Animal Health

Animal Health

Small Ruminants: Southern Region Resources on Goat and Sheep Farming

Animal Health

Small ruminant (goats and sheep) production offers many advantages for farmers and ranchers. For one thing, they are relatively inexpensive to raise compared to larger livestock -- a boon for limited-resource producers. But keeping animals healthy is imperative to on-farm production success and profitability. Control of internal parasites, especially gastrointestinal nematodes, is a primary concern for many sheep and goat producers. The following resources provide information on basic small ruminant healthcare, and use of diagnostic tools, as well as research-driven management practices for controlling internal parasites.

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Sustainable Control of Internal Parasites in Small Ruminant Production


Small ruminants (sheep and goats) are adaptable to many different production systems and can be raised with relatively few inputs, but they face huge production challenges. Control of internal parasites, especially gastrointestinal nematodes including Haemonchus contortus (barberpole worm, stomach worm), is a primary concern for many sheep and goat producers and is particularly challenging in humid regions. 

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A Toolbox of Innovations to Control Small Ruminant Parasites


Inexpensive, highly effective methods for controlling parasites, including FAMACHA, a tool for diagnosing anemia in small ruminants.



FAMACHA is a diagnostic tool to help farmers identify parasite infection in small ruminants, allowing them to cut the cost of deworming agents by targeting treatments only to infected animals. Training is required before purchase.

Smart Drenching and FAMACHA Integrated Training for Sustainable Control of Gastrointestinal Nematodes in Small Ruminants


A training manual from the American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control on sustainable methods for gastrointestinal parasite management in small ruminants.

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Integrated Worm Control in Lambs


A fact sheet developed by USDA-ARS in Arkansas highlighting research results of managing gastrointestinal parasites in lambs.

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Article: Forage Plant Wards Off Ruminant Gastrointestinal Nematode


An article by USDA-ARS on the benefits of Sericea lespedeza in controlling gastrointestinal parasites in small ruminants.

Video: Basic Goat Hoof Care


A video developed by Kentucky State University on the basics of goat hoof care.

Video: Body Condition Scoring of Goats


A video developed by Langston University on how to evaluate body condition score in goats.

Keeping Goats Healthy with Farmer Education

Type: Southern SARE Snapshot

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The Small Ruminant Toolbox

Small Ruminant Toolbox

Produced by NCAT, the Small Ruminant Toolbox is a large comprehensive collection of publications, presentations and other resources that will be helpful to small ruminant products and educators in production and marketing of goats, sheep and other small livestock.


Master Meat Goat Producers Manual


A comprehensive manual developed by University of Tennessee for meat goat producers on all facets of production, health and marketing of meat goats.


Resources from Other SARE Regions

Western SARE Profile

Impacts of Age on Residual Feed Intake and Its Effect on Reproductive Parameters and Profitability in Ewes

This Western SARE project addresses one unmet need of the sheep industry -- the reluctance to adopt residual feed intake (RFI) as a measure of feed efficiency.

North Central SARE Profile

Researchers Study Forage Chicory for Parasite Reduction in Sheep

Fact Sheet cover

In Ohio, researchers are examining the use of forage chicory as part of a gastrointestinal nematode parasites control strategy for sheep.     

For more small ruminant resources from across the country, visit the national SARE Learning Center.

Are you an ag educator or farmer interested in sharing the Small Ruminants Topic Room at an event? Consider using this one-page flyer (PDF).