A Decision Making Support Tool Now Available

Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Wayne County

Sorting through the information on sheep and goat parasite control: A decision making support tool is now available.

Farmers confronted with parasite infections in their sheep and goats soon realize there is no “magic bullet” or “one size fits all” solution. They can be quickly bombarded with a lot of information available on internal parasite control but with no help in sorting out which options they should consider in their farming operation.

OSU Extension personnel have developed a decision making support tool for farmers to develop farm-specific strategies for their sheep or goat operation. It is limited to gastrointestinal nematode infections and is “risk-based” in that it addresses grazing animals by class and by type of pasture. It is science-based and has been reviewed by qualified reviewers. It is not a universal prescription or a replacement for your veterinarian with regard to diagnosis of parasitism or specifics of drug use. Parasite control programs should be developed at the farm level.

This decision making support tool is designed to help sheep and goat producers sort through the large amount of information available on controlling sheep and goat parasites and make decisions about specific management options that are relevant to their farm operation. The information has been organized in a “decision tree” or “flow chart” approach where answering one question leads to another question or various management options. There are two options for using the tool, either a computer based module or a set of printable flow charts. Both can be accessed at: http://vet.osu.edu/extension/decision-tree

These tools are a “work-in-progress” and will continue to update and revise as new information becomes available.

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