WormBoss worm control program for goats

South Australia


 



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 (click on the headings below for more information):

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

  • Prepare low worm-risk paddocks for weaners and young goats by preventing contamination with worm larvae in the 6-8 weeks before they are needed:
    • Spell paddocks for the periods specified above.
    • Graze with 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 few worm eggs are passed in dung) of an effective drench1.
    • Less effectively by grazing with adult sheep that have a tested low worm egg count (less than 50 epg);
  • 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 that are 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

  • South-East
    • Kids at 12 weeks and then 4–weekly to turnoff if they are still on their mothers.
    • Weaners at 4 weeks post-weaning, and then 4–6 weekly until the end of their second winter.
    • Does pre-kidding, pre-marking and pre-weaning/6–8 weeks after marking if weaning is at turnoff.
    • Does 6–8 weeks after the ‘summer drench’ then 8–weekly until pre-kidding.
  • Higher Rainfall Mediterranean
    • Kids at 12 weeks and then 4–weekly to turnoff if they are still on their mothers.
    • Weaners at 4 weeks post-weaning then 4–6 weekly until the end of their second winter.
    • Does pre-kidding, pre-marking and pre-weaning/6–8 weeks after marking if weaning is at turnoff.
    • Does 8–weekly from when the feed is drying off until pre-kidding.
  • Lower Rainfall Mediterranean
    • Kids just before weaning.
    • Weaners at 6 weeks post-weaning then 6-weekly on green pasture, 8-weekly on dry pasture or 10-weekly on crop stubbles until the end of their second winter.
    • Does pre-kidding.
    • Does pre-weaning only if more than 10% of does are scouring.
    • Does just before harvest then in a further 10 weeks (on pastures) or when they come off stubble.
  • Bucks: at 4–6 week (summer) or 6–8 week (winter) intervals after a short-acting drench and ensure a WormTest occurs 7 weeks before joining.
  • 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.
  • Breeding does pre-kidding (as they temporarily lose their immunity).
  • Kids at weaning (only South-East and Higher Rainfall Mediterranean zones).
  • The ‘summer drench’ in late November/December 3 weeks after feed dries off (only South-East zone and Higher Rainfall Mediterranean zones).
  • 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 South Australia, but excluding the rangelands, which has a separate regional control program. It builds upon earlier programs and accumulated knowledge, including from the former Department of Agriculture WormCheck program and the experience of researchers, consultants and advisers, as well as 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

Authors:

Maxine Lyndal-Murphy (private consultant), Sandra Baxendell (Goat Veterinary Consultancies—goatvetoz), Lewis Kahn (ParaBoss), Deborah Maxwell (ParaBoss), Ian Carmichael (SARDI), Colin Trengove (University of Adelaide), Greg Johnsson (Kangaroo Island Veterinary Clinic), Simon Ellis (Ellis Farm Consultancy).

Acknowledgement:

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 basis of this program is from the research performed by scientists from the former Department of Agriculture WormCheck program and the experience of researchers, consultants and advisers, as well as 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.


Published:

October 2016

Disclaimer:

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.