Parasite Management in Goats

I went to a very interesting talk on internal parasites in goats on Tuesday evening at the Seattle Farm Coop. It was given by Susan Kerr, DVM, Ph.D., and NW Regional Livestock and Dairy Extension Specialist.

Internal parasites give me the heeby jeebies. I am going to spare you some of the electron microscope close ups of these nasty blood suckers.

The main takeaway from this lecture for me was that people with goats who have a wood chip floor in their goat yard instead of lovely grass, do not have to worry too much about the parasites now plaguing goats across the nation, barber pole worms (Haemonchus Contortus). The lifecycle of these nasty worms depends on their being eaten by a goat when they are in the state of development that finds them relaxing in dew drops on grass no higher than 3 inches from the ground. No grass with dew drops for them to lounge about in, no chance for them to make their way into goats. Ha!

In my book, City Goats, I recommend automatically worming goats after they give birth. After hearing this lecture, I no longer recommend this, especially to those whose goats do not have grass underfoot to nibble.

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