An important aspect of small ruminant management is internal parasite control. For a pasture based production system, parasite control is essential to profitability. In this system, the parasite of greatest concern is Haemonchus contortus, commonly known as the barber pole worm. Reliance upon a regular de-worming schedule for the flock or herd is not a reliable control strategy because most worm populations have developed resistance to some or all of the chemicals used for de-worming.
Over the past several years targeted selective deworming treatment of sheep and goats has been promoted as one way to avoid treating the entire flock or herd. Selective treatment can slow down the process of the parasite acquiring chemical resistance and thereby prolong the effectiveness of those chemical de-wormers available to sheep and goat owners. One tool that is being used to determine selective treatment is the FAMACHA system.
The FAMACHA system utilizes an eyelid scorecard that can help a farmer make a decision to treat or not to treat the animal with a chemical de-wormer. The FAMACHA system is not a cure-all, or a silver bullet for dealing with internal parasites. It is one tool that can be a part of an overall parasite control strategy. In order for this tool to be effective it must be used correctly.
OSU Extension, Wayne County, the Ohio Heartland Sheep Improvement Association (OHSIA) and the Sheep and Wool Program are sponsoring a “Small Ruminant Parasite Management and FAMACHA Training” workshop on Saturday, May 21st from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm. The workshop will take place on the Leroy Kuhns farm located at 8085 CR 235 Fredericksburg OH 44627. The workshop will focus on classroom training in the morning to help participants learn about small ruminant parasite biology, lifecycle, how chemical resistance is acquired, and parasite management control strategies including the use of the FAMACHA system. After lunch workshop participants will be trained in the use of the FAMACHA system including hands-on practice using sheep.
The cost of the workshop is $25 for OHSIA members and $30 for non-members. Registration cost included handout materials, lunch and a FAMACHA eyelid scorecard. Registration cost for each additional person from the family or farm unit who attends is $15 for OHSIA members and $20 for non-members. There is a workshop limit of 30 people. Pre-registration is required and the registration deadline is May 13.
A workshop brochure and registration form is available on the Wayne County Extension web site at: http://go.osu.edu/agwayne . For more information contact the Wayne County Extension office at 330-264-8722.