MSU Extension hosts educational webinar series to help sheep and goat farmers understand how to implement parasite control programs

MSU Extension offers information on deworming practices and how to avoid resistant worm populations in your herd.

for decoration only

Farmers that raise small ruminants face many challenges including increasing costs of production, weather changes and health issues that can arise in their herd. One of the biggest challenges to herd health is the management of parasite infections in sheep and goats. Internal parasites infections can be a significant obstacle in any farming operation and if not managed correctly, can impact the health and well-being of the animals and the profitability of the farm.

Understanding management practices that can be implemented to address parasite control is helpful for all small ruminant farmers, Michigan State University Extension is offering a webinar series, followed by an in-person workshop for farmers focused on this topic. This program will be on Tuesday evenings from 7-9 pm EDT from April 11 through May 7. 2024. The in-person workshop will be held on May 11, noon to 4 p.m. at the MSU Sheep Teaching and Research Center and MSU Main Campus. People interested in attending can register at:

The webinar series, hosted by the MSU Small Ruminant Extension Team will discuss which parasites are a problem in the Midwest/Northeast, risk factors for infection, grazing strategies to reduce parasite load, infection monitoring, effective drug treatments and farm specific control programs. These virtual sessions also will focus on the control of internal parasites on sheep and goat farms, including how previous control methods have led to the development of drug resistant parasites. The webinar series will be followed by an optional workshop on May 11 on the Michigan State University campus that will provide instruction on the FAMACHA parasite monitoring program and the practice of fecal egg counting.

Virtual program

All sessions at 7 p.m. ET with recording available 2 days later
Session 1: April 16 - Parasites of impact in sheep and goats, and basics of their lifecycles
Session 2: April 23 - Factors that determine risk of parasite infection and grazing management strategies to reduce exposure
Session 3: April 30 - Control and infection monitoring approaches and methods to maintain refugia
Session 4: May 7 - Putting it all together: developing a successful sustainable integrated parasite control program for your farm

In-person workshop

Attendance is optional for the in-person workshop
May 11, noon to 4 p.m., Participants will learn how to monitor infection using the FAMACHA system on sheep at the MSU STRC and then travel to the nearby MSU main campus to learn how to perform quantitative fecal egg counting. Participants will receive a FAMACHA anemia scoring card and training certificate.

Workshop participants must attend or listen to the recordings of the 4-part webinar series to attend the workshop.

The cost for this program is $25 per household for webinar series only and $30 per person additional for the in-person workshop (50 participant limit, each will receive a FAMACHA card and guide). There is no cancellation fee.

Farmers that attend this program will better understand how an effective and sustainable program will reduce animal health and productivity losses while minimizing the advance of parasite resistance problems, thus improving the productivity of their herd. Questions regarding this educational opportunity can be directed to Mike Metzger, MSU Extension educator at

Did you find this article useful?