Getting the best from 'Wormtest'
Wormtest measures the average number of worm eggs in the dung
samples of your stock.
Why do a Wormtest
An integral part of any livestock
management plan includes regular monitoring of internal worm levels in stock
throughout the year.
Regular worm testing can assist
producers to make informed decisions on their drenching programs and on the
rotation of stock in the paddocks. Good parasite management strategies can be
beneficial in reducing the levels of worms on the pasture as well as reducing
the likelihood of drench resistance forming. This will have long term benefits.
As the species of worms change with
seasonal conditions, monitoring throughout the year is vital. This is
especially important during times when stock are under stress through
environmental (e.g. weather/ drought) and production factors (e.g.
lambing/kidding/ calving/marking). Significant numbers of internal parasites
can, and do, cause losses in body condition, affecting wool, meat and milk
production and can contribute to an increase in the number of stock deaths.
Wormtest as a monitor of worm burden
Monitoring worm burden indicates
when to drench and when not to drench. Failure to drench when necessary
results in production loss, scouring and death. Performing unnecessary
drenching increases on-farm costs and promotes the development of drench
What type of stock to monitor?
Any mob/herd suspected of being
wormy should be monitored. Young animals are susceptible, especially when
weaned. Pregnant and lactating animals are also susceptible. Dry ewes and
wethers are fairly immune to worms. Adult goats have poor immunity to worms. Monitoring
efforts should be concentrated on young sheep, especially weaners, on pregnant
ewes and on all classes of goats.
When to monitor?
While monitoring can take place at
any time, most worm problems occur in the wetter months during autumn, winter
and spring. Monitoring efforts should be intensified at these times.
If you are unhappy about the
condition of your stock or if there is a problem with scouring, a Wormtest
should be carried out.
Wormtest results are usually emailed or mailed out within two
working days of receipt of the samples.
The Parasitology Laboratory at Mt.
Pleasant in Launceston can offer clients a Faecal Egg Reduction Test (FECRT) to determine the
effectiveness of the different drench class groups. This test is best carried
out on mobs of undrenched weaners or animals that have not been drenched recently.
If resistance is indicated, a
thorough investigation should be performed with the guidance of your veterinary
Current tests and prices are available on the Biosecurity Tasmania website and the Animal Health
Animal Health Laboratory, DPIPWE
(Postal) PO Box 46, Kings Meadows,
(Delivery) 165 Westbury Road,
Prospect, TAS 7250
T: (03) 6777 2111
F: (03) 6344 3085
For more information on this service, please contact your Veterinarian.