Evaluation of diatomaceous earth as an adjunct to sheep parasite control in organic farming

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1997
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Osweiler, Gary
Carson, Thomas
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Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
The Leopold Center is a research and education center on the campus of Iowa State University created to identify and reduce negative environmental and social impacts of farming and develop new ways to farm profitably while conserving natural resources.
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Diatomaceous earth (DE) has been touted as a natural and effective way to control gastrointestinal (Gl) parasites in sheep. In this study, grazing lambs were fed DE at 5 and 10 percent of a supplemental ration for periods from 66 to 117 days. Weight gains, hemoglobin, packed cell volume, fecal egg/gram counts, and abomasal Gl larval counts were not different in controls vs. DE-fed lambs, although there was a trend toward lower fecal egg/gram counts in DE-treated lambs. DE by itself was not shown to be an effective parasite control agent, but could be used as part of a parasite control program.

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