FAMACHA CERTIFICATION and WHY YOU NEED TO HAVE IT
Using the FAMACHA system provides goat and sheep owners the ability to make deworming decisions based on an estimate of the animal's level of anemia which indicates an infection by the dreaded barber pole worm, Haemonchus Contortus.
The barber pole worm attaches itself in the wall of the stomach or abomasum by a sharp protrusion on the worm, sometimes described as a "tooth", that lacerates the stomach wall and feeds upon the animals blood supply. The loss of blood causes anemia and in severe cases, it causes death to the animal.
In response to help diagnose the barber pole worm infestation and help correct the growing problem of worm resistance from excessive wormings, use of the FAMACHA system significantly helped address this devastating issue. The FAMACHA Card was developed in South Africa and the FAMACHA protocol was introduced in the United States by the Animal Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control or ACSRPC.
The FAMACHA card is a wonderful tool that allows the user to match the color of the eye mucus membranes to a color chart that has five colored categories that corresponds to the varying levels of anemia a goat or sheep could be experiencing. Scoring the goat or sheep begins with Level one is "not anemic" or Optimal and on through level five which is Severely Anemic or Fatal.
Selective deworming minimizes drug use and slows the ability of the parasites to become drug resistant. The FAMACHA system can also be used as a selective breeding tool by helping identify animals within a herd that are most susceptible to barber pole or haemonchosis parasite.
Previously you had to be trained at a course offered through a veterinarian, school or association to become certified using FAMACHA and be entitled to purchase an authentic FAMACHA card. Now you may take training online through the University of of Rhode Island. You'll need to watch a couple of videos and respond to questions that will be reviewed once completed.
Next you will need to practice the "Cover, Push, Pull, POP! technique that is demonstrated and once competent at performing FAMACHA technique, you'll need to make a video showing your competency performing the FAMACHA and upload it to them.
Upon review and completion of all the requirements, you will receive a certificate of competence which will allow you to purchase a FAMACHA card through the University of Rhode Island.
You can read further on the certification requirements by clicking HERE.
You can visit the University of Rhode Island here.
Please know that using a card other than one obtained directly through through an authorized provider more than likely does not provide you with accurate comparisons for successfully using the FAMACHA scoring system.
Obtaining your certification assures you are properly trained at performing FAMACHA properly and in doing so greatly helps in the fight to help fight against developing more drug resistant parasites and can help with selectively breeding more lines that are not as susceptible to the devastating barber pole worm.