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What is a high load? When to de-worm?

What is a high load? When to de-worm?
Personally I don't think it is any particular number.
There are IMO many factors to consider.

~History of the individual goat
~Breed of goat
~Age and Weight of Goat
~Lactating w/kids
~Meat Goat
~How far into lactation/last kidding
~Time of year/season

Much of the data written will say @ 1000EPG de-worm, some data says not til 2000EPG.

For now I will focus just on dairy goats.

A 60-70 lb Dwarf with an EPG of 1000 is going to be affected to a greater significance than a 130-150 Standard breed at the same EPG.

At what point is the goat losing condition? Is milk production being affected?

For some it could be @500EPG others 650... 750, 1000.

Working with different vets and their individual philosophies I have seen a broad range of treatment protocol. Some vets want to see a 0 Egg Count. Some vets never look at a EPG but look at the eyes only.

In our region there is a wide range of philosophies from different vets. One vet looks at eyes only and determines strictly on eyes... regardless. And I quote... “I 've been doing this a long time I don't need a fecal”. One owner had the same vet out several times and was very concerned about their buck.... same answer each time...eye check... vet said no worries he's fine. The buck dropped dead. PARASITE load was cause of death. Same vet told the same client not to worry when their kids were scouring, it wasn't the right “season” for cocci. 2 kids died- Necropsy showed they died of coccidiosis. This is a well known goat vet.:\

At the same time there are other well known goat vets that believe worming on schedule is the best way to go. This seems contrary to the data out there yet the farms I know of that utilize this vet have small herds, good sufficient land and have followed that protocol with results of ZERO to 50 EPG Counts.

This vet IMO is one of the best vets in the entire region. A few people I know moved away from this protocol and ended up with parasite issues in their herds.

Depending on the size of the herd and time involved, management for one herd may not be possible for another herd.

We break our herd into groups.

The does are broken into 2 groups, those in milk and those not in milk.

Kids are broken into groups usually by sex but sometimes it is age.

We do this because running fecals on each goat is time consuming.
We pick a day and do one group.

For our dairy does-
The Nigies and Mini's- usually hover around 150-350 EPG. When those goats get up to 650 we see a difference in their condition -sometimes. If it is a doe is in milk we look at all the factors... how long since kidding, is it a bloom from 3-6 weeks post kidding. Time of year also makes a big difference. If plenty of forage, leaves, trees, lespedeza we generally will do nothing and counts will come down on their own. If at a time of year where they do not have that we generally will deworm.

Standard Breed does- same considerations but is a little more complex. A doe may be fine at a particular count milking 12# but another doe milking 8-10# may not be able to handle the same load.

It never is what we think. We have one doe that has never gone above 150EPG (Since we have owned her) yet is the hardest to keep condition on while in milk. She doesn't need dewormed but to look at her you'd think her count was high. Another doe that has an average of 350 EPG count will go along just fine, won't have a bloom at the normal post kidding time but 3 months after kidding will bloom... lose condition and production will suffer. She will drop from #12 to 8#.

Bucks- Unless a buck is over 650 we do not deworm.

Kids- we never have parasites in our kids. Bottle raised or dam raised. I think the most we have ever had was 2eggs on a dam raised kid (Kiko/Lamancha cross). But we have had TAPES! UGH They are generally monitored for coccidia.

We have a friend that has a doe that NEVER goes below a 500EPG Count for more than a few weeks. For this doe (Standard Breed Dairy Goat) it is like her “0”.

Starting a new management program can be difficult at first but sometimes it is best to get a fecal on every goat. Log it. Deworm EVERYONE regardless of count. 3 months later see where everyone is. Doing this quarterly (checking numbers- not deworming) will give you a baseline for the individual goat. This also helps to look at how dairy production is affected. One years data is great, two years is even better. You can find who your problem goats are.

Resistance has two meanings really.
~One is do they pick up parasites easily, if they do not they have better resistance.
~Second meaning- looking at the numbers and how well the goat copes with those numbers.

The reality is goats will pick up some parasites. I rather have a goat that has a steady 500 EPG count without skipping a beat than a goat that has a lower count but is affected in production and condition.

Of course the goal IMO is to still have the lowest counts possible.:)

Goats that don't cut it go.

Bucks with great resistance are the only bucks that should be bred. IMO

If changing from a dry lot environment to a pasture environment expect some issues at first. The first year may end up being a little rough but gathering the data will help determine the type of management suitable for your farm. The second year will be a key time to formulate and tweak what needs tweaked.

Another consideration is when moving from small land or dry lot to larger land and pasture USUALLY more goats are added... this will add to the parasite levels and can get out of control quickly.

Keeping kids separate in their own lot or field may be necessary.
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