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Coccidial Infections In Goats The Effectiveness Of Herbal Remedies Used To Treat The Coccidia Parasite In Organically Raised Goats.

879 words - 4 pages

Capra hircus (goats) have been associated with human domestication since the start of civilization. Coccidia are intracellular parasites that affect the intestinal tracts of goats, and other livestock animals. Unlike in conventional farming where antibiotics and vacancies can be used organic farms have to find substitutes. Herbal remedies such as essential oil of oregano have been advised to organic farms. There has not been sufficient research into the use of oregano essential oil as an efficient treatment for coccidia. Understanding the coccidia parasite, the organic method of treatment, and if the treatment is effective can aid in finding the proper solution for this parasite.
Low grazing ruminates are highly susceptible to internal parasites. All goats have a certain amount of coccidia in their stomach naturally, but with age goats build immunity to a certain level of coccidia. However, young kids, stressed, and overcrowded goats are at risk of infection. When a goat’s coccidia level becomes severe, and the animal develops coccidiosis, the symptoms include diarrhea, blood in stool, and dehydration. Acute coccidiosis can be deadly, and if a kid survives there is a chance their growth will be stunted. The coccidia parasites go through an asexual and sexual reproductive phase, and rupture the intestinal tract cells after each stage. During the sexual reproductive phase the coccidia produce eggs called oocyst, and these eggs are passed through the feces. In order to reduce the coccidia levels in a goat the animal should have limited contact with oocyst, and some organic farmers decide to use preventative methods.
For instance, oregano essential oil has been recommended for the prevention of coccidiosis in many organic livestock productions, and has been suggested as a suitable method in organic goat production. The oregano oil is thought to “have antibacterial activity related to their phenolic content, and changes the permeability of the bacterial cell membrane to cations.” (Schivera, 2010). The oil is combined with diatomaceous earth and calcium carbonate, and then is mixed into the animals normal feed. Although, there are products for sale on the market, such as Regano and Orego-Stim there has been limited research into the efficiency of these products. This student was not able to find a reliable unbiased research paper on the effects of oregano oil on goat’s coccidia levels in goats. There has been research done on the effectiveness of oregano oil in chicken coccidiosis, and it showed positive results. Although, chicken coccidia are different from goat coccidia the research stated, “oocyst numbers indicated that oregano essential oil exerted an anticoccidial effect against E-tenella” (Giannenas et al, 2003). However, without the proper research there is no way to prove if oregano oil is the most...

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