemonchus contortus) that sucks blood, causes anemia, and kills goats.
For the first time, the answer is now "yes" for PASTURE-RAISED goats. This new product, however, is only one tool in your management program that you can use to control worms. It is not a "magic bullet." It doesn't allow you to overcrowd your pastures or discontinue performing fecal counts and deworming.
Worm-trapping fungi have been discovered in pasture conditions that act as a biological control agent against the larval stage of Haemonchus contortus (barberpole stomach worm). Duddingtonia flagrans have been shown to survive passage through the gastrointestinal tract of goats and other ruminants. They grow in the feces to form sticky loops that trap developing larval stages of this deadly parasitic worm.
These fungi are an environmentally safe biological approach to forage-based feeding systems. Daily feeding of the fungal spore mixed with your goat feed from at least June through September is required.
Livamol with BioWorma is being marketed in the USA by the Australian company International Animal Health Products (IAHP). Bioworma is approved for use in the USA and is registered in almost every state. The first shipment has arrived at the distributorship in Kansas and retailers like Jeffers should have the product in stock soon.
There are several things you need to know about this product:
1) It does not control worms in the animal. You must continue to do fecal counts and deworm appropriately.
2) It does not work in dry-lot conditions or on pastures where grass and plant materials have been over-grazed down to dirt.
3) It cannot be fed free choice.
4) It cannot be mixed into medicated feed.
5) It cannot be put into pelleted feed because the heat of the pelleting process kills the spores.
6) It does not kill lung worms, liver flukes, tape worms, threadworms, or bot flies. It only works to kill worms with life cycles that involve living in feces.
7) Instructions say goats must be dewormed and put on pasture that has been without goats for at least six weeks before you start feeding the product. To control worm load on pastures requires that the product be fed and go through the digestive system of the animal. A pasture already loaded with worms will result in goats ingesting worms that haven't been in contact with the fungi, thereby defeating the purpose of feeding the product.
8) It is expensive. Cost today is about 60 cents per 100 pound goat per day for a minimum of 120 days. That means that cost is about $72.00 per 100 lb animal over a minimum four-month feeding period. Until this cost drops significantly, it is a non-starter for people who are trying to make money raising goats.
8) The Livamol part of the product is a 20% protein base into which Bioworma is mixed. You may need to adjust your feeding to account for the increase in protein in the Livamol. Adjustments will have to be based upon the nutrional values of the ration you are feeding. If you don't know those values, you have to find out. The Livamol feeding rate is 1.6 oz per 100 lbs of goat evenly mixed in the daily rations.
Mixing with loose minerals is possible but unlikely to be as effective since loose minerals are consumed free-choice and the goats may not eat the fungal spores daily as needed to be effective against worms. Research is underway to determine the effectiveness of mixing Bioworma into loose minerals.
You should be able to buy Bioworma without the Livamol base product through vets or feed mills at a lesser price than Livamol with Bioworma. As of this date, I don't know a vet or feed mill that carries it. The nutritionist at the mill making my feed says he won't use it for two reasons: (a) most of his goat feed is pelleted, and (b) removing the coccidia preventative to permit use of the Bioworma is a non-starter because he believes that cases of coccidiosis will skyrocket.
This product is the only control method that targets worms on pasture. It does not kill worms that are already inside the goat. Fecal egg counts and appropriate deworming must be done to kill worms inside the animal. It will not allow you to over-crowd your pastures. It is not a "silver bullet" to end worm problems in goats. Livamol with Bioworma is one part of a comprehensive worm management program. Used properly, it should help with pasture-based worm loads.
Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Texas 5.10.19
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All information provided in these articles is based either on personal experience or information provided by others whose treatments and practices have been discussed fully with a vet for accuracy and effectiveness before passing them on to readers.
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