Investigations into nematode parasites of goats in pastoral and crop livestock systems of Ethiopia
We generated epidemiological information on the prevalence of nematode parasites and possible resistance/resilience of goats in three areas, Bati, Shinille, and Borana, of Ethiopia. A total of 350 breeding does were randomly selected and monitored for one year. Fecal egg counts (FEC), packed cell volume (PCV), body weight (BW), body condition score (BC), and fecal larvae identification were done. In Borana, the long rainy season had higher FEC, lower PCV, lower BC, and smaller BW compared to dry and short rainy seasons (p < 0.01). For Bati and Shinille, the differences between the seasons were significant (p < 0.01) but not clear-cut. Breed differences were also evident (p < 0.01) on FEC, PCV, and BW. The mean FEC for Borana goat was 158.5 ± 1.12, whereas for Bati it was 38.9 ± 1.12. Age differences did not have effect on FECs, PCV, and BC. No differences in parasite load, as reflected by FEC, was verified between male and female goats. In the wet season, large numbers of larvae were recovered from the study sites except for Bati. In the three sites, Haemonchus contortus followed by Trichostrongylus colubriformis were the dominant species. In the dry season, however, very little number of larvae was recovered, only of H. contortus in Bati and of H. contortus and T. colubriformis in Borana. Generally, the level of nematode infection was low. Therefore, nematode parasites are not a major problem and strategic control program using broad spectrum anthelmintic is not advisable. Rather, monitoring parasite load and selective de-worming should be sufficient to reduce productivity loses and pasture contamination.