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Home WormBoss worm control program for goats – Victoria

WormBoss worm control program for goats – Victoria

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Program summary

The WormBoss worm control program has five components that are most effective when used in combination.

A summary of the components is below (see further chapters for details).

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

  • Prepare autumn and winter weaner paddocks by using ‘Smart grazing’ where possible. Give the weaners an effective drench before they enter the ‘Smart grazed’ paddock.
  • Choose the least contaminated kidding paddocks for the most susceptible kidding does (maidens, twin-bearing, or poorer condition).
  • 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

  • During January–February (with a larval differential) for goats showing signs of barber’s pole worm (anaemia and lethargy)—aside from known barber’s pole worm areas, this can also occur in wet summers or irrigation areas.
  • All mobs in late January/early February, just prior to the second summer drench. This will usually be 6–8 weeks after the first summer drench.
  • Weaners, 4–6 weeks after the autumn break and through winter. However, under high risk conditions (pastures highly contaminated with worms/higher rainfall areas/wetter than normal) test as soon as 2 weeks after the break.
  • Higher risk mobs in July/August (usually youngest and oldest). Test other mobs if high worm egg counts are found. These results will give a check on peak winter egg counts.
  • Does pre-kidding (provided it is at least 8 weeks post-autumn break for adults and 6 weeks for maidens). This is especially important for doe mobs struggling with low condition score (less than 2.5) and/or grazing pastures of less than 1200kg DM/ha (3–4 cm pasture height).
  • 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.

4. Drench1,2 strategically at recommended times

  • 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.
  • The first summer drench in November/December.
  • Breeding does pre-kidding (as they temporarily lose their immunity). If using a persistent drench then see ͚Effective use of long-acting drenches.
  • Goats going onto paddocks that are to be kept low worm-risk for weaners.
  • Kids at weaning.
  • Drench individual goats showing obvious signs of worm related illness and WormTest the rest.
  • At other times, use the Drench Decision Guide, to make drenching decisions. 

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 in Victoria. It builds upon earlier programs and accumulated knowledge (Including from the University of Melbourne’s Mackinnon Project), new information from the Integrated Parasite Management in Sheep project, funded by Australian Wool Innovation and ‘Parasite control in southern prime lamb production systems’, funded by Meat and Livestock Australia.

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), David Hucker (Para-Tech Veterinary Services [Vic]), John Larsen (Mackinnon Project, University of Melbourne) and Graham Lean (Graham Lean and Associates).


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’.

The contribution of David Rendell to this program is acknowledged as is the research performed by scientists from the former CSIRO Division of Animal Health, the Victorian and South Australian Departments of Primary Industries (or their equivalent), The Mackinnon Project (University of Melbourne School of Veterinary Science) and the cumulative knowledge and experience of sheep consultants in this region (often published in Proceedings of the Australian Sheep Veterinarians, a special interest group of the Australian Veterinary Association).


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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