The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Goats => Topic started by: roddycm on August 07, 2019, 02:07:36 pm

Title: Worm control in a small yard
Post by: roddycm on August 07, 2019, 02:07:36 pm
I have been thinking a lot since the death of Maggie, our Boer girl, about general health and best practice.  I have the girls in at the moment as its winter here (south america) but they go out when its sunny in an excercise paddock about 3/4 or an acre... Reading about worm resistance and build up got me thinking.... My goat area is not large enough for rotation so would I be best of either getting rid of all grass grown in this area and avoid worm build up this way or just make a smaller yard with a hard floor?? I provide all their food anyway, its not like they are on a grazing system... maybe by letting them nibble on the grass in their excercise area its actually just going to build up a worm problem?

Thoughts? I read that if it there was no grass (much like one sees at a zoo or city farm) then the worm issue would be largey resolved. Thought I would see what you all think, so much knowledge on this site! Thanks in advance :)
Title: Re: Worm control in a small yard
Post by: Scarlet.Dragon on August 07, 2019, 10:48:41 pm
Do you know if you actually have a worm problem?  What do the routine faecal egg counts tell you?  If the goats were "clean" coming onto the pasture and most of your feeding is through means other than the grass (bearing in mind they're browsers rather than grazers anyway and don't tend to like eating short grass where the highest worm burden will be), then it's possible that you don't have an issue anyway.  Personally, I prefer my animals to have as natural an environment as possible from an enrichment perspective and a "lot" system doesn't appeal to me. 

You may also want to look into "Bioworma" which seems to be having phenomenal success on worm control in Australian trials (Have a look at the GoatVetOz on LinkedIn or Facebook as she's been involved in some of the monitoring trials).  It's a natural product fed to the livestock which goes through the gut and becomes active when "output" with the poop... it works to bind the worms and prevent them being spread on the ground.  It doesn't kill any worms in the livestock but helps to clean the grazing.  GoatVetOz explains it much better than I have!

I believe it's now available in the US but not sure if that's across the Americas or only the USA at this stage.
Title: Re: Worm control in a small yard
Post by: bj_cardiff on August 08, 2019, 06:53:43 am
I think people tend to be over concerned about worms. Its quite normal and healthy for adult animals to carry some worms. They only become a problem when the amimal is stressed by something else, pregnancy, or illness.

Title: Re: Worm control in a small yard
Post by: roddycm on August 08, 2019, 06:20:54 pm
That bioworma looks super intersting!! Thanks for sharing!!

They are actually fine with their fecals but so many people are telling me that goats are delicate with worms and because i am not rotating them onto new paddocks they will surely get resistant worms and then I will have a real problem on my hands etc etc So I began to worry, but as far as I can tell they are fine and because i bring them all their food they will hopefully be ok in the future too! I will keep testing periodically and take it from there!

Thanks guys!
Title: Re: Worm control in a small yard
Post by: Scarlet.Dragon on August 09, 2019, 09:23:31 am
I follow GoatVetOz on LinkedIn and she has some interesting stuff on her website.  This is the worm page.  I was watching how she does faecal samples... a bit different from me sweeping a barn floor so you could eat your dinner off it then bringing them in one at a time and waiting until they decide to "go" themselves.  Interestingly she says that pellets picked off the floor are not suitable by my vets have never said that.

Bioworma could be a key tool in tackling resistant worms on badly infected pasture so I agree it's an interesting development, particularly as it's a completely natural product that occurs in the environment and all that's happening is it's being introduced to the diet. 

You say you're worried about getting resistant worms because of non-rotation but that's not how it works.  Resistance comes from misuse (overuse/under-dosing) of stock or moving stock to fresh ground immediately after dosing so that only resistant worms are shed on the fresh ground and there's no competition from the susceptible worms at other parts of the lifecycle.  If the worms your animals carry (and all should carry some as there are health implications for being completely free of worms too) are susceptible, then monitoring the worm burden and only worming those that need to be wormed at appropriate times is the best control regime.  Most healthy animals will tolerate a worm burden for most of the time.  FECs are definitely the way to go, along with advice from your goat vet on management practices and when to worm, what to use, and dosage.