The WormBoss worm control program for the East Coast areas of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria has five components that are most effective when used in combination.
A summary of the components is below (see the ‘East Coast’ links in the right side-bar for further details).
1. Use grazing management to create low worm-risk paddocks
- Prepare low worm-risk paddocks for kidding does and weaners.
- Prevent contamination with worm larvae in the 2-3 months before they are needed:
- Spell paddocks
- Graze cattle or horses, grow browse, crops, hay or new pastures or graze with goats or sheep for up to 3 weeks after the protection period (when it is killing worms) of an effective drench1.
- Where it is not possible to use grazing management, feedlotting of goats can be practiced. Feeders and waterers should be designed so there is no faecal contamination.
- Where scour worms are more prevalent, use Smart Grazing.
- Choose the least contaminated kidding paddocks for the most susceptible kidding does.
- Provide adequate browse where possible.
2. Breed and feed for goats resistant and resilient to worms
- Use bucks with better than average worm egg count Estimated Breeding Values (WEC EBVs) in KIDPLAN by choosing the more negative values.
- Maintain good nutrition to enhance the goat’s immunity to worms.
3. WormTest at recommended times
- Does prior to kid marking and weaning and then WormTest at 4–6 week (summer) or 6–8 week (winter) intervals after a short-acting drench. If using a persistent drench then see Effective use of long-acting drenches.
- Kids from weaning to their first kidding: WormTest at 4–6 week (summer) or 6–8 week (winter) intervals after a short-acting drench. If using a persistent drench then see Effective use of long-acting drenches.
- Bring forward WormTests if there has been significant rain (20+ mm) that also has follow-up rain (10+ mm) in the following few weeks. Do separate tests for adults and weaners.
- Bucks at 4–6 week (summer) or 6–8 week (winter) intervals after a short-acting drench and ensure a WormTest occurs one month before joining.
- Dry adult goats should still be monitored at 4–8 week intervals.
- If DrenchTest results are not available conduct a DrenchCheck 14 days after treatment.
- And at other non-routine times as suggested in the Drench Decision Guide.
- If you have only a small herd of goats, worm egg count testing can be supplemented with monthly body condition scoring and checking the eye mucous membrane colour at weekly (summer) and monthly (winter) intervals.
4. Drench1,2 strategically at recommended times
- Note that all drench decisions should be made according to label directions (for drenches registered for goats) or according to advice from your veterinarian
- Quarantine drench all introduced goats with an effective short-acting drench that provides (for meat goats) four drench groups including one from either of the most recently available products or (for dairy goats) fenbendazole and abamectin which are registered for use where milk is for human consumption.
- Breeding does pre-kidding (as they temporarily lose their immunity).
- If kidding is spread out over months and does are not separated from the rest of the herd, still give a pre-kidding drench to individual does 4 weeks prior to kidding if due dates are known. This pre-kidding drench will not be as effective compared to the doe being drenched and moved to a low worm-risk paddock.
- Kids at weaning.
- Drench individual goats showing obvious signs of worm-related illness and WormTest the rest of the goat herd.
- At other times, use the Drench Decision Guide, and the WormTest.
5. Manage drench resistance
- Conduct DrenchTests every 2–3 years. Use DrenchChecks between DrenchTests or if there are not enough goats in your herd to conduct a DrenchTest.
- Avoid unnecessary drenching by restricting treatment to recommended times or in response to WormTest results.
- Use effective drench groups3 and multi-active combinations where possible. Note: multi-active combination and other drenches are not registered for use in goats. In some states and territories they can only be used with an off-label prescription from your veterinarian.
- In general, use short-acting treatments with long-acting products reserved for specific purposes or high worm-risk times and with an off-label prescription from your veterinarian.
- Calibrate your drench guns, dose to the heaviest goat and follow the label or your veterinarian’s instructions.
1This drench must be tested and shown to be effective on your property
2Drench refers to anthelmintics regardless of route of administration
3Drench groups are the chemical family to which an ‘active’ belongs. An ‘active’ is the chemical in a drench responsible for killing worms. Some drenches contain more than one active and are called ‘multi-active’ or ‘combination’ drenches. See Drench groups and actives .
When using anthelmintic products in goats, a veterinary prescription is often required because:
- Goats require a different dose rate and withholding period than specified on most products, even for many registered goat drenches.
- Most sheep drenches are useful, but not registered for use in goats.
While cattle drenches can be used at the label rates on goats in South Australia and sheep drenches on goats in Victoria, a veterinary prescription is still required for dose rates recommended for goats.
This is an up-to-date, integrated regional worm control program for goats for the east coast regions of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. It builds upon earlier programs (including from the state departments of primary Industries: NSW DPI and QLD DAFF) and accumulated knowledge, as well as new information from the Integrated Parasite Management in Sheep project, funded by Australian Wool Innovation.
The program aims to improve the profitability and welfare of your goats through:
- fewer deaths and illness from worms
- fewer drenches, particularly long-acting drenches
- improved productivity
- prolonged life of drenches
Maxine Lyndal-Murphy (private consultant), Sandra Baxendell (Goat Veterinary Consultancies—goatvetoz), Lewis Kahn (ParaBoss), Deborah Maxwell (ParaBoss), Lewis Kahn (ParaBoss), Stephen Love (NSW DPI)
This document is based on the sheep WormBoss regional program with changes supported by the Goat Industry Council of Australia and funded by Meat and Livestock Australia through the project ‘Expansion of WormBoss Website to Include Goats B.GOA.0120’.
Each regional WormBoss worm control program has been developed from local research results and experience proven to be relevant and successful for most farms in the region. ParaBoss and the University of New England acknowledge that this is not the only method of worm control in the region and more refined programs can be developed in consultation with your worm management advisor/veterinarian using information and knowledge specific to your property and goats. Future events cannot reliably be predicted accurately. ParaBoss and the University of New England make no statement, representations or warranties about the accuracy or completeness of, and you should not rely on any information relating to the WormBoss worm control program (Information). ParaBoss and the University of New England disclaims all responsibility for the Information and all liability (including without limitation liability and negligence) for all expenses, costs, losses and damages you may incur as a result of the Information being inaccurate or incomplete in any way for any reason.