National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP) Workshop pre-recorded videos available on YouTube. Click here to visit our webpage with links to the videos and details on future workshops planned in the coming year!
The NSIP Virtual Workshop Series is being conducted as part of a USDA Northeast SARE Project – Building on success: Expanding opportunities for sustainable management of small ruminant gastrointestinal parasites.
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Learn more about our current research
Overview: Why Worry About Parasites?
Gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) parasites, such as the barber pole worm (Haemonchus contortus), are a serious problem affecting small ruminant production throughout the Northeast region and world. These parasites cause poor growth, anemia, and death in severe infections and limit the ability of producers to raise sheep and goats on pasture. Learn more about GIN biology and life cycle.
Growing and widespread resistance to chemical dewormers, coupled with producer wishes to reduce or eliminate reliance on these drugs, has created a need for alternative and integrated parasite control practices.
URI Cooperative Extension and the Dept. of Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Sciences collaborate with farmers and other partners from New England and the Northeast region to provide research and education on integrated parasite control management. This includes practices such as selective deworming and smart drug use, along with alternative controls including a variety of pasture management practices that reduce parasite exposure.
The FAMACHA© System – a method for estimating the level of anemia in sheep and goats affected by barber pole worm (Haemonchus contortus) infection – is a crucial tool for selective deworming. The FAMACHA© card, developed in South Africa, was introduced to the U.S. by the American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control (ACSRPC); (https://www.wormx.info/).
This online training program was developed by Dr. Katherine Petersson and Dr. Anne Zajac, DVM, members of the ACSRPC, as part of a Northeast SARE grant and is administered by the University of Rhode Island. The ACSRPC fully endorses the program for those who are unable to attend a workshop. Click here for details.
We are also conducting research on some alternative solutions to chemical dewormers. Including the bioactive component in condensed tannins (CT) found in cranberry and some forages such as birdsfoot trefoil.