The effect of birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) and chicory (Cichorium intybus) on parasite intensities and performance of lambs naturally infected with helminth parasites.

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Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-155
Number of pages8
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Issue number1-2
Early online date17 Dec 2002
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2003
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Conventionally, farmers rely upon the routine use of anthelmintics to control helminth parasites and their use has proved highly cost-effective. However, several factors, including the emergence of helminths resistant to pharmaceutical anthelmintics, are forcing farmers to seek alternative approaches to parasite control. Studies in New Zealand have shown that some alternative forages may reduce parasitic infestation in sheep. In the current study, it was found that under UK environmental conditions lambs with naturally acquired helminth infections grazing chicory (Cichorium intybus) and birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) had fewer helminth parasites than sheep grazing ryegrass/white clover (Lolium perenne/Trifolium repens). Twelve pure-bred Lleyn male lambs grazed replicated 0.5 ha plots of birdsfoot trefoil, chicory or ryegrass/white clover for 5 weeks. Liveweight and faecal egg counts (FECs) were determined weekly and eight lambs per forage were slaughtered at the end of the trial to determine total helminth intensities. Lambs grazing birdsfoot trefoil had a lower FEC on day 7 (P


  • gastrointestinal helminths, internal parasites, sheep, alternative forages, chicory, birdsfoot trefoil