The death of kids before weaning is perhaps the biggest cause of economic loss to goat farmers.  Studies have shown that much of these mortalities were due to doe-related causes.

To address these concerns, researchers from the Visayas State University (VSU) and the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) developed natural plant-based dewormers and feed supplements to prime the does (female goats) for kidding and lactation and to ensure survival of their kids.

Specifically, a dewormer made from extracts of ‘Makahiya’ (Mimosa pudica), ‘Caimito’ or star apple (Chrysophyllum cainito), and ‘Makabuhay’ (Tinospora rumphii) was formulated and packaged into 500 mg capsules by Dr. Tomas J. Fernandez, Jr of VSU.  This dewormer has the ability to fight Haemonchus contortus, the most pathogenic parasite in goats that attaches itself to the goat’s stomach and feed on its blood, thereby causing anemia and ultimate death of the goat if left untreated.

The MCM dewormer was proven effective as it contains anthraquinones and flavonoids, which kill adult stages of the parasite; alkaloid, which purges the dead worms thru the feces; and tannin, which heals traumatic lesions inside the goat’s stomach.

As the dewormer has been proven to have no side effects, it can thus be given to pregnant does and rid them of parasites before they give birth. And since it is all natural, it does not contribute to anthelmintic resistance, a problem plaguing the industry caused by the overuse of chemical drenches in the past, particularly albendazole.

To ensure the newborn survives, a coco-water drench was formulated by Dr. Lolito C. Bestil, also of VSU. This nutritional supplement is a high glucose drink that contains coconut water, dextrose powder, liquid seaweed, and vitamin-mineral premix. It has the ability to alleviate hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) in newborn kids and enable faster weight gain in the first 30days of the kids.  This supplement is intended for orphaned kids, those born to underfed does during late pregnancy, and those whose dams have mastitis and other metabolic disorders during early lactation.

To keep the kids strong and healthy during the preweaning stage (1-3months), creep feeds were formulated by Dr. Edgar A. Orden of CLSU to bridge milk to solid feeding. It contains 18-20% crude protein (CP) and 75% total digestible nutrient (TDN) and provides preweaners a rich source of vitamins and minerals.

Orden also developed a Leucaena-based pelletized blended grower ration to ensure that these preweaners survive to post-weaning age (older than 3months). He customized the ration with highly digestible plant and animal protein ingredients to facilitate faster weight gain among growers.

For lactating does, Orden formulated a special feed known as SFEED-Lactating.  It is an Indigofera-based diet complete with rice bran, copra meal, molasses and minerals, dry-ground and pelleted to prevent selection.  It contains 15% CP and 75% TDN hence ideal for lactating does. It has the ability to increase milk production by more than 45% due to the high feed intake that can reach more than 4% of the doe’s bodyweight.

by Anna Marie P. Alo, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Services