Source: Sims Brothers, Inc. submitted to
A PELLETED SERICEA LESPEDEZA SUPPLEMENT FOR CONTROL OF INTERNAL PARASITES ON SMALL FARMS
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
EXTENDED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0226193
Grant No.
2011-33610-30836
Project No.
ALAW-2011-02661
Proposal No.
2011-02661
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
8.3
Project Start Date
Sep 1, 2011
Project End Date
Aug 31, 2014
Grant Year
2011
Project Director
Sims, T. H.
Recipient Organization
Sims Brothers, Inc.
3924 County Road 87
Union Springs,AL 36089
Performing Department
(N/A)
Non Technical Summary
Internal parasites are the greatest health and production challenge for sheep and goats in southeastern states and others during warm, humid conditions (including Northeastern, Midwestern and irrigated pastures in Western US). Haemonchus contortus, or barber pole, worm thrives in warm, humid climates and is a voracious blood feeder that can cause anemia and death to the animal if left untreated. It is the most crucial health problem of small ruminants in this environment. Dewormer resistance has left many producers without any chemical control of worms, which was heavily relied on in the past, and some have gone out of business due to poor parasite control options. Published studies reported that consumption of sericea lespedeza, a condensed tannin rich forage, has offered control of parasites in sheep and goats. Results from the Phase I project indicated that a 75% sericea lespedeza leaf meal pellet was highly palatable and offered good control of barber pole worm. There was evidence that coccidiosis (a condition that causes diarrhea) was reduced in lambs and goat kids that consumed the pellets. Free range poultry suffer from Ascaridia galli, a round worm, which can not be easily prevented or controlled in outdoor poultry operations. Chickens will readily consume sericea lespedeza and the pelleted leaf meal could offer control of their gastrointestinal worms and gut pathogens. The objectives of this project are to optimize control of gastrointestinal worms of sheep and goats by supplementation with pelleted sericea lespedeza leaf meal, determine the effect of the pellets on coccidiosis, and determine the impact of the pellets on gastrointestinal worm infection of free range poultry. In addition, the impact of harvesting sericea lespedeza at different times during the summer and under various conditions on leaf meal quality will be determined. Results of the proposed approach may extend the use of 75% sericea lespedeza leaf meal pellets for control of coccidia in sheep and goats, control of gastrointestinal worms or gut pathogens in poultry, and aid in management recommendations on use of the pellets in a feeding program for sheep and goats. In addition, understanding how harvesting at different times throughout the growing season and under different management schemes will assist in processing the harvested sericea lespedeza for optimal quality and refine management recommendations for harvest by contract growers. There is a strong demand by small ruminant producers for the pellet to aid in the control of internal parasites and meeting the demand could be a challenge. Commercialization of sericea lespedeza leaf meal pellets for gastrointestinal worm control and as a nutrition supplement has the potential to increase sustainability and profitability of sheep and goat producers that have no effective chemical dewormers.
Animal Health Component
100%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
(N/A)
Applied
100%
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
31339101110100%
Goals / Objectives
Sericea lespedeza has been found to control internal parasites in sheep and goats. Sims Brothers Incorporated grows sericea lespedeza and can process it into a pelleted supplement for small ruminants. The objectives of this project are to optimize control of gastrointestinal worms of sheep and goats by supplementation with pelleted sericea lespedeza leaf meal, determine the effect of the pellets on coccidiosis, and determine the impact of the pellets on gastrointestinal worm infection of free range poultry. In addition, the impact of harvesting sericea lespedeza at different times during the summer and under various conditions on leaf meal quality will be determined. Specific objectives follow. 1. Determine the impact of harvesting sericea lespedeza at different growth phases and management conditions on leaf quality. Outputs will be information on harvesting sericea lespedeza to maximize quality and control of parasitic worms. 2. Examine sericea lespedeza pellet supplement for gastrointestinal worm control in lambs fed at a low and high plane of nutrition. Output will be management recommendations for feeding pellets for optimal control of worms. 3. Determine the effect of supplementation with sericea lespedeza pellets to sheep and goats on incidence of coccidiosis. Output will be management recommendations for feeding pellets to control coccidiosis. 4. Determine the effect of supplementation with sericea lespedeza pellets to poultry on gut pathogens and parasites. Output will be management recommendations for feeding pellets to improve gut health of poultry. 5. Determine effectiveness as a dewormer of 75% sericea lespedeza leaf meal pellet for lambs. Output will be management recommendations for feeding pellets for optimal control of worms in grazing sheep and goats.
Project Methods
Obj 1: Three cutting treatments will be imposed on established AU Grazer sericea lespedeza: 1) to simulate grazing, plants will grow to 12 inches early in the season and be cut every 30 days until fall; 2) to simulate plants not previously cut, samples will be taken once a month (on uncut plants) to measure changes due to plant maturity and environmental conditions; 3) to simulate hay harvesting , plants will grow to 18 inches before cutting. This research will be conducted at several locations (AL, GA, LA, NC, TX). Forage quality traits and condensed tannin content will be measured on dried samples. Obj 2: In AR and GA, lambs and kids will be randomly assigned to a supplement of alfalfa or 75% sericea lespedeza leaf meal pellets fed at a high or moderate rate of gain. Each experiment will be a 2 x 2 factorial arrangement with four diets and 10 lambs or kids/diet and two replicates per treatment. Diets will be fed for 12 weeks. Fecal egg counts and blood packed cell volume will be determined every 7 days. Body weights will be determined every 4 weeks. Obj 3: In AR, GA, LA, goat kids and lambs will be used to examine the effect of sericea lespedeza pellet supplementation on control of coccidia. Animals (n = 12/treatment) will be randomly assigned to receive 2% of body weight per day of alfalfa pellets (control) or the sericea lespedeza leaf meal pellet described above with or without a coccidiostat (Deccox). This is a 2 x 2 factorial design with four treatments. Fecal egg and oocyst counts and blood packed cell volume will be determined every 7 days starting at weaning until 6 weeks post-weaning. Body weights will be determined every 14 days. Obj 4: In Arkansas, broilers (14 days of age) will remain uninfected, or be artificially infected with two challenge levels of Ascaridia galli larvae (n = 20/treatment; there are three treatments). Birds will be offered a control (alfalfa pellets) or sericea lespedeza pellets (75% sericea lesepedeza leaf meal pellet described above) at hatch or at 21 days of age to examine the effectiveness of sericea lespedeza pellets on preventing or controlling A. galli. Birds will be necropsied at day 40. The number of worms in the gastrointestinal tract will be quantified. Cloacal samples will be collected every 7 days for bacterial (Campylobacter and Salmonella) enumeration using 16S rRNA gene sequencing methods. Obj 5: Lambs will graze grass pastures post-weaning and receive 2% of body weight per day of a 16% crude protein (dry matter basis) pellet containing 75% alfalfa (control) or sericea lespedeza (n = 16/treatment on 2 reps or 4 plots per species). Fecal egg counts and blood packed cell volume will be determined weekly for 12 weeks, along with number of deworming/treatment by the end of the study. Body weights will be determined every 4 weeks. Statistics: Data will be analyzed using repeated measures for variables measured over time, including treatment, date (repeated), interactions, and other important variables. Regression analysis will be used to evaluate the relationships between continuous variables. General linear models will be used for single point measurements.

Progress 09/01/11 to 08/31/12

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Louisiana State University and the USDA/ARS in Booneville, AR completed three studies on feeding sericea lespedeza (SL) to lambs to examine the effect on coccidiosis, a disease of domestic animals and birds caused by coccidia, an internal parasite found in the intestines. A study which began in 2010 to examine the long term effects of feeding SL for parasite control was continued. A study was conducted at ARS on long term feeding of SL pellets to goats on pasture for parasite control. Fort Valley State University conducted a study to determine the impact of harvesting SL at different growth phases and under different management conditions on leaf quality. A trial feeding SL pellets to recently-weaned goat kids infected with gastrointestinal nematodes and coccidia was completed. USDA/ARS in Fayetteville, AR performed a study to determine if chickens maintained on pastures would consume SL. Sims Brothers, Inc. completed construction of a mill to pelletize sericea lespedeza. Feed pellets are being marketed and sold to goat and sheep ranchers for parasite control purposes. PARTICIPANTS: Sims Brothers Inc - Thomas Sims, Sims Brothers, Inc., PI, president of company, in charge of farming operations and overseeing construction of pellet mill and the manufacturing process. Cynthia Smithart, Secretary-Treasurer,in charge of accounting, correspondence, submission of reports, and marketing. Robbins Sims, Vice President, consultant and business relations. All above involved in decision making. Sherlene Sims - customer relations and office duties. Bob Rives, Jimmy F. Thompkins, Ethan Evans, Josh Taylor - farm employees involved in planting maintaing and harvesting crops and pellet manufacturing process. Collaborators - Dr. Joan Burke, USDA, ARS, Booneville, AR - Head of research. Student employee - collect and analyze samples, animal upkeep. USDA, ARS, Fayetteville, AR - Dr. Annie Donoghue, head of research. Dr. Jonathan Moyle - oversee day to day progress for NW Arkansas project and manage projects under PPPSRU portion. Robert Frank-undergraduate student worker and lab assistant. LSU - Dr. James Miller, head of research. Fort Valley State University - Dr. Thomas Terrill - head of research. Pre-bac student - lab assistant, animal upkeep. Graduate assistant - lab analysist. Consultant - Dr. Jorge Mosjidis, Auburn University, Agronomy & Soils, Plant Breeder. Advisor on sericea lespedeza and sun hemp. TARGET AUDIENCES: The target market for sericea lespedeza pellets are those owners of small ruminants, exotic animals and other hoofstock plagued by internal parasites. All research being peformed aids consumers, other research institutions including members of the American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control, graduate and other assistants. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Severe summer drought affected trials at the USDA, ARS in Fayetteville, AR, as a source of Ascaridia galli could not be found. Studies will resume when a source is located. Studies on coccidia in poultry will also be performed. Sims Brothers has produced approximately 70 tons of pellets thus far in 2012. A problem with molding occured with several tons, but the addition of air conditioning to the cooling process appears to be working. Obtaining consistency in the harvesting and pelleting processes has been slow but are being addressed and results are promising. Little advice could be obtained as pelleting this material is a new venture. Current freight rates are detrimental to sales in trying to keep the price affordable. Feed stores are being approached to stock the product in an effort to keep the price per bag competitive and to service the areas most in need of the product. Future trials will involve including an additional source of protein to the pellets while keeping the condensed tannin level sufficient to control parasites.

Impacts
Research has proven that goats and sheep who consume fresh sericea lespedeza (SL) or SL hay have reduced levels of Haemonchus Contortus, a gastrointestinal parasite. Recent studies determined that SL also reduces incidences of coccidia. The condensed tannins found in SL are believed to be the catalyst. Studies reflect that long term feeding of pellets made from SL is effective. Control of internal parasites is one of the hardest challenges faced by goat,sheep,and poultry producers as over the counter pharmaceuticals are becoming less effective from over-use. Research has determined that the use of SL for treatment of coccidiosis could reduce animal loss post weaning, reduce the need to treat for coccidiosis and create an economic benefit to livestock producers (paper to be submitted by September 2012). During long term feeding trials of SL there was excellent control of gastrointestinal nematodes with reduced fecal egg counts. It was determined that feeding SL to young animals during an 8-week weaning period and then withdrawal of SL for four weeks can minimize coccidiosis and problems with parasite worms while insuring that necessary trace minerals are not lost. Data obtained from experiments simulating grazing, hay cutting and no cutting of SL throughout the growing season were analyzed, prediction equations were developed and graphs of each quality component (crude protein, fiber and condensed tannins) will be presented at an upcoming national scientific meeting. It was determined that chickens, which often find diets high in condensed tannins unpalatable, will consume fresh SL as well as leaf meal. Follow up studies will determine the efficacy of SL as a parasite control in poultry. Many goat and sheep ranchers have small acreages and do not have the ability to plant SL as a forage crop. Feed pellets made from SL are being manufactured to aid these ranchers in their parasite control efforts. Also, SL plants become dormant during winter months so pellets can help provide year round control. SL pellets are a natural, easy to use anthelmintic. The pellets contain a minimum of 85% sericea material (leaves) and 15% molasses binder. Molasses makes the pellets more palatable and attractive to the animals. Feedback from current customers indicates the animals will consume the pellets and they are working as intended. The addition of ingredients to boost the protein level to those of other feeds is being considered. Sun Hemp is a high protein legume being tested. Sims Brothers manufactures SL pellets under patent number 7,615,240 B2 licensed by Auburn University. As demand increases, sub-licensees and contract growers will be sought to help meet demand, especially in other areas of the country. Pellets and/or seed will continue to be provided all research institutions by Sims Brothers, Inc.

Publications

  • Moyle, J.R., Burke, J.M., Fanatico, A.C., Arsi, K., Reyes-Herrera, I., Donoghue, D.J., Wooming, A., Donoghue, A.M., 2012. Palatability of tannin-rich Sericea Lespedeza fed to broilers. Poultry Sci. J Applied Poultry Research, in press. 2012