WormBoss worm control program for goats
The WormBoss worm control program for the Western Australian winter rainfall region has five components that are most effective when used in combination.
Note: an Australia Smallholders Program and an accompanying Drench Decision Guide exists for goat owners who can regularly monitor and treat individual goats.
A summary of the components is below (click on the headings below for more information):
1. Use a strategic drenching program1,2
- 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.
- Routinely drench:
- South-West Medium to High Rainfall Zone
- Kids at weaning.
- Young goats in early summer, after the pasture has dried off.
- Breeding does pre-kidding (as they temporarily lose their immunity).
- Adult goats in autumn, between the end of March and the end of April.
- Bucks should be drenched the same as other goats or weaners, depending on age.
- Drench individual goats showing obvious signs of worm related illness and WormTest the rest.
- Low Rainfall Cereal Zone
- Kids at weaning when moved onto a crop stubble.
- Young goats in early summer, unless WormTests over some years indicates there is rarely a need.
- And at other times, use the Drench Decision Guide, to make drenching decisions.
2. WormTest at recommended times
- The South-West Medium to High Rainfall Zone
- Weaners and yearlings.
- 4–6 weeks after their weaning drench, unless a summer drench is to be given at about that time.
- 6 weeks after the season’s break, or by the end of June at latest, then 6-weekly until the end of spring.
- 6-weekly after any drench is given in winter or spring (unless a drench is to be given at about that time).
- Late-kidding does (mid-June onwards) WormTest 3 weeks before kidding is due to commence.
- Low Rainfall Cereal Zone
- Adult goats in late March to April.
- Bucks: at 6–8 week intervals after a short-acting drench and ensure a WormTest occurs one month 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.
3. Use grazing management to create low worm-risk paddocks
- Prepare low worm-risk paddocks for kidding does and weaners by preventing contamination with worm larvae before they are needed (for 3 to 4 months from autumn to spring, and 2 months in summer):
- 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.
- Or (not in coastal areas) graze with goats or sheep that have a tested low worm egg count (less than 100 epg).
- Choose the least contaminated kidding paddocks for the most susceptible kidding does (maidens, twin-bearing, or poorer condition).
- Provide adequate browse where possible.
4. 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.
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 Western Australia (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
Maxine Lyndal-Murphy (private consultant), Sandra Baxendell (Goat Veterinary Consultancies —goatvetoz), Lewis Kahn (ParaBoss), Deborah Maxwell (ParaBoss), Brown Besier (Brown Besier Parasitology) and Rob Woodgate (Charles Sturt University).
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 major contributions of parasitologists, veterinary officers, extension officers, consultants and organizations that developed the original programs from which the WormBoss programs have been drawn, in particular, the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia are acknowledged.
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.