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Online learning: Australian smallholders—Deciding when to drench and what drench to use

This strategy describes when to use strategic drenches and how to decide when tactical/therapeutic drenches are needed.

Structured reading

For those who like to see all the information and simply read through it in order. Each heading is a link to a page of information—the dot point provides a summary of the page.

Tip: Keep this page open and open the links in new tabs.

Australian smallholders: When to test and when to drench
The times for routine worm testing and drenching in this region. Not all testing or drenching is routine; other times to do these are recommended by the Drench Decision Guide, according to details you provide about your mob of goats.

East Coast: Drench Decision Guide
This tool recommends whether a mob should be drenched, the length of protection warranted and when to worm test again. It is your day-to-day tool on drenching decisions that should be used in conjunction with the annual program of routine testing and drenching times.

The DDG tool steers you through a series of questions about your goats; choose the answer that applies to your mob (or make up your own scenario).

Question and answer

For those who prefer a problem based approach to learning, answer the following questions.
Each of the questions below links further down the page to the answers.

Questions:

  1. What is the purpose of a strategic drench?
  2. Which classes of goats receive a routine (strategic) drench, and when?
  3. The online Drench Decision Guide (DDG) for Australian Smallholders assists you to decide whether a mob of goats should be drenched now and when to test again. Open the DDG and answer the questions it offers based on the scenario (from below) that you are using. Try at least three of the following scenarios.
  • Pet goat wethers with a FAMACHA score of 5 (white) and in a barber’s pole area
  • Does in early lactation with FAMACHA score 2 and body condition score 2
  • Pregnant does with signs of scouring (faecal consistency 5)
  • Dry goats that are not in a barber’s pole area with FAMACHA score 2 and body condition score 4
  • Bucks with FAMACHA score 2 (red-pink) and not in a barber’s pole worm area.
  • Does in milk with FAMACHA score 3, normal faeces and body condition score 2 and in a barber’s pole area

Answers:

You can also click on each question below to go to WormBoss pages with related information.

1. What is the purpose of a strategic drench?

Strategic drench: a drench given at a critical time to goats that are susceptible to worm infection (e.g. weaners and pre-kidding does), and also given at times to reduce worm larval contamination of a pasture that will be grazed by the drenched goats over the following weeks or months. The goats themselves may have had a low worm egg count at the time of this pre-emptive treatment.

2. Which classes of goats receive a routine (strategic) drench, and when?

All goats that have one of more of:

  • Body Condition Score of 2 or less (poor condition)
  • FAMACHA score of 4 or 5 (pale and anaemic)
  • Faecal consistency score of 5 (diarrhoea or scours)

Kids, young goats from weaning to 18 months of age, bucks or does during late pregnancy and lactation that have one of these:

  • Body Condition Score of 2.5 or less (moderate to poor condition)
  • FAMACHA score of 3 (moderate anaemia)

3. The online Drench Decision Guide (DDG) for Australian smallholders assists you to decide whether a herd of goats should be drenched now and when to test again. Open the DDG and answer the questions it offers based on the scenario (from below) that you are using. Try at least three of the following scenarios.

  • Pet goat wethers with a FAMACHA score of 5 (white) and in a barber’s pole area
  • Does in early lactation with FAMACHA score 2 and body condition score 2
  • Pregnant does with signs of scouring (faecal consistency 5)
  • Dry goats that are not in a barber’s pole area with FAMACHA score 2 and body condition score 4
  • Bucks with FAMACHA score 2 (red-pink) and not in a barber’s pole worm area.
  • Does in milk with FAMACHA score 3, normal faeces and body condition score 2 and in a barber’s pole area

Links to the learning topics for Australian smallholders

  1. Introduction
  2. Grazing management
  3. Breeding for worm resistance
  4. Worm testing
  5. Drenching (you are currently on this page)
  6. Drench resistance management
  7. Goat worms