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Parasite Attack: Beware Goats!!!

The problem of Parasites

In a farm full of cattle, there is a tendency for them to get infected with parasites and different microorganisms which may lead to ill health and problems for them to live a healthy life. Goats, in particulars, are prone to a number of microorganisms, which can be called as parasites that lead to hazardous situations for them.

The problem starts with the fur of the goats. As we all know, everyone likes a cozy place. So these little beings find solace in the fur and make it their holy abode and as every species in the world does it they reproduce and lay eggs and increase their numbers. However, after some time the worms and parasites begin to feed off with the goat and keep hindering its natural living process. When we handle a large number of goats the problem may be more severe. Since every problem calls for a solution, this read will enable the reader to understand how to deal with the problem.

Effects of the Parasite problem

The basic and commercial cause of concern is the reduced milk production, which can lead to losses to an organization. Some of the major issues also faced in goats were that there was a reduction in weaning weights. Also, delayed puberty and lower fertility were also observed amongst the goats infested with parasites. It also causes diseases like diarrhea, anemia, and immune suppression. Increased uses of chemicals to ward off parasites from goats also spoils the environment and physical health of personnel involved in the maintenance of the pastures.

At times where this problem is not looked into and minimal measures of protection are considered in hand then it may also lead to the death of the goats. It is shocking to consider that organisms so small in size can lead to the demise of a bigger form of life. It may be defying the rule of survival of the fittest but the problem can be dealt with if proper consideration is given to ward off the parasites.

Solution to the problem

There are numerous possible ways to avoid this problem so that animals are free of any infestation and they continue to live in a healthy manner and flourish as per the laws of nature.

Continuous grazing shall not be done on a single patch for a long period of time. The reproduction period of the parasites ranges from 3-6 weeks. If within the period, the goats are moved to a different pasture they the larvae would not get anything to feed on.

A well-established measure to avoid the problem is to ensure that more than one species are grazed together. However, sheep share the same type of parasites as goats so that may not help in the case of this problem. This will also help to reduce the growth of weeds in the grazing area.

The quality of the grazing area also matters a lot. If an area is high in nutritional qualities, it will prove better for the goats and they will be able to maintain better health in this situation. The plants will not foster the birth of parasites and it may protect the goats.

Rotational grazing patterns may also help the producers to avoid this situation. It would not allow the reproduction process of the parasites to continue as the area would keep changing. This would also ensure that different pastures are optimally utilized.

Some healthy substances like condensed tannins, which will also be able to grow on less fertile soil and is a perennial legume will help if they are included in the plants as they will reduce the birth of parasites.

Moving animals to a different pasture before the end of grazing season can act as the strongest shield for goats. This will help them to avoid any growth of parasites and will reduce the instances of diseases. The area to be moved shall be the one, which was used for the cutting of hay.

If a pasture is left without any grazing, it takes around a year for all the worms and larvae to die off. Thus, grazing should be stopped only for a little while so that the larvae are effectively destroyed by the end of the grazing season.  

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