The potential economic benefits of combining strategic anthelmintic treatment for gastrointestinal nematodes and nutritional supplementation with urea-molasses blocks were examined in Boer goats, raised under extensive grazing conditions in the summer rainfall area of South Africa. Eight groups of nine goats were monitored over a 14- month period from August 2002 to October 2003. Nutritional supplementation with urea-molasses was carried out in the summer (wet season), from December 2002 to February 2003, and, or, the winter (dry season), from June 2003 to August 2003. All of the goats received symptomatic treatment for Haemonchus contortus infection when it was considered necessary as determined by clinical examination of the ocular mucous membranes for anaemia (according to the FAMACHA© system). Four of the groups received a strategic treatment for gastrointestinal nematodes in the middle of the summer (28th January 2003) while four did not. Under the climatic and extensive grazing conditions encountered during the trial, supplementation in the winter had the greatest economic benefit. Provided the nematode challenge is low and individual goats are treated when symptoms of nematode infection are noted, winter supplementation with urea-molasses blocks is recommended for extensively reared goats in the summer rainfall area.
8th International Conference on Goats, Pretoria, South Africa, 4-9 July 2004, pp 93-100