Today, most farmers in Zimbabwe have embraced deworming goats to achieve maximum milk, meat, and skin production. For a long time, goats have been known as one of the easy to rear farm animals. In addition, they were seen to be hardy and rarely contracting diseases. As a result, farmers gave little attention to the prevention and treatment of goat diseases.
Although goats may remain hardy, the modern world is becoming dynamic, and traditional farming methods are slowly becoming obsolete. Moreover, as the world battles food insecurity, the need for modern livestock farming is unavoidable. This article discusses the importance of deworming goats.
What are the benefits of deworming goats?
Deworming is the process of killing or expelling internal parasites via administering anthelmintics (dewormers) to the infected animal. Deworming goats is beneficial as it:
- Enables the goat to gain weight
- Ensure optimum milk production
- Results in quality meat
- Enhance breeding
What parasites are found in goats?
Two main parasites attack goats: external and internal parasites. External parasites survive outside the host (in this case, goats) body. The common external goat parasites are ticks, fleas, lice, and mites.
On the other hand, internal parasites survive inside the host (in this case, goats) body. They include roundworms, tapeworms, and flukes.
How are internal parasites diagnosed?
As a farmer, you should always be on the look for:
- Reduced appetite in your flock
- Goats weight loss
- Bloody, mucus, or wormy diarrhea
- Reduction in milk production for she-goats
- Stunted growth
How are parasites transmitted?
As stated earlier, mature worms live and reproduce inside the gut of the goats. After mating, the female worms lay eggs which the goats pass together with dung during excretion. Eventually, the eggs hatch into larvae that is easily carried by rainwater and attach to pastures.
Goats will feed on the pastures and consequently ingest the larvae parasites, resulting in an infection. Once inside the host, larvae will grow into adult worms that will mate and lay, ensuring the cycle’s continuity.
How to prepare an animal to be dewormed?
Dewormers are usually administered either orally or by injection. You will need to do the following to prepare your the animal for deworming:
- Weigh or estimate the weight of the animal as the dosage depends on the animal’s weight.
- Clean and sterilize the equipment that you will use e.g. syringes
- Restrain the goat
How to deworm your goat?
Deworming of infected goats involves the administration of dewormers( also anthelmintics). Some examples of dewormers are albendazole, fenbendazole, doramectin, and ivermectin.
As the worms reside either in the liver, stomach, or the intestines, veterinary officers usually recommend that you orally administer dewormers. However, you may choose any other appropriate method to treat the animal. Such include injection, bolus administration, or pour-on. Keenly read dosages, storage, and handling instructions so that you do not under-dose, overdose, or store the medication inappropriately. Lastly, keep proper records for future reference.
As a goat farmer, you ought to monitor and deworm your animals regularly. This will increase meat, milk, and skin production and keep your livestock healthy and lively. The commonly used goat dewormers are albendazole, fenbendazole, doramectin, and ivermectin.