Parasites in Goats

How to Identify, Solve, and Prevent Parasite Problems

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Do you ...

  • deworm goats on a schedule?
  • inject dewormers?
  • give a dewormer to all goats before moving to a new pasture?
  • rotate dewormers?
  • deworm the whole herd at one time?

If you answered YES to ANY of these questions, keep reading! Research has shown that ALL of these practices ultimately lead to dewormer resistance, which means that eventually none of the dewormers will kill parasites on your farm -- and that means the parasites can kill your goats.

Parasites have been cited as the #1 cause of death in goats. If you've had goats for any length of time, you've probably had to deal with them at some point. Unfortunately, the Internet is filled with tons of old information! Practices from 10 or 20 years ago are still being used today, even though the latest research has shown that those practices lead to dewormer resistance.

So, where do you get the most up-to-date information? You can't subscribe to all of the scientific journals. You may not be able to get a farm sitter, which means you can't travel to attend conferences. That's why I created this online course -- and no, this is NOT about what I do. This course is about the latest research on parasites in small ruminants.

Like all my books and courses, this will NOT be a one-size-fits-all recipe for dealing with parasites. I believe in educating people so that you can become the expert on your goats on your farm.

Because I teach college, I've been able to look up the latest research in scholarly journals, using the databases at the university. I've also contacted researchers personally to get more information about their studies. And I've attended multiple conferences to hear them talk about their research first hand. Then I traveled around the country, creating videos and narrated PowerPoints with the scientists on the front lines of parasite research. I'm bringing the conference to you! Who have I talked to?

  • Joan Burke, Ph.D. -- Dr. Burke is at the USDA research center in Booneville, AR, and if you asked me who authored more studies than any other that I've read, I'd say it was Dr. Burke. She is especially interested in alternative dewormers, and she authored a lot of the studies that used copper oxide wire particles as a dewormer.
  • Steve Hart, Ph.D. -- I've seen Dr. Hart speak at several conferences over the years. He is at Langston University, which has its own goat research center. He was kind enough to read and review the parasite chapter of my book, Raising Goats Naturally, and provide technical feedback so that I could be sure that it contained the latest research-based information. A couple of years ago when we were both speaking at a conference, I asked him during a break if he knew how many fecals he'd done in his life, and he said that he had done 3,000 in the previous summer alone!
  • James Miller, DVM, Ph.D. -- Dr. Miller is one of the leading parasitologists in the world. He is a professor emeritus in the School of Veterinary Medicine at Louisiana State University, and he is active in parasite research and working with student researchers.
  • Alison Martin, Ph.D. -- Alison is the director of the Livestock Conservancy, and she did her doctoral research on how genetics affect a sheep or goat's resistance to parasites.

Here are just a few of the things you'll learn ...

  • Various symptoms of different internal parasites
  • How worms and coccidia are different
  • Conventional and natural remedies for parasites
  • Why you should NOT rotate dewormers
  • How to prevent parasite problems
  • Why you should NOT give your goats a dewormer before moving to new pasture
  • Symptoms of barber pole and other worms
  • How to check body condition scores
  • How to use the 5-point check
  • Why you should NEVER deworm all the goats in the herd at one time
  • What's the difference between a fecal exam and a fecal culture
  • Why we do fecal exams (or not)
  • Where to find the most up-to-date information on milk and meat withdrawal when using drugs
  • How to "drench" a goat
  • Why you should NOT inject dewormers in goats
  • Why some goat have no problems with parasites
  • How you can manage parasites without routine herb or drug use
  • Why the answer does NOT lie in a new drug

Your Instructor

Deborah Niemann
Deborah Niemann

In 2002, Deborah and her family moved to 32 acres on a creek in the middle of nowhere to grow their own food organically. With the help of goats, sheep, pigs, and poultry, they produce 100% of their meat, eggs, and dairy products, as well as a large percentage of their vegetables, fruit, and herbs. They sold chickens and turkeys for more than 10 years, and are currently a licensed egg producer in Illinois and sell eggs to a grocery store and through a CSA.

Deborah is the author of six books, including Homegrown and Handmade, Ecothrifty, and Raising Goats Naturally, as well as her latest book, Goats Giving Birth. She also teaches sustainable agriculture courses online for the University of Massachusetts - Amherst. She has been teaching Raising Dairy Goats Sustainably since 2013 and Pastured Poultry since 2015.

In 2022, Deborah got certified as a FAMACHA instructor so that she and her students could feel confident that she was providing the most up-to-date information on parasite research and management.

Course Curriculum

  Steve Hart, Ph.D., Langston University
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  Joan Burke, Ph.D., USDA Research Facility, Booneville, AR
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  James Miller, DVM, Ph.D., Louisiana State University
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  Alison Martin, Ph.D., The Livestock Conservancy
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  Zoom Q&A meeting recordings
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  What's next?
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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is this course for?
Anyone who is new to goats, as well as those who have ongoing parasite problems. If you use dewormers on more than 10 percent of your goats every year, there are things you can probably do to reduce your reliance on dewormers. With only three classes of dewormers in North America, it's not hard to wind up with dewormer resistance to all of them, which is why it's important to have a multi-pronged approach to dealing with parasites. This course is also for those who simply want to hear about the latest research on parasites to keep themselves up to date.
When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! All of the videos listed in the curriculum above are already uploaded and waiting for you. It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own, including all future updates.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
If something isn't working right, we hope you'll let us know. But if you decide the course is not for you, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

When I got started with goats, parasites almost spelled the end of my goat-raising adventure within the first few years. This problem was made worse by bad information. When we started having problems with parasites, I was initially told to start giving a dewormer to my goats every month and to rotate dewormers, which are two old ideas from the 90s that ultimately led to dewormer resistance.

Before I had the right information, I was watching goats die from parasites, helpless to do anything because the parasites on my farm had become resistant to every drug on the market. I tried everything that anyone told me would help ... a variety of herbs, essential oils, apple cider vinegar, Basic H, garlic tincture, and more!

Finally I looked at the research, and I was able to overcome the problem with proper management. It still makes me feel sick when I think of how many thousands of dollars I wasted on various products and how many valuable goats died because nothing worked.

Even though it's been 15 years since that happened to me, a lot of that same old misinformation is still being passed around because nothing on the web ever dies. No one should have to learn everything the hard way like I did. It's not about finding the right drug or herb. It's about proper management.

In 2022, I got certified as a FAMCHA instructor so that I could feel confident that I was providing the most up-to-date information for my students.

Prefer to rent rather than buy?

This course is one of the six courses available to members of Goats 365.

Get started now!