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Title: Voluntary intake of a medicated feed block by grazing sheep is increased by gastrointestinal nematode infection
Contributor(s): Fishpool, Fiona Joy (author); Kahn, Lewis  (author)orcid ; Tucker, David  (author); Nolan, John V  (author)orcid ; Leng, Ronald  (author)
Publication Date: 2012
DOI: 10.1071/AN12104
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Abstract: The aim of this study was to determine the rate, variability and repeatability of intake by grazing sheep of a medicated feed block (MFB) containing fenbendazole and investigate if infection with gastrointestinal nematodes altered consumption patterns of the MFB in the same grazing mob. In Experiment 1, 30 Merino wethers were given access to an MFB for two separate 1-week periods, with blood sampling at Days 2, 4 and 6 of each period to determine MFB intake. In Experiment 2, the wethers were selected based on previous MFB intake and allocated to receive an oral dose of 10 000 'Trichostrongylus colubriformis' and 3000 'Haemonchus contortus' (anthelmintic susceptible) or a long acting anthelmintic. After 5 weeks, sheep were given access to an MFB (1.5 mg fenbendazole/g) and eight blood samples were taken over 2 weeks to determine intake. In Experiment 1, individual MFB intake in Week 1 and Week 2 was positively correlated (P = 0.002, R² = 0.287). Mean individual MFB intake in Experiment 1 and Experiment 2 was positively correlated (P = 0.008, R² = 0.047). In Experiment 2, more infected wethers (95%) consumed the MFB than did uninfected wethers (79%) (P < 0.001) and infected wethers ate significantly more MFB over the first 4 days (P = 0.041) of access. All infected sheep consumed sufficient MFB to receive a therapeutic dose and worm egg counts in infected sheep declined from 2165 epg to 120 epg in the first week of access to MFB. The decline in differences in MFB intake between infected and uninfected sheep corresponded to the decline in worm egg count, suggesting the existence of self-medication with parasitism accounting for intake differences.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Animal Production Science, 52(12), p. 1136-1141
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 1836-5787
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 070204 Animal Nutrition
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 300303 Animal nutrition
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 830310 Sheep - Meat
830311 Sheep - Wool
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 100412 Sheep for meat
100413 Sheep for wool
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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