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WormBoss worm control program for goats



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Go to the Drench Decision Guide


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 (see further chapters for details).

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

  • Prepare autumn and 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 worm-resistant goats

  • 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

  • Before the second summer drench (January) to ensure it is required.
  • Weaners 3–4 weeks and adult goats 4–6 weeks after all short-acting drenches or after a WormTest shows drenching is not required.
  • Goats going onto crop that is to be kept low worm-risk for weaners, as well as the weaners before they use the paddock.
  • Goats showing apparent signs of barber’s pole worm (especially during January in the summer rainfall region and on irrigation summer pastures).
  • Bucks 7 weeks before mating.
  • 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).
  • Does at weaning unless in the high rainfall zone and will stay on perennial pastures, or they already received a drench at marking.
  • Kids at weaning.
  • Bucks prior to mating.
  • Give the first summer drench in November/December (as the pasture is haying off).
  • Goats going onto paddocks that are to be kept low worm-risk for weaners.
  • Weaners going onto highly contaminated short-rotation ryegrass pastures (i.e. in the pasture’s second or third year). Consider a long-acting product (see Effective use of long-acting drenches?).
  • 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 Tasmania. 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), Paul Nilon (Nilon Farm Health).


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 research performed in Victoria by the former CSIRO Division of Animal Health, the Victorian Department of Primary Industries and The Mackinnon Project (University of Melbourne School of Veterinary Science) and the cumulative knowledge and experience of sheep consultants in this region, in particular, Dr Paul Nilon.


October 2016


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.