Jean-Marie Luginbuhl

NOW, in the middle of winter, is a good time to treat your goats against astrointestinal parasites! The beneficial effect of this January cold spell and snow is that it is killing all kinds of vermin, including goat gastrointestinal parasite eggs that have been excreted on your pastures in the fecal pellets. Which
means that in the spring pasture contamination will be reduced. However, you still need to treat your animals during the dead of winter if you want to stay ahead of the curve and get better control of worm burdens during the warm weather growing season.

During the winter months, the chance of gastrointestinal parasite eggs to hatch and survive on pastures are not very good due to the colder weather. Somehow sensing these conditions, the adult gastrointestinal larvae present in the goat gastrointestinal tract will not produce eggs, instead they become dormant. With time, they actually will be getting ready for the outside conditions to become more favorable. When this happens and the weather becomes warmer, and grass starts to grow again, they will shed lots of eggs. So now is the time to get your animals rid of dormant gastrointestinal larvae so as to reduce worm burdens during the grazing season.

Not all anthelmintics are effective to destroy and kill dormant larvae. Either fenbendazole (Panacur or Safeguard), albendazole (Valbazen), oxfendazole (Synanthic)or ivermectin (ivomec) have proven effective to treat all animals against dormant larvae during the winter months. However, oxfendazole should not be used in pregnant animals.

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Last modified February 17, 2000
Linda E Kern, Extension Animal Husbandry, Department of Animal Science, NCSU