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Home Worm Control Program – QLD/NSW Summer rainfall/slopes and plains

Worm Control Program – QLD/NSW Summer rainfall/slopes and plains

Program Summary

The WormBoss worm control program for the summer rainfall/slopes and plains region has five components that are most effective when used in combination.

Open the complete program (PDF)

A summary of the components is below (click on the headings below for more information):

1. Use grazing management to create low worm-risk paddocks

  • Prepare low worm-risk paddocks for lambing and weaning by preventing contamination with worm larvae in the 2 to 5 months before they are needed. (Click here for a table showing the number of months required for your location). In this time, spell paddocks, graze with sheep for up to 21 days after the protection period (when it is killing worms) of an effective drench1, or graze with cattle.

2. Breed for worm-resistant sheep

  • Use rams with better than average worm egg count (WEC ASBVs2) and, if applicable to your area, less dagginess (DAG ASBVs); choose the more negative values for both.
  • Maintain good nutrition to enhance the sheep’s immunity to worms.

3. WormTest at recommended times

  • Prior to the October–November drench.
  • Pre-lambing.
  • Ewes before shearing, lamb-marking and weaning.
  • Weaners from weaning to shearing: every 4–6 weeks (summer) or 6–8 weeks (winter) after a drench.
  • Late February.
  • From March to October, 4–6 weeks after significant rain (20+ mm) that also has follow-up rain (10+ mm) in the following few weeks.
  • And at other non-routine times as described in the Drench Decision Guide.

4. Drenchor use Barbervax® at recommended times

  • If using Barbervax®, follow the prescribed program (see ‘When to WormTest and when to drench and use Barbervax®’)
  • In October/November:
    • If the grass is green and actively growing in these months:
      All sheep should be given an effective drench for barber’s pole worm, scour worms and nodule worm. A prior WormTest will indicate whether a long-acting product could be needed.
    • If the grass is brown or not actively growing in these months:
      Young sheep (less than 18 months old) will need an effective short-acting drench against barber’s pole worm, scour worms and nodule worm. WormTest in 4–6 weeks after the drench.
  • At weaning (this may coincide with October/November drench)
  • Drench all introduced sheep with a combination of no less than 4 unrelated drench actives with at least one of these being the newest drench actives: monepantel (Zolvix®) or derquantel (with abamectin—Startect®)4.
  • Drench individual sheep showing obvious signs of worm-related illness and WormTest the mob.
  • At other times, use the Drench Decision Guide to make drenching decisions.

5. Manage drench resistance

  • Conduct DrenchTests every 2–3 years. Use DrenchCheck-Day 14 between DrenchTests.
  • Avoid unnecessary drenching.
  • Use effective drenches and multi-active4 combinations where possible.
  • In general, use short-acting treatments with long-acting products only for specific purposes or high worm-risk times.
  • Calibrate your drench guns, dose to the heaviest sheep and follow label instructions.
  • Use of Barbervax® vaccination should slow the rate of development of drench resistance.

1This drench must be tested and shown to be highly effective on your property
2ASBVs=Australian Sheep Breeding Values.
3Drench refers to anthelmintics regardless of route of administration
4Drench 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’ within Appendices: Further information on sheep worm control for NSW and QLD Summer Rainfall

This is an up-to-date, integrated regional worm control program for sheep in the summer rainfall/slopes and plains region of New South Wales and Queensland. 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 and the Sheep CRC.

The program aims to improve the profitability and welfare of your sheep through:

  • fewer deaths and illness from worms
  • fewer drenches, particularly long-acting drenches
  • improved productivity
  • prolonged life of drenches


Deborah Maxwell (Sheep CRC), Stephen Love (NSW DPI), Maxine Lyndal-­Murphy (Qld DAFF)

Sheep CRC wish to acknowledge the major contribution to this publication from the NSW DPI programs: WormKill and WestWorm and the Qld DAFF program: Wormbuster

June 2012

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. Sheep CRC 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 sheep.

Future events cannot reliably be predicted accurately. Sheep CRC makes 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’). The Sheep CRC 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.

No part of this publication is to be reproduced without the permission of Sheep CRC Ltd.

© Sheep CRC Ltd 2012 (ABN: 12 125 726 847)

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