WormBoss worm control program for goats
NSW central, southern and southwest
The WormBoss worm control program for the non-seasonal rainfall region has five components that are effective when used in combination. Their effectiveness is reduced when not used in an integrated way.
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 kidding does and weaners by preventing contamination with worm larvae in the 2 to 5 months before they are needed.
- Spell paddocks
- 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.
- Prepare 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 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
- WormTest before these routine opportunities to drench:
- Pre-shearing (fibre goats).
- Pre-kid marking (does).
- Pre-weaning (does).
- From March till October, 4–6 weeks after significant rain that has follow-up rain, including the autumn break.
- Young goats in May/June before the more severe winter weather arrives.
- Pre-kidding (also include a larval culture if barber’s pole worm have been a problem in the past year).
- WormTest at 6–8 week intervals after a short-acting drench was given. If using a persistent drench then see ‘Effective use of long-acting drenches’.
- Bucks should not be forgotten and treated the same as weaners: WormTest 1 month prior to the breeding season.
- 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).
- The ‘first summer drench’. All goats receive this when pastures are haying off in late spring. In very dry or drought years do a WormTest beforehand as even this drench may be unnecessary and may cause increased selection for drench resistance.
- Kids at weaning. This may coincide with the ‘first summer drench’. Autumn-drop kids may also need an additional drench 8 weeks after weaning
- Drench individual goats showing obvious signs of worm-related illness and WormTest the rest.
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 the NSW central, southern and southwest region. 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) and Stephen Love (NSW DPI), with contributions from Dan Salmon (ex. Riverina LHPA), Jim McDonald (Tablelands LHPA), Bill Johnson (Tablelands LHPA), Tony Morton (Hume LHPA) and Belinda Edmonstone (Lachlan LHPA).
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’.
Major contributions to this publication were made from the NSW DPI program: ‘DrenchPlan’, which was developed as a cooperative venture involving: NSW Department of Primary Industries—veterinarians, parasitologists and livestock officers, Livestock Health and Pest Authorities, NSW (currently Local Land Services)—District Veterinarians and CSIRO Division of Animal Health—research scientists. With assistance also from the private sector including primary producers, pharmaceutical companies and consultants.
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.