Castor cake as organic fertilizer to control gastrointestinal nematodes in pasture-raised sheep

Rev Bras Parasitol Vet. 2020 Dec 4;29(4):e021420. doi: 10.1590/S1984-29612020103. eCollection 2020.


Gastrointestinal parasitism is one of the factors that discourages farmers from raising small ruminants in cultivated pastures. To validate a soil treatment strategy to control the free-living stages of gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN), castor cake (CC) was used as a fertilizer on a pasture where sheep grazed on guinea grass under continuous stocking. On day zero, the pasture was divided into three paddocks, contaminated by GIN and treated, respectively, with CC divided into two applications (2CC1/2), CC in a single application (CC1) and organic compost in a single application (control). On day 21, eight GIN-free sheep were placed in each paddock. On day 58, significant differences (P<0.05) were observed: reduction of up to 66.10% in larvae.g-1 of dry mass in pastures fertilized with CC, decrease of up to 60.72% in infection rates among the animals in the groups treated with CC, higher average daily weight gain (over 185 and packed cell volume (over 26%) in the groups treated with CC, when compared to the control (128; 20.9%). In view of the results, the use of CC, mainly CC1, as a fertilizer for guinea grass pastures, under continuous stocking, proved to be promising, with 63.41% effectiveness in controlling worm infestations.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Husbandry* / methods
  • Animals
  • Castor Bean / chemistry
  • Feces
  • Fertilizers / parasitology
  • Hematocrit
  • Nematoda
  • Nematode Infections* / immunology
  • Nematode Infections* / prevention & control
  • Nematode Infections* / veterinary
  • Parasite Egg Count / veterinary
  • Sheep
  • Sheep Diseases* / immunology
  • Sheep Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Soil* / parasitology
  • Weight Gain


  • Fertilizers
  • Soil