- Practical measures for the control of coccidiosis in Angora goats
|Last update: August 18, 2011 03:32:41 PM|
Practical measures for the control of coccidiosis in Angora goats
COCCIDIOSIS is generally regarded as one of the most important diseases affecting Angora goat kids, especially when the animals are kept under intensive or semi-intensive conditions. When kids are kept on irrigated, cultivated pastures or under the kraal system, it is advisable to take suitable preventative measures in order to avoid big outbreaks of the disease. Such outbreaks of coccidiosis can lead to serious losses, with losses of up to 40 per cent of the kid crop having been reported. Apart from the high mortality that can be caused by coccidiosis, affected kids that do not die, suffer a serious setback, which usually results in stunted growth and also lowers their resistance to other diseases.
Practical experience has shown that conditions of stress, especially those which give rise to lowered food intake, such as kraaling of animals without food at shearing time and during cold conditions, weaning, excessive green feed, etc promote the occurrence of coccidiosis. It also appears that the incidence of the disease is greatly reduced under cold conditions such as when frost occurs. The golden rule of "prevention is better than cure" is certainly very true for this condition, so it is extremely important for Angora goat farmers to prevent an outbreak of the disease at all costs. To this end a few guidelines are given which have shown exceptionally good results in practice.
As far as possible, avoid any conditions that will put kids under stress. When such conditions are unavoidable, suitable counter-measures must be applied, for example:
- When kids must be housed in sheds during cold conditions, enough high-energy nutrition must be provided.
- Provide sufficient dry feed when kids are kept on succulent green pastures in order to ensure adequate intake of roughage.
- Supply energy supplements from weaning until at least - two months thereafter.
- Supply energy supplements from shearing until at least one month thereafter.
- Follow an effective control programme for internal parasites, especially on cultivated pastures.
- Follow an effective immunisation programme against diseases that can lower the resistance of kids (e g pulpy kidney, pasturella etc).
- Where conditions are favourable for coccidiosis (e g cultivated pastures, kraal systems etc), coccidiostats (e g ionophores) can be included in the feed or supplements of kids at regular intervals of from two to three weeks, as will be more fully discussed later.
When coccidiosis has already occurred among the kids (generally indicated by a typical blackish purging), dosing with one of the recognised coccidiostats must be carried out immediately and be repeated for the following three to four days. This must be followed up with regular preventative treatments such as the inclusion of coccidiostats in the feed or supplements.
Practical procedure and suggestions
- During the period prior to weaning, very good results are obtained by dosing only those kids that show signs of purging with a sulpha remedy every morning and evening (follow manufacturer's dosing instructions per 10 kg live mass). In this way all affected kids will be treated regularly, while healthy kids (which are usually in the majority) are not treated unnecessarily.
- Where creep feeding is provided for kids, a coccidiostat (e g ionophore such as Lasalocid) can be included every two to three weeks for a period of three to five days. Should purging be noticed among the kids at any time, it is advisable to include the abovementioned remedy in the creep feed until all purging has stopped, and thereafter again on a fortnightly basis. This procedure does not, however, do away with the necessity of giving affected kids specific treatment. Dose these kids, therefore, with a sulpha remedy as mentioned earlier.
- Coccidiosis commonly occurs just after weaning. As a preventative measure a coccidiostat (e g Lasalocid "premix" at 150 g/ton) can be included in a balanced ration (e g kid pellets) for a period of two to four weeks after weaning. Alternatively, a coccidiostat can be added to the lick, which the kids were accustomed to before weaning. Again it is important to add the coccidiostats to the feed or supplement immediately purging is noticed, followed by the regular inclusion of the coccidiostats approximately every three weeks for a period of three to five days.
- Although adult animals are not as susceptible to the disease, they can serve as a source of infection to younger animals. Under conditions, which are favourable to coccidiosis (e g on irrigated lands), it is advisable to include coccidiostats in the supplement or lick given to the animals at regular intervals (e g monthly for three to five days).
- In all cases it must be endeavoured to always keep animals at a satisfactory level of nutrition, which will limit stress caused by nutritional deficiencies.
In all cases where coccidiostats are included in rations, supplements or licks, an estimate of the INTAKE per animal per day MUST be made in order to determine the correct amount of coccidiostat to add. The success of this treatment is directly dependent on the intake of the animal of an EFFECTIVE DOSE of the coccidiostat.
lonophores such as Lasalocid, Salinomycin and Monensin-sodium are generally used at present as coccidiostats in rations, supplements and licks. For the effective control of coccidiosis an intake of 20 to 30 mg (milligrams) per animal must be achieved. It must be noted that the commercial products ("premix") only have a percentage of the active ingredient, namely the product that contains Lasalocid has approximately 17 per cent of the active ingredient; the product containing Monensin-Na has 13 per cent Monensin-Na and the product with Salinomycin has a content of 6 per cent Salinomycin. These figures must thus be taken into account when the inclusion level is calculated.
Intake of kids = 1 kg/kid/day. That is to say every 1 kg of the feed must contain 25 mg of the active ingredient. In the case of the product with 17 per cent Lasalocid it is:
x 25 mg of the commercial product (premix)/kg feed
= 147 mg "premix" /kg feed
= 147 g "premix" /1000 kg (approximately 150 g "premix" /ton).
= ± 300 ml when measured by volume.
In the case of Monensin-Na "premix"
150 g/ton (± 225 ml) and with Salinomycin "premix", 330 g/ton (± 400 ml) is recommended in full rations.
According to the instructions for the preparation of chocolate grain, it contains 20 mg of the active ingredient (ionophore) per kg of grain. Should the intake of an animal thus be 1 kg of chocolate grain per day, an effective dose for the control of coccidiosis will have been taken. In practice the kids will normally receive a good deal less than this amount per day. If, for example, the intake per kid is 250 g of chocolate grain per day, the amount of ionophore (Lasalocid, Monensin-Na or Salinomycin) must be quadrupled to obtain an effective dose of ionophore for the control of coccidiosis. In other words, where 100 g of the commercial product containing Lasalocid (± 200 ml) is, for example, normally added to eight bags of mealies, it must be increased to 400 g (± 800 ml). In the case of the commercial products containing Monensin-Na and Salinomycin, it will be 400 g (± 600 ml) and 640 g (± 760 ml) respectively.
With licks, the average intake of the lick consumed by the animals must first be determined. For example if the average intake of the lick is 40g/kid/day and the product containing Lasalocid is used, the recommended intake of ionophore is 25 mg/kg/day. I e every 40 g lick must contain 25 mg of the active ingredient Lasalocid:
x 25 = 147 mg Lasalocid "premix" /40g lick
= 3 675 mg Lasalocid "premix" /kg lick
= ± 3,7 g Lasalocid "premix" /kg lick
= 370 g Lasalocid "premix" (± 750 ml)/100 kg lick
Please note that in the above examples only a relatively small supply of the feed or lick with the relatively high level of ionophore is prepared for periodic use (e.g. three to five days each three weeks). Between these periods only untreated feed or lick is provided. By following this procedure the possible build-up of resistance to the coccidiostat (ionophore) is decreased. In addition, the various ionophores (Lasalocid, Monensin-Na and Salinomycin) can also be alternated.
Finally, it can be mentioned that the above procedures have already been widely used in practice and have generally proved successful in preventing and controlling coccidiosis. The key to success is that an EFFECTIVE DOSE is the CORRECT DOSE - not too much or too little.
The ionophores referred to in the above article can be obtained under the following trade names: Lasalocid = Taurotec, Monensin-Na = Rumensin and Salinomycin = Salocin. Ed.
Angora goat and mohair journal 31 (1)