Ohio Farmer

A scorecard helps growers selectively deworm sheep and goats of the most damaging internal parasite these livestock face.

June 23, 2013

2 Min Read

A new course will focus on how to use the FAMACHA diagnostic system to identify sheep and goats infected with the Haemonchus contortus parasite, also called the barber's pole worm, says Clif Little, an Ohio State University Extension educator.

A workshop to teach sheep and goat farmers how to quickly and easily identify which animals to treat for a damaging internal parasite will be offered June 28 by livestock experts with Ohio State University's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.


Using a FAMACHA scorecard, producers can determine which sheep and goats infected with barber's pole worm need to be dewormed, which not only saves producers time and money but also can protect livestock from this potentially deadly parasite.

"It's a valuable tool because this parasite is the most damaging internal parasite for sheep and goats and needs to be effectively and efficiently controlled," Little says. "I think more producers should be using it because it's a great technique and just makes perfect sense for both small and larger operations."

The workshop runs 6-9 p.m. at the Eastern Agricultural Research Station at 16870 Bond Ridge Road, Caldwell. The station is part of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Developed in South Africa, the FAMACHA system uses a chart to match the animal's eyelid color to anemia levels, which is an indication of parasitic infection.

The barber's pole worm is a blood-sucking parasite that causes anemia in animals with heavy infestations. The symptoms of anemia show up in the color of the membrane of the animals' eyes. The FAMACHA score card is used to rank the eyelid color on a scale of 1 to 5, with animals scored at 3, 4 or 5 dtypically needing treatment with a chemical dewormer, Little says.

Selective deworming is important to minimize parasite resistance to chemical dewormers, he says.

Participants will receive information on how to use the FAMACHA tool, a FAMACHA scorecard and a certificate of completion at the end of the course.

Registration is $20 per person or farm and is limited to the first 20 participants or farms. For more information, contact Little at 740-732-5681 or [email protected]. A registration form can be found here.

Source: OSU Extension

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