June 24, 2009

Use before July 11, 2009
Contact: Betsy Hodge, Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County, 315-379-9192

July 18 Small Ruminant IPM Parasite Control Class:
How to Protect Your Livestock from Illness & Death
Includes FAMACHA

Canton, NY -- If you could keep your livestock or pet sheep, goat, alpaca or llama from internal parasites that would make their very ill or possibly kill them, wouldn’t you do it? If the answer is yes, register to attend the Saturday, July 18 Small Ruminant IPM Parasite Control Class offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of St. Lawrence County in Canton, NY. The class will run from 10 am to 3 pm at the Extension Learning Farm.

Instructor Betsy Hodge, a small livestock educator with CCE St Lawrence, says, “This class is the only location where this training is offered anywhere in New York State other than on the Cornell University campus in Ithaca. Past classes here in Canton have drawn people from all over New York State and from others states.”

Hodge says internal parasites – better known as worms – are the number one problem affecting small ruminants. Sheep, goats, alpacas and llamas are more susceptible to internal parasites than other livestock due to their grazing behavior.

In the past, small ruminant farmers have relied on anti-parasitic drugs to control parasites in their animals. Hodge says a more integrated approach is necessary and since a small percentage of the animals in a flock or herd carry most of the parasites a strategy that supports treating only those animals that need saves farmers time, labor and money.

“The labor for de-worming and the cost of the de-wormer during the summer months can be quite discouraging for small livestock owners,” Hodge says, “not to mention that parasites have become increasingly resistant to many of the anti-parasitic drugs. As a result producers can no longer rely on de-worming alone to control parasites.”

The July 18th workshop will focus on strategic de-worming, the FAMACHA system, methods of pasturing, and other practices to minimize the use of drugs and maximize animal health.

The FAMACHA method of evaluating sheep and goats for signs of anemia caused by the bloodsucking stomach worm Heamonchus is named for South African livestock parasitologist Francois Malan. Effective use of FAMACHA helps farmers identify animals in need and those not in need of treatment. The evaluation method also supports a strong genetic breeding program by identifying chronically infected animals for culling from the flock or herd.

Class pre-registration is required for the Small Ruminant IPM Parasite Control Class – call Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County at 315-379-9192. The $35.00 fee per farm for materials, lab supplies and lunch can be paid the day of class. Additional attendees from the same farm will be charged $5.00 for lunch. For more information, contact Betsy Hodge at 315-379-9192 or bmf9@cornell.edu. # # #