Upcoming course covers management of parasites in goats and sheep

Burlington, VT - Understanding how to manage internal parasites of goats and sheep will help prevent health issues, including those of the animal's gastrointestinal tract.

University of Vermont Extension is teaming up with the Cornell Sheep and Goat Program and Cornell Cooperative Extension to offer a free integrated parasite management and FAMACHA© training course in May to help producers best understand how to manage parasites. The course is open to goat and sheep producers (dairy, meat and fiber) in Vermont and neighboring states.

The training includes Zoom webinars on May 9 (Part 1) and May 16 (Part 2) from 7-8:30 p.m. and a three-hour hands-on sessions on May 23 at a farm in Whiting, either from 9 a.m.-noon or 1-4 p.m. While producers are welcome to attend the webinars just for the information, to receive the FAMACHA© Anemia Card and certification, they must participate in both webinars and one hands-on session.

Space is limited for the on-farm sessions, so early registration is recommended at https://go.uvm.edu/sheepandgoat. To request a disability-related accommodation to participate, contact Kelsie Meehan at (518) 810-6431 or kelsie.meehan@uvm.edu by April 29.

The course will cover the basics of parasite control and the current status of new innovations in parasite management. Participants also will learn how to develop an integrated parasite management plan for their farm, which includes evasive grazing practices and selective deworming and/or alternative treatments.

The on-farm session will include hands-on training on how to use the FAMACHA© card as part of a five-point check to determine which animals in the herd or flock most likely require deworming. Producers may bring a refrigerated fecal sample from one sheep or goat at their farm to analyze as part of the training on fecal egg identification and analysis.

Presenters include Betsy Hodge, Cornell University livestock educator; Dr. Niko Kochendoerfer, Cornell University Department of Animal Science postdoctoral research associate; Janice Liotta, Cornell University's parasitology laboratory; and Dr. tatiana Stanton, Cornell University Extension sheep and goat state specialist.

For more information or questions about the course, contact Kelsie Meehan at kelsie.meehan@uvm.edu.

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