Feb. 26, 2020
FAMACHA workshop series to help small ruminant producers identify, treat parasites
By Ryan McGeeney
University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
- Five workshops available, covering FAMACHA and fecal egg count technique
- Barber’s pole worm and similar parasites are the No. 1 cause of health problems in small ruminants in Arkansas
- $55 to attend; each workshop lasts three to four hours
- Register at uaex.formstack.com/forms/famacha
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LITTLE ROCK — An upcoming series of workshops from the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service will help small ruminant producers identify a common parasite in sheep, goats and other animals, and determine the best course of treatment in a variety of circumstances.
The workshops will concentrate on the administration of FAMACHA, the name commonly associated with the Faffa Malan Chart, a diagnostic method for identifying the presence of Barber’s pole worm (Haemonchus contortus). The method was originally developed by researchers in South Africa.
Chelseya Kimbrough, extension specialty livestock specialist, said the parasite is the No. 1 cause of most health issues in small ruminants, causing anemia, weight loss and death, among other maladies.
“Through this process, we’ll teach producers how to examine their livestock for symptoms indicating the presence of the parasite and determine whether they need to use a chemical dewormer,” Kimbrough said.
She said the program encourages selective deworming, rather than blanket use of chemical treatments, in an effort to avoid developing treatment-resistant parasitic populations.
“We’re encouraging producers to use more holistic management practices, rather than constantly relying on chemical dewormers,” Kimbrough said. “It’s best to use better management practices to prevent parasites in the first place.”
The workshops will also cover the process of a fecal egg count, in which participants examine the feces of ruminant animals to determine if the presence of parasitic eggs meets a treatment threshold, using the McMaster slide method. The technique allows producers to examine fecal samples under a microscope using specialized, two-chamber slides.
Each workshop begins at 1 p.m. and is projected to last three to four hours. The cost to attend a session is $55. Interested individuals can register at uaex.formstack.com/forms/famacha.
Workshops currently scheduled across Arkansas include:
- March 12 — Pauline Whitaker Arena, 1335 W. Knapp Drive, Fayetteville, 72704
- April 9 — White County Extension Office, 2400 Old Searcy Landing Rd., Searcy, 72143
- April 14 — Ozarka College – Ash Flat, 64 College Drive, Ash Flat, 72513
- April 21 — Howard County EH House, 425 N. Second St., Nashville, 71842
- April 23 — U of A – Monticello, 110 University Court, Monticello, 71656
“Attendees will become FAMACHA certified, and they’ll understand how to use a McMaster slide to analyze samples themselves at home,” Kimbrough said. “They’re also going to learn recommendations and best management practices for Arkansas producers, specifically. There’s a lot of great information out there, but it’s not necessarily region-specific. Here, producers will get Arkansas-specific information that they can use at their farm.”
For more information, contact Kimbrough at 501-503-6592, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact Chelseya Kimbrough at 501-503-6592 as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.
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Media Contact: Ryan McGeeney
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service