A Pelleted sericea lespedeza supplement for control of internal parasites on small farms

Award Information
Department of Agriculture
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
3924 COUNTY RD 87, Union Springs, AL, 36089-6337
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Thomas Sims
(334) 738-2619
Business Contact:
Cynthia Smithart
(334) 738-2619
Research Institution:

Internal parasites are the greatest health and production challenge for sheep and goats in southeastern states and others during warm, humid conditions (including Northeastern, Midwestern and irrigated pastures in Western US). Haemonchus contortus, or barber pole, worm thrives in warm, humid climates and is a voracious blood feeder that can cause anemia and death to the animal if left untreated. It is the most crucial health problem of small ruminants in this environment. Dewormer resistance has left many producers without any chemical control of worms, which was heavily relied on in the past, and some have gone out of business due to poor parasite control options. Published studies reported that consumption of sericea lespedeza, a condensed tannin rich forage, has offered control of parasites in sheep and goats. Results from the Phase I project indicated that a 75% sericea lespedeza leaf meal pellet was highly palatable and offered good control of barber pole worm. There was evidence that coccidiosis (a condition that causes diarrhea) was reduced in lambs and goat kids that consumed the pellets. Free range poultry suffer from Ascaridia galli, a round worm, which can not be easily prevented or controlled in outdoor poultry operations. Chickens will readily consume sericea lespedeza and the pelleted leaf meal could offer control of their gastrointestinal worms and gut pathogens. The objectives of this project are to optimize control of gastrointestinal worms of sheep and goats by supplementation with pelleted sericea lespedeza leaf meal, determine the effect of the pellets on coccidiosis, and determine the impact of the pellets on gastrointestinal worm infection of free range poultry. In addition, the impact of harvesting sericea lespedeza at different times during the summer and under various conditions on leaf meal quality will be determined. Results of the proposed approach may extend the use of 75% sericea lespedeza leaf meal pellets for control of coccidia in sheep and goats, control of gastrointestinal worms or gut pathogens in poultry, and aid in management recommendations on use of the pellets in a feeding program for sheep and goats. In addition, understanding how harvesting at different times throughout the growing season and under different management schemes will assist in processing the harvested sericea lespedeza for optimal quality and refine management recommendations for harvest by contract growers. There is a strong demand by small ruminant producers for the pellet to aid in the control of internal parasites and meeting the demand could be a challenge. Commercialization of sericea lespedeza leaf meal pellets for gastrointestinal worm control and as a nutrition supplement has the potential to increase sustainability and profitability of sheep and goat producers that have no effective chemical dewormers.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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