WormBoss worm control program for goats
Qld central and south and NSW northwest
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 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 killing worms) of an effective drench1.
- 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
- Weaners from weaning to shearing or 12 months: every 4–6 weeks (summer) or 6–8 weeks (winter) after a drench
- Pre-shearing in fibre goats (can be the pre-kidding test)
- Does prior to kidding, kid marking and weaning
- From March to October, 4–6 weeks after significant rain (20+ mm) that also has follow-up rain (10+ mm) in the following few weeks
- Bucks: WormTest 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.WormTest more often in high rainfall years and less often in very dry years. However, when goats congregate on smaller areas due to tall thick pastures, heavy rain/flooding or bore drains.
- If DrenchTest results are not available conduct a DrenchCheck 14 days after treatment.
- And at other times as suggested by 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 the most recently available products or (for dairy goats) the two drench groups registered for use where milk is for human consumption.
- In October/November:
- If the grass is green and actively growing in these months: All goats should be given an effective drench for barber’s pole worm, scour worms and nodule worm. A prior WormTest will indicate whether a long-acting product could be needed. Note long-acting products are not registered for goats and in most states and territories can only be used “off-label” with a veterinarian’s prescription.
- If the grass is brown or not actively growing in these months: Young goats (less than 18 months old) will need an effective short-acting drench against barber’s pole worm, scour worms and nodule worm. WormTest in 4–6 weeks after the drench.
- Kids at weaning.
- Drench individual goats showing obvious signs of worm-related illness and WormTest the mob.
- And at other times, use the Drench Decision Guide, and the WormTest.
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 Qld south and NSW northwest region of New South Wales. It builds upon earlier programs (including from the state departments of primary Industries: NSW DPI and Qld DAFF) and accumulated knowledge, as well as new information from the Integrated Parasite Management in Sheep project, funded by Australian Wool Innovation and the Sheep CRC.
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), Stephen Love (NSW DPI)
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 contribution to this publication from the NSW DPI programs: WormKill and WestWorm and the Qld DAFF program: WormBuster 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.