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Home WormBoss Worm Control Program for Goats – Australian Smallholders

WormBoss Worm Control Program for Goats – Australian Smallholders

Program summary

This WormBoss worm control program has been developed for smallholders who do not have the infrastructure to be able to practice grazing management to create low worm-risk paddocks and are able to assess each goat individually and then treat individuals as required. Further information on a broader range of worm control options can be obtained from the relevant regional worm control program.

A summary of the worm control components for smallholders is below (see the ‘Smallholder’ links in the side-bar on the right for more details).

1. Avoiding worms

  • Provide adequate browse where possible.
  • Where worm control relies heavily on frequent drenching (even after implementing the control options in this program) then consider feedlotting of goats. Feeders and waterers should be designed so there is no faecal contamination.

2. Breed and feed for goats resistant and resilient to worms

  • Purchase bucks with better than average worm egg count Estimated Breeding Values (WEC EBVs) in KIDPLAN by choosing the more negative values but also ensure the bucks meet your needs for other traits.
  • Maintain good nutrition to enhance the goat’s immunity to worms.

3. When to check and when to drench

  • Body condition score: check each month.
  • FAMACHA© score (in areas where there is a barber’s pole worm risk):
    • weekly in the higher risk period of the year for your location.
    • monthly in the low worm-risk times.
  • Scouring (faecal consistency score):
    • weekly in the higher risk period of the year for your location.
    • monthly in the low worm-risk times.

4. Drench strategically at recommended times

  • Note that all drench2 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).
  • Kids at weaning.
  • Drench individual goats showing obvious signs of worm-related illness.

5. Managing 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 goat smallholders across Australia.

The program aims to improve to achieve:

  • better welfare of your goats
  • fewer drenches
  • fewer deaths and illness from worms 
  • improved productivity 
  • prolonged life of drenches


Deborah Maxwell (ParaBoss), Lewis Kahn (ParaBoss), Maxine Lyndal-Murphy (private consultant), Sandra Baxendell (Goat Veterinary Consultancies—goatvetoz).


This document was developed with support 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’.


October 2016


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.

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