Livestock Parasites And Pests

Welcome to today’s class!!

We are thrilled to have you in our class!!

In today’s Animal Husbandry’s class, we will be learning about Livestock Parasites and Pests

Livestock Parasites and Pests

Parasites are living things that depend on other living things for food.

They live within or on the body of the organism they depend on, or inside the body of the organism

Interestingly, an organism which the parasite depends on is referred to as the HOST.

There are two types of parasites: External Parasites and Internal Parasites

Let’s examine the first one:

  • External Parasites

External parasites are found outside the body of the animal attached to the skin of the animal. 

livestock parasites and pests

These parasites feed on the blood of their host by sucking their blood.

Examples of external parasites are ticks, fleas, mites and tsetse fly.

What Effect Do External Parasites Have On Livestock?

  • They suck blood from the animal and make them suffer from anaemia.
  • They transmit diseases to the animals.
  • They damage the skin or hide making them to have low value and so the farmers lose on profit.
  • They cause irritation on the animal and make them irritable and uncomfortable.
  • The animals may eventually die from the diseases transmitted.

Let’s proceed with the second one

  • Internal Parasites

Internal parasites live inside the body of the host.

Examples of internal parasites are liver flukes, tapeworm, roundworms and hookworms.

internal parasites

How Do Internal Parasites Affect Livestock?

  1. They can cause damage to the body organs such as the liver and the digestive system.
  2. They can cause blockage to the body organs for example the intestine which may be fatal, like in the case of tapeworms.
  3. They produce poisonous products inside the animal’s body that make the animal sick
  4. They eat the food meant for the animal making it weak.

How Can Internal Parasites in livestock Be Controlled?

  • Deworming livestock kills the parasites.
  • Deworming is done by giving livestock liquid drugs (drenching) tablets by mouth (dosing).
  • Draining swampy areas to reduce snail habitats.
  • Rotational grazing denies internal parasites a host.
  • Burning pasture like grass kills the parasite’s eggs deposited on them.


In summary, while external parasites are found outside the body of the animal attached to the skin of the animal, Internal parasites live inside the body of the host.


What do you understand by Livestock Parasites?


Reading Assignment

How many types of Livestock Parasites did you learn today? Explain their differences. 


Weekend Assignment

Explain how a farmer can get rid of Livestock Parasites. 


We hope you enjoyed today’s class. In our next class, we will be talking about Farm Animal: A Visit To A Vet To Observe Sick Animals.

Let us know your thoughts and questions in the comment section, and we will attend to them as fast as we can.

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