The need to poo collect unecessary or inconvenient truth?

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The need to poo collect unecessary or inconvenient truth? Empty The need to poo collect unecessary or inconvenient truth?

Post  r.cox on Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:21 am

Before finalising an article I have written for Llama Link on Paddock Management, I would like to bounce a few thoughts off members regarding that old nugget – dung or poo collection!.
The argument for collection suggest that if poo is removed within a few days of being excreted, it helps break the life-cycle of parasites at the egg and/or larvae stage of their development, preventing them reaching their primary host, in this case the llama. As a general principle this appears sound, but the practicality of removing another issue. It is time consuming, energy intensive with varying levels of success. No one or combination of methods is comprehensive in removing poo. Shovel and barrow are clearly the most effective, vacuum and sweeper machines less so being more restricted by time of year/weather conditions, length of grass, poo consistency, etc. What is more, they can be expensive, noisy, thirsty and smelly.
Arguments against collection are that llama do not normally eat the grass where they have deprecated and this their natural way of preventing infection.
Evidence suggests that whilst this may be true for some of the year,  when grass is in short supply due to high stocking rates, drought, time of year etc. llamas are less selective and do indeed start to eat the longer grass in the middens.
Some argue that in the wild llamas move on and by the time they return to a patch of land much later, the parasites have died though failing to reach a host. That in captivity, this can be replicated though paddock rest/crop rotation/mixed grazing.
Rest causes the parasites to die, especially in extreme weather conditions, ploughing and planting new crops is the traditional way of cleansing the land of parasites, mixed grazing with other some other species again deprives the parasite of a suitable host or kills off other hosts such as snails in the case of liver fluke.
These theories do not take account of the fact that research also shows that some potentially harmful parasites, especially at the egg stage, can survive extreme conditions and for several years, hibernating in the soil. Also, that the larvae of many parasites have evolved over time to travel some distance from the middens in order to reach their host. This ability being enhanced by cool, damp weather, denser and broader sword.
Some believe that for increased soil condition and drainage and subsequent crop growth, pastures should not be deprived of their organic waste and therefore harrow their paddocks to spread the goodness, accelerate its breakdown and in adverse conditions, increase the likelihood of the parasites being more exposed to the elements and killed off. Others believe that harrowing of the middens only leads to ‘contaminating’ a wider areas.
Some say that low levels of exposure to parasites is effective for young stock building up their own immune systems to parasites and that so long as the burden is never allowed to build up to significant levels through over stocking and paddock over grazing everything will take care of itself. What this stocking rate should be at any one time, remains to be investigated. One thing is for sure, if you cannot manage this, then a worming strategy using artificial means, following condition scoring and faecal egg counts is probably necessary.


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Registration date : 2009-10-14

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The need to poo collect unecessary or inconvenient truth? Empty Re: The need to poo collect unecessary or inconvenient truth?

Post  Caroline on Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:45 am

I presume you got a better response via your Facebook posting. :-)

Number of posts : 42
Registration date : 2009-01-06

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