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cedar, goats, parasites

 
                    
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Not wanting to brag, but our critters look like they are in fine shape.  It is high time that the goats be wormed, but they do not need it.  The only thing that is different with them this time of year is that I feed them a lot of cedar, also some pine, but mostly cedar.  We have  several acres that are thick brush, so thick the goats only stay at the edge and never venture"inside". We have been cutting trails through the jungle for the last few years. I drag the cedar trees,  about 12 feet tall, cut in half, out to the drive way and line them up for the sheep and goats to eat.  They eat them down to the nub. Slowly we are clearing land that way and have established quite a network of trails for us to walk on. .
what I am writing about is not our brush clearing method, but that we suspect the cedar in the goats diet has something to do with parasite control.  Does anyone here have experience in this regard?  I am planning on growing plants to keep parasites in my animals in check.  Who is doing that and what are you growing?  Not everything grows for everybody. sepp holzer had Aconitum growing wild on his place,  I can not get it to thrive with lots of coddling.  We have to grow something else.  In the meantime we hope we are on to something with cedar. 
 





 
Tyler Ludens
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My sheep eat a LOT of cedar bark.  I hope that means they don't need worming. 
 
                              
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Location: Many-snow-ta
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Yup, I'm not surprised! Before we came along and messed everything up the animals knew what plants they needed and when. They didn't wait around for someone else to take care of them, that's for sure!

In our pasture we have a variety of plants that are not only nutritional but also medicinal such as plantain, nettles, catnip, clover, burdock, raspberry and several more.

I use herbal dewormers as needed and haven't used conventional dewormers in several years. I raise goats for milk & show so they need to be pretty well conditioned to begin with.

I'm hoping to make my own blend of herbal deworming mix using the herbs that I grow and also grow wild in my area, but I'm hoping to purchase a microscope so I can do fecal tests to see what works best what different parasites.

The moon Goddess Artemis, (where Artemisia comes from.. think sage and wormwood- other great dewormers) is a patron of the deer(cousin of the goat), the cypress tree, and hosts powers of healing. Cypress and many other pines/conifers are also great dewormers. Coincident? I think not.
 
Chris Kott
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
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This bodes well for my aspirations to use goats to clear cedar bush. I have to know, though, do you have any milkers doing this? I'd love to know how lots of cedar or any of the perfumed woods would affect the taste of the milk. I mean, they need the added minerals and starches more if they're milking, right?

-CK
 
Rocco Hagar
Posts: 16
Location: Texas
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Elfriede B wrote: what I am writing about is not our brush clearing method, but that we suspect the cedar in the goats diet has something to do with parasite control.  Does anyone here have experience in this regard?  I am planning on growing plants to keep parasites in my animals in check.  Who is doing that and what are you growing?  Not everything grows for everybody.


There has been some research regarding tannin content of browse/forage and its deworming effects on goats.

One hay, or pellet, that I have been trying to find is Sericea Lespedeza. Research shows it is effective in reducing fecal counts by 50% or so....here is a snip from an article I had bookmarked:

"Condensed tannins have been shown to suppress fecal egg counts and reduce worms in the digestive tract. Tannins are a large group of polyphenolic compounds that differ in many physical characteristics. Some tannins such as in sericea lespedeza and other plants have been shown effective in suppressing worms whereas tannins in oaks and other plants do not appear to possess those characteristics. There is an excellent summary of research on sericea lespedeza for worm control by ATTRA (Tools for Managing Internal Parasites in Small Ruminants: Sericea lespedeza"

And a question for you...where I am located, west Texas, we have a lot of Ashe juniper. Almost everyone refers to them as "cedar" even though that is not correct. My goats have eaten a good bit of the "cedar" out of the main pasture that they stay in. And I have noticed, as you have as well, that the goats appear to need less worming when dining heavily on our cedar. Where you live is it cedar (like Eastern red cedar) or might it be ashe juniper?

My goats also love Live Oak acorns in the fall....which are very high in tannins. Though the article I reference above says that they haven't noticed and effectiveness in parasite control from oak tannins...when my girls are eating the acorns in the fall they sure look fat and healthy (NOTE: GOATS CAN OD ON ACORNS!! Don't let them have them on an unlimited basis. If one goes off feed while eating acorns you need to move them out for a while)

Anyway, the sericea lespedeza may be available as hay to those living in the mid-continent area over into the southeastern US. I'd love to try it. If anyone has knowledge of its actual use, and where it might be available let us know.
 
Melba Corbett
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Location: North Carolina
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"There has been some research regarding tannin content of browse/forage and its deworming effects on goats.

One hay, or pellet, that I have been trying to find is Sericea Lespedeza. "

I've been growing the Sericea Lespedeza for years. I'm in the mountains of North Carolina and it can become a pest here if you don't have animals grazing it. They plant it sometimes on the highways to control erosion in newly dug out hillsides. The goats adore it. I cut some and dry in the barn loft for winter. My goats have been pretty much parasite resistant, and I'm sure it is helping with that.
 
Dan Grubbs
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Location: northwest Missouri, USA
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Melba, can you tell us when (how tall) you mow your lespedeza and how you're bundling it? Is it in square bales or just loose hay? Are you growing one of the developed lespedeza from the Auburn University research program? I've read quite a bit from Langston University and the American Consortium for Small Ruminate parasite Control, but I'd sure love to here more about your management with lespedeza.

I have a seed dealer here in northwest Missouri who says he can now order it, but I have no idea if he's charging a fair price per pound of seed. Love to know any and all details on your "real world" use of this forage.

Thanks so much!

Dan
 
Melba Corbett
Posts: 164
Location: North Carolina
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Dan,
I've never actually mowed it. I break it off by hand and just store it loose in the barn for hay. Don't put up much of it that way. I ordered S. Lespedeza from a forage/pasture seed supplier, don't remember name now. I do have 9 pasture/paddocks to rotate on, and that also helps parasite control. While other farmers in the area I live in were losing huge numbers of animals, primarily to parasites being out of control, I never had a problem at all. Mortality last two years was zero, even in babies. Very healthy animals, but I do an intensive program with organic feeds/minerals like coral calcium, kelp, a good mineral mix free choice, etc., and I feed garlic to my goats sometimes, at milking time so it does not flavor the milk. Any other time would, as the odor stays in the body a certain number of hours. Check around online before you order seed. A reputable feed/seed dealer will usually charge a fair price. Goats can digest lespedeza, cows not so well. Goats are amazing animals.

Melba
 
Dan Grubbs
Posts: 500
Location: northwest Missouri, USA
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Thanks Melba:

I'm going to experiment with planting it 'alley crop' style between two of my swales. Get it established this year and then next year when we have the goats on property, I can harvest for forage to add to their rotating paddocks. I was simply going to stack it 'hay stack' style with a tarp over it.

I was going to use five paddocks in 10-day increments. But, reading that you have nine paddocks, I'm wondering if my five-paddock plan is good enough. I thought spending 10 days in paddock No. 1, then 2 then 3 then 4 and then 5 would ensure paracites would be dead before goats were put back into paddock No. 1. In your opinion are five paddocks not enough?

Thanks for letting me ask questions.

Dan
 
Chris Kott
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
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Don't you break the parasite cycle if you run chickens a few days after goats? The bugs all get et.

-CK

 
Melba Corbett
Posts: 164
Location: North Carolina
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I think 5 paddocks are probably enough. A lot of mine are small, so don't have a full rotation allotment.

Running chickens after goats can help, but remember, they can carry coccidiosis. A lot of parasites are supposed to be species specific, but not all are. Joel Salatin has some videos out on Youtube about pasturing stock. He recommends fowl as it mimics nature. Keeping all the stock healthy is important. A healthy chicken, with plenty of green forage is not likely to have coccidia.
 
Doug Mac
Posts: 79
Location: Humboldt County, California [9b]
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Remember, pasture rotation also depends on recovery time for the plants. For grasses this can be as short as weeks. For brush this can be as long as a year.
 
Dan Grubbs
Posts: 500
Location: northwest Missouri, USA
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My seed contact is quoting me $315 per 50/lb bag of seed for sericea lespedeza. Is that consistent with anyone else?

Also, has anyone ever heard of a selenium deficiency in kids beging diagnosed by the kids keeping their tongues out? I have read some believe this to be a Vit. E deficiency in stead, but I also understand both go hand in hand. Any light on this would be most appreciated.
 
Jennifer Smith
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Don't know about the selinum deficency but the seed price sounds right by by hubby who buys our seed. We are checking price now. We are lucky and bought land thick with SL. Great goat food
 
Jennifer Smith
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Ok got info from our seed guy. They won't have anything to do with such a noxious weed lol. He did give me a source... 770 775 7826...Adam Briscoe ab seed..$270 plus shipping.
 
Dan Grubbs
Posts: 500
Location: northwest Missouri, USA
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Jennifer --- that's funny because my seed guy here in Missouri keeps telling me I don't want anything to do with this stuff ... and I think in Kansas, it's illegal to cultivate it. I did reach out to Adam at www.abseed.com and he has both the hulled ($270/50lb) and unhulled seed ($210/50lb). Since I can give it a year and a half to establish before I even have goats on the property, I think I can go with the unhulled and save the $60. Adam said it would likely be about $30 shipping from his place in Georgia to northwest Missouri, so there is that consideration.

 
Jennifer Smith
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Dan, SL is on the noxious weed list in several states and discouraged here in MO.
I want to make hay with it here eventually but have no hay equipment. I think hubby is planning to plant oats for oat/seresia hay. That should be good stuff...but will have to find someone to put it up. We will have about 50 does by next breeding season. I started with 5 to clean up the horse pastures lol.
 
Shane Gorter
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Location: Everson, WA
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Up here in the NW fecal paracite tests cost between $15-$20 at the local veterinarian. I would highly recommend playing it safe with the deworming and get testing done. I have lost a couple taugenbergs due to heavy worm load when I was first starting out and trying to use only natural dewormers. The problem with goats being a prey animal is they do not show that they are sick until they are nearly past the point of no return. You can identify the signs such as bloated yet starving look if your experienced, but I would still do the tests or buy your own microscope and learn what to look for. As far as selenium goes up here in the NW we have to supplement minerals due to the rain washing out many of the necessary trace minerals. Last year I had a Doe loose per pregnancy a couple weeks short of viability due to mineral deficiency "C-M-P-K" and we had her basically on life support for 10 days before she started eating again. Another sign of mineral deficiency is when their coat gets coarse and wirey. One sure way to reduce worms in your goats is keep them from foraging below 4-6 inches on pasture. Frequent paddock shifts giving at least 3 weeks between returns will dramatically reduce the occurrence of parasites. I also run my Hens or broilers behind the goats as well which I believe may help reduce parasites as well. I really wished I had a mentor when I first got into raising goats, I had the false assumption that they were indestructible when I started out.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Rocco, unless you live on the west coast, most all trees in the USA that are referred to as Cedars are actually junipers. Junipers are very effective at keeping parasites at bay and they do not attract ticks as some folks here in Arkansas seem to believe, in fact the junipers are very disliked by ticks, but they love to perch on most other trees. Our farm is covered in White Oak, Hickory and Sumac, we also have a nice stand of Junipers ( Sacred Cedars) These are all the Aromatic, red heart wood/white sap wood variety that are sacred to the Native Americans (First Peoples). Let your goats eat what they want of these trees.
 
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