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Worm Management During the Kidding Season

Sarah Collins - Monday, June 24, 2013

Mum’s pride and joy is about to become a mother.  No... Not me, but rather her Boer Goat doe called Delilah!

Delilah is the first doe on our property to kid this season and the milder than usual conditions mean worm infestations are a greater concern than usual for this time of year. Usually, gastrointestinal worms thrive in warm moist conditions and tend to be less problematic when the weather turns cooler and drier during winter. However, testing of our flock of Boer Goats has confirmed that worm burdens have remained relatively high for longer this year. 

Keeping the worm burden under control is especially important when animals are under stress of some type and their immune system is under strain. This may include pregnant or lactating animals, or those under nutritional stress. Delilah’s worms were predominantly Barber’s Pole worms which cause anaemia.  This can negatively influence the development of the foetus; especially in the last weeks before the animal gives birth.

In an attempt to lessen potential worm burdens for kidding does, I keep a designated ‘kidding paddock’. I rest this paddock when not in use and put my horse in there to clean-up the worm eggs remaining on the pasture. Paddock rotation is also another effective method for controlling worm infestations. I also highly recommend regular faecal worm egg-counts to monitor for sudden increases in worm burdens prior to or soon after kidding. This will provide the breeder with information to manage the worm burden and accordingly, the best chance of optimising the health of the kids on the ground.

Happy kidding!!

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