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Assessment of a pragmatic strategy to improve health of kacang goats in subsistence agricultural communities in Indonesian Borneo
Poverty limits options available to smallholder, subsistence farmers to prevent or reverse livestock malnutrition and endoparasitism, two of the global drivers of goat morbidity and mortality in resource-constrained, tropical, agricultural communities. Our first study objectives describe changes observed in body condition and anaemia after implementation of three feasible and simple husbandry changes to improve health of smallholder herds of kacang goats in rural, Indonesian Borneo. These changes included routine hoof trimming and increased access to food and fresh water. We observed an impressive six-fold decrease in emaciated animals from 26% to 4% and an almost doubling of goats in ideal body condition from 29% to 54% after fourteen months of improved hoof care and nutrition. The second study objective described herd health changes observed fourteen months after adding a targeted, selective, refugia deworming regimen to the enhanced husbandry program. We observed a significant decrease in proportion of anaemic goats from 88% to 74% fourteen months after initiating the targeted selective herd anthelmintic treatment. Impoverished, smallholder subsistence agricultural communities with limited resources should first initiate feasible husbandry enhancements to begin improving overall herd health especially when anthelmintic expense or availability delays establishing an ideal program which includes a deworming component.