Date of Graduation

Spring 2015


Master of Natural and Applied Science in Agriculture


College of Agriculture

Committee Chair

Elizabeth Walker


In the United States, infection with the gastrointestinal nematode Haemonchus contortus is the leading cause of goat mortality. Alternative parasite control methods, including forages containing condensed tannins (CT), may reduce parasite load. Boer-cross does (n=37) kidding April to June were randomly assigned to diets of alfalfa [control; Medicago sativa; 21% CP (crude protein); n=16; C] or sericea lespedeza (treatment; Lespedeza cuneata; 16% CP; n=21; SL) pellets fed at 3% BW while on 0.61 ha bermudagrass pasture. On d 7, 21, 35, 49, and 63 post-kidding, doe fecal samples, blood samples, body condition score (BCS), FAMACHA score and milk measurements were obtained. Does on C diet slightly tended to have greater fecal egg counts (FEC) on d 7, 21, 35, 49 and 63 (P=0.13). Does were grouped into two kidding periods, early (those kidding from d 1 to d 31) and late (d 32 to d 62) of the trial. Later kidding does on C had higher FEC (P=0.03) and tended to have lower packed cell volume (PCV; P=0.04) compared to early kidding does. SL-fed does had lower FEC (P=0.003) than the C does on d 35. On d 63, does with singles had lower FEC (P=0.03) and greater PCV levels (P<0.05) than does with twins on d 35, 49, and 63. Does with singles in kidding period 2 had better FAMACHA scores (P=0.003) and greater BCS than does with twins (P=0.03). Does raising twins produced more milk than single parity does until d 35 (P=0.002). In conclusion, diet, parity, and time of year may all influence FEC and PCV.


sericea lespedeza, goats, Haemonchus contortus, lactation, condensed tannins

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© Jamie Lynn Vest

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