The Afghan Provincial Directors of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock for Kapisa, Parwan and Panjshir provinces, and Kentucky Agribusiness Development Team members met for a conference with the Parwan DAIL to discuss and demonstrate the benefits of deworming sheep, Nov. 8.
This conference brought the three provincial DAILs together to exchange ideas and learn about the Kentucky ADT’s sheep deworming plan. “We will solve many problems by having the three province DAILs sit together and learn from each other,” said Mohammad Husain, the Kapisa DAIL.
U.S Army Col. James Floyd, a veterinarian with the Kentucky ADT and Shreveport, La., resident, started the conference by explaining how he planned to complete the study of the sheep. His plan calls for studying one flock from each of the three provinces. Each flock needs between 30 and 50 sheep that have not previously been dewormed. The flocks must be from different parts of the province and the recruiting area must be secure and accessible year round. “This has not been done systematically in Afghanistan in many years,” said Floyd.
Floyd said the sheep would be weighed by portable scales provided to each DAIL by the ADT. Then each ewe would be marked with numbered ear tags for each farmer and given deworming solution orally. This would be done a couple weeks before lambing. The study is only effective if the dose is administered by weight and records kept by farmers on the effects of the medication. “This is a good idea to have a workshop for farmers to learn to keep records, it is good to have this kind of progress in Panjshir,” said Hashmatular Enayat, the Panjshir DAIL.
Initially, Floyd planned to leave 15 ewes untreated in order to show the benefits of deworming. However, during the conference, Floyd learned it would be difficult to find flocks that had never been dewormed in any of the three provinces. “You can not find a flock in the province that has not been dewormed at some time,” said Enayat.
After hearing this, Floyd changed the test model to have all the ewes assessed and recorded as to their present state of resistance to parasites by four visible indicators: assessing the eyes for pink conjunctive, examining the jaw for any signs of swelling (a condition known as “bottle jaw”), assessing the overall body condition and looking for any signs of diarrhea.
Once assessed, all the ewes will be treated with deworming solution. The next step will be to monitor the ewes for signs showing the success of the deworming. “Along with raising healthier sheep, the farmers will also learn how to keep a record on their sheep. The farmers will realize this will benefit them, but they will also be helping other farmers,” said Floyd.
The last step in measuring success of the deworming is to monitor the new lambs. Each farmer will be given a sling and scale to weigh the lamb as close to birth as possible. The lambs will be ear-tagged with reference to their mother and monitored for signs of resistance to parasites, said Shamir Amiri, the Parwan DAIL. “We need someone to come every month to train the farmers and make sure the farmers are following the steps correctly.”