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Nematode burdens of alpacas sharing grazing with sheep in New Zealand

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Sheep and alpacas of similar age groups (6, 18 and 36+ months) were grazed for 16 weeks on pasture contaminated by lambs. Faecal egg counts, bulked larval cultures, lungworm larvae in faeces, dag scores, liveweight changes and nematode larvae on pasture were measured. Chabertia, Oesophagostomum, Cooperia, Ostertagia and Haemonchus and Trichostrongylus larvae were cultured from both the sheep and the alpacas. For the respective age groups, the alpacas had lower liveweight gains (10, 32 and 47 g/d vs 88, 84 and 120 g/d), peak faecal egg counts (384, 50 and 60 epg vs 1500, 500 and 140 epg) and faecal contamination of the perineum than the same ages of sheep. These results suggest alpacas became less affected with gastrointestinal nematodes than sheep.

Keywords: Camelid; Disease transmission; Gastrointestinal; Livestock; Nematodes; Parasitology - internal

Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: December 1, 1993

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