Alternating grazing to control parasites in young cattle

Within the CORE Organic project Mix-Enable,
we are testing more sustainable ways of controlling gastrointestinal nematodes in ruminants. One approach is mixed grazing
of different livestock species. In this video, I will show you how we test this approach in this field-trial here. Alternating grazing to control parasites in young cattle Pasture borne parasites can be found on all pastures and can seriously impact animals’ health and performance. Farmers usually control them
by the use of so-called dewormers. However, resistance against these products
is increasing. It is well known that sheep and goat can benefit from mixed grazing with cattle in terms of animal health and performance. This is because
gastrointestinal parasites are usually specialized in one livestock species, and mixed grazing
has thus a “diluting” effect. Conversely, little is known whether young
cattle can also benefit from mixed grazing with sheep. This is what we want to find out
in this trial here. Here you can see 10 pairs of young cattle and 5 groups of sheep. While 5 pairs of cattle graze the same plot repeatedly, 5 other pairs regularly change their pasture
with sheep. In total, we have 20 cattle and 40 sheep on 15 plots. With this rather elaborate study design, we can avoid pseudo-replications for a proper statistical analysis. The trial will last 14 weeks. We hope to see positive effects of mixed grazing, which can be evident in higher daily weight gains and a lower parasite load. We’ ll keep you informed at the CORE Organic website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *