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The effect of grazing forage containing condensed tannins on gastro-intestinal parasite infection and milk composition in Angora does

B.R. Min, S.P. Hart, D. Miller, G.M. Tomita, E. Loetz, and T. Sahlu

Veterinary Parasitology 130:105-113. 2005.

The objective of this study was to evaluate effects of the condensed tannin (CT)-containing forage sericea lespedeza (sericea lespedeza (SL); Lespedeza cuneata; 15.2% CT), on fecal egg count (FEC), larval development (larvae/10 g of feces), worm burden and immune response compared with a crabgrass (Digitaria ischaemum)/Kentucky 31 tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea; control forage (CTF)) forage low in CT (0.32% CT) in grazing Angora does and their kids. Fifty worm-free mixed-age does were randomly allocated to three treatments. One treatment (10 does; initial liveweight (LW) = 45 ± 1.5 kg) entailed grazing of SL forage from April 25 to July 15, 2002 with a second treatment of CTF (20 does; initial LW = 43 ± 1.4 kg) grazing during the same period. Does of the third treatment (20 does; initial LW = 44 ± 1.4 kg) grazed a sward of SL for 2 weeks and then one of CTF for 2 weeks followed by alternating between the two pastures every 2-week rotational grazing (ROT). To gauge levels of infective larvae on pasture, three worm-free Angora kids (initial LW = 3.6 ± 0.2 kg) were randomly selected as tracers. Tracers grazed for final 60 days and were euthanized for determination of worm burden. The immune response of does was measured by skin thickness reaction after the intradermal injection of 250 g phytohemagglutinin (PHA). Mean FEC for SL and ROT were substantially lower (P < 0.01) than for CTF does (145, 329 and 894 eggs/g, respectively). The FEC for kids was lower (P < 0.05) for SL than for ROT and CTF (550, 2757 and 3600 eggs/g, respectively). Total fecal egg output (3.3, 6.0 and 26.9 105 eggs/day, respectively) and larval development (242, 263 and 792 larvae/10 g, respectively) were lower (P < 0.05) for SL and ROT than for CTF. Tracers grazing on SL had lower total worm burdens than ROT and CTF (P < 0.01). The immune response was higher (P < 0.01) for SL (4.9 mm) and ROT (6.0 mm) than for CTF (3.0 mm) at 12 h after injection of PHA. The packed cell volume (PCV) in does was higher (P < 0.01) for SL and ROT than for CTF (27, 26 and 23%, respectively). Does that grazed CT-containing forage had considerably lower milk somatic cell counts (SCC) than does grazing non-CT-containing forage. In summary, grazing CT forages reduced FEC, larval development and worm burden, and also appeared to enhance immune response. The CT-containing forage SL reduced gastro-intestinal parasite infections of Angora does and kids.


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