Sheep and goats are important sources of milk, meat, and fiber for people all over the world. The flocks also improve pasture and remove unwanted vegetation. In years of drought and wildfires, the animals’ ability to mow down flammable undergrowth can be crucial. This issue of ATTRAnews highlights some of the ways farmers and ranchers use these productive animals.

In this issue:

Where to Learn More about Sheep and Goat Production

Sheep and goats have many uses in today’s farms, ranches, and communities. See the resources below and ATTRA’s Small Ruminant Resources List to learn more.

General Information on Sheep and Goats


From other sources



From other sources



From other sources




Pasture Improvement and Vegetation Management


From other sources

In addition to the publications listed here, ATTRA offers hundreds more that provide general information and specific details about all aspects of sustainable and organic agriculture. The publications are available to download for free from ATTRA’s Web site, Or call 1-800-346-9140 to order a free paper copy.

* All sheep and goat production illustrations in this issue of the ATTRAnews are by Robert Armstrong.

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Protecting Sheep and Goats from Internal Parasites

Control of internal parasites, especially of Haemonchus contortus (barber pole worm, stomach worm), is a primary concern for the majority of sheep and goat producers. The parasites have become more difficult to manage because they are becoming resistant to deworming medications. A severe infection of barber pole worm causes anemia, bottle jaw, and, if not treated, death of infected sheep and goats.

Mature parasites breed inside the host and lay eggs that are shed in the feces. Warm, humid conditions encourage the eggs to hatch. The infective larvae migrate 1 to 3 inches up blades of grass.

When a sheep or goat grazes, it may take in parasite larvae along with the pasture grass. Parasite numbers increase over time in warm, wet conditions. Because internal parasites are developing resistance to deworming drugs, it is important to use multiple management practices for control.

Manage Pasture Carefully

  • Keep forage height greater than 3 inches.
  • Provide areas of browse: brush, shrubs, small trees.
  • Maintain low stocking rate.
  • Graze sheep and goats with cattle, or in rotation with cattle or horses.
  • Provide tannin-rich forages, such as Sericea lespedeza.
  • Harvest hay from pastures.
  • Avoid wet patches in pasture, such as from a leaky water trough.

Reduce Deworming

  • Decrease the use of dewormers. This will slow drug resistance and save money.
  • Treat only animals that are anemic, which is a sign of parasitism.
  • FAMACHA© charts for classifying animals based on levels of anemia.
  • FAMACHA© is only effective for diagnosing infection by Haemonchus contortus.

Select Resistant Animals

  • Several breeds show resistance to internal parasites. Select a resistant breed if it fits your system.
  • Select individual animals that demonstrate resistance to parasites.
  • Resilient animals can host a parasite burden without negative effects. However, they may be shedding high numbers of parasite eggs and spreading illness.
  • Cull animals that are most susceptible to parasites and those that contribute most to pasture contamination.

تاريخ : | | نویسنده : مهدي بايري يار |
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