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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
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
Outline
  • The Parasite Problem
  • Background
  • 2006 SARE Producer Grant
  • Selecting Sheep for Parasite Resistance
  • Questions & Answers
the parasite problem
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
slide5

RESISTANCE SELECTION IN ADULT WORMS

TREATMENT

Courtesy of William Shulaw, DVM, MS

why selection works
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
slide7

Fall 2000

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

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

slide8

1850 epg

150 epg

650 epg

600 epg

2450 epg

150 epg

17,300 epg

participants
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

katahdins the low maintenance meat sheep
Katahdins: The Low Maintenance Meat Sheep
  • Excellent mothers
  • No shearing
  • Medium size
  • 200% lamb crop
  • Single purpose: Meat
  • Natural parasite resistance
our collaborators
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
objectives of the grant
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)
the famacha system
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

method
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
detailed record keeping
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
results
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
slide21

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
slide24

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.
probable sire differences
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.
selecting parasite resistant service sires based on fec
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
selecting parasite resistant replacement animals
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
sare project conclusions dr notter s comments
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.
resources
Resources
  • 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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