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2006 SARE Group Farmer/Rancher Grant. Selecting Sheep for Parasite Resistance SARE Project Number: FNC05-583. Kathy Bielek Misty Oaks Farm 1130 Kimber Road Wooster, OH 44691 330-264-5281 [email protected] Outline. The Parasite Problem Background 2006 SARE Producer Grant

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2006 sare group farmer rancher grant l.jpg
2006 SARE Group Farmer/Rancher Grant

Selecting Sheep for Parasite Resistance

SARE Project Number: FNC05-583

Kathy Bielek

Misty Oaks Farm

1130 Kimber Road

Wooster, OH 44691

330-264-5281

[email protected]


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Outline

  • The Parasite Problem

  • Background

  • 2006 SARE Producer Grant

  • Selecting Sheep for Parasite Resistance

  • Questions & Answers



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The Parasite Problem

  • Parasites affect the health and productivity of sheep

    • Reduced lamb growth

    • Potential death of lambs and ewes

    • Require expensive chemical dewormers

  • Most susceptible are lambs & lactating ewes

  • Parasites are developing resistance to dewormers


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RESISTANCE SELECTION IN ADULT WORMS

TREATMENT

Courtesy of William Shulaw, DVM, MS


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Why Selection Works

  • Parasite numbers not evenly distributed among all animals in flock

  • Roughly 20% of animals harbor 80% of parasites

  • Treating only those 20% helps avoid developing parasites resistant to dewormers

  • Identifying and selecting less susceptible replacement animals will help increase flock’s resistance to parasites over time


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Fall 2000

103,546,200 eggs per day for just 46 sheep

Just 10 (21%) of the lambs excreted 77% of the eggs !!


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1850 epg

150 epg

650 epg

600 epg

2450 epg

150 epg

17,300 epg



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Participants

  • Jeff & Kathy Bielek - Misty Oaks Farm - Ohio

  • David Coplen - Birch Cove Farm - Missouri

  • Doug & Mary Emrick - Lazydae Farm - Ohio

  • Richard Gilbert - Mossy Dell Farm - Ohio

  • Naomi & Dean Hawkins - Green Pastures Farm - Ohio

  • Sue & Dave Ingram - DSI Katahdins - Missouri

  • Leah Miller - Bluebird Hill Farm - Ohio

  • Jim Orr - Orr Farm - Ohio

  • Bill Pope - Ohio

  • Donna & Doug Stoneback - Wade Jean Farm - Pennsylvania

Total of 456 lambs and 31 rams in project


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Katahdins: The Low Maintenance Meat Sheep

  • Excellent mothers

  • No shearing

  • Medium size

  • 200% lamb crop

  • Single purpose: Meat

  • Natural parasite resistance


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Our Collaborators

  • William Shulaw, DVM, MS

    Extension Veterinarian, Beef/Sheep

    Ohio State University

  • Charles Parker, PhD

    Professor Emeritus, Dept of Animal Science

    Ohio State University

New Cooperator

  • David Notter, PhD

    Professor of Animal Science

    Virginia Tech

    • Dr. Notter directs the National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP) Genetic Evaluation Center at Virginia Tech


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Objectives of The Grant

  • Identify rams with ability to transmit parasite resistance to offspring

  • Compare effect of different management systems

  • Investigate method to identify potential replacement seed stock

Tools

  • FAMACHA

  • Body Condition Scoring (BCS)

  • Vigor Scoring

  • Fecal Egg Counts (FEC)


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The FAMACHA© System

  • Compare eye color chart with color of mucous membranes of sheep

    • 1 – not anemic

    • 5 -- severely anemic

  • Eye color is an indirect measure of the worm burden – applies toHemonchus contortus only

Courtesy of William Shulaw, DVM, MS




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Method

  • All lambs identified by sire

  • All lambs managed together in single group on each farm

  • FEC, FAMACHA & BCS done twice: at 8-10 weeks & 12-14 weeks

  • No changes made to management of each farm


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Collected on all 456 lambs:

Lamb ID

Date of birth

Sex

Birth type & rearing

Birth weight

Sire ID

Dam ID

Age of Dam

Deworming history

Collected at least twice (8-10 and 12-14 weeks of age; some at 16-18 weeks) on 15 lambs per sire:

Date

Weight

Body condition score

FAMACHA

Vigor score

Fecal egg count

Detailed Record Keeping


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Results

  • Identified several rams that APPEAR to show greater ability to transmit parasite resistance to offspring

  • Management practices had major impact

    • Time of lambing

    • Pasture management

  • All farms able to identify potential replacement ewe and ram lambs


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Avg = 1605 epg

Avg = 3280 epg

Avg Ram A

Adequate Numbers Are Necessary for Valid Comparisons

Avg Ram A


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Management Example: Pasture Management Matters

  • Farm #2

    • All dewormed 7/16/06

    • Moved to clean pasture every week

  • Farm #1

    • All dewormed 7/20/06

    • Rotated across previously grazed pastures


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Management Example: Pasture Conditions Can Change Quickly



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Management Example: Time of Lambing

At 2nd collection (13 weeks of age):

  • older and heavier lambs had lower FEC.

  • a 10 day increase in lamb age resulted in 21% decrease in FEC.

  • a 10 pound increase in lamb weight resulted in 18% decrease in FEC.


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Probable Sire Differences

  • Offspring of Sire A probably show more parasite resistance than Sire B.

  • But, dams of Sire B offspring mainly ewes lambing as yearlings – confounds results.


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Selecting Parasite Resistant Service Sires Based on FEC

  • Be sure there is a challenge

    • Group average FEC of 1000 epg or higher

  • Compare adequate numbers

    • 15-25 animals

    • Compare at least 2 sires

  • Compare apples to apples:

    • Same age

    • Similar management

    • Similar dam age, litter size, etc.

  • Calculate average FEC of all lambs from each sire

  • Choose sire with lowest average progeny FEC


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Selecting Parasite Resistant Replacement Animals

  • Be sure there is a challenge

    • Group average FEC of 1000 epg or higher

  • Compare adequate numbers

    • 15-25 animals

  • Compare apples to apples:

    • Same age

    • Similar management

    • Similar dam age, litter size, etc.

  • Choose lambs from sire with lowest average progeny FEC if more than 1 sire

  • Choose animals with lowest FECs in group

    • At least 2 FECs at different dates increases accuracy



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SARE Project Conclusions:Dr. Notter’s Comments

  • Selection favoring low FEC will be effective in increasing parasite resistance in Katahdin flocks. Heritability estimate = 0.52.

  • Age at measurement likely less important than level of infection at time of data collection.

  • Selection on FAMACHA scores on older lambs effective, but likely to produce considerably slower changes than direct FEC measurement and selection.

  • A combination of recording FAMACHA scores to monitor levels of parasite infection and recording FEC as selection tool may be optimal strategy to improve genetic resistance to internal parasites.



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Resources and high productivity

  • Southern Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control

    • http://www.scsrpc.org

  • Maryland Small Ruminant Page

    • http://www.sheepandgoat.com

  • ATTRA (Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas)

    • http://attra.org

  • Katahdin Hair Sheep International

    • http:// khsi.org


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