Christmasberry and Indigo: Natural Wormers For Goats
Gastrointestinal parasite (GIP) infection of livestock imposes substantial costs for ranches worldwide particularly in tropical small ruminant production systems. Research has shown forages with high concentrations of plant secondary metabolites hold considerable promise for maintaining low GIP loads in small ruminants. Some ranchers in Hawaii report that certain pasture plants Indigo (Indigofera suffruticosa) and Christmasberry (Schinus terebinthifolius) may have anti-parasitic properties. Matt Stevenson is working on his PhD with Juan Villalba. They will be addressing the following research questions:
- Do indigo or Christmasberry or a combination of the two lower GIP infection rates in goats?
- Do anti-parasitic plants, at amounts eaten, affect meat flavor quality?
- Does a sub-clinical GIP infection in goats increase sampling of novel foods?
- Does GIP infection of goats increase search time and grazing bout frequency or length?