Worm egg counting also known as a faecal egg count is an invaluable tool to help achieve sustainable worm control in Sheep, Cattle, Goats, Deer, and Alpaca. It is one of the most useful worm management tools a livestock producer can utilise.
A worm egg count is a count of the number of worm eggs in a sample of poo. The results are expressed as ‘eggs per gram’ (epg) of poo and split between the roundworm species of Strongyle and Nematodirus eggs as observed. Some tests will also report if Coccidia and Tapeworm eggs are present.
Worm control and drench resistance management in livestock is most efficient and sustainable when there is an indication of the size of worm burdens and the effectiveness of drenches. Faecal worm egg counts give an estimate of the worm burden in the gastrointestinal tract of an animal based on the number of worm eggs present in a sample of faeces.
Worm test are good value for money:
- It could save you the expense of unnecessary drenching or using the wrong drench.
- It can help you to forestall a disaster due to heavy worm infection.
- WormTest can be used as a simple and quick way to check drench effectiveness.
Samples should be collected 10-14 days after using a particular drench longer for long-acting drenches. And sent off to your preferred sample site. Check out your local Department of Agriculture site for details.
The result of a worm egg count is standardized by weight and expressed as ‘eggs per gram’ (epg) of dung, with the main results often divided between strongyle eggs (including most of the significant worm species such as barber’s pole worm, brown stomach, and black scour worm) and Nematodirus eggs.
What do my results mean?
Results in epg (eggs per gram) Sheep, Cattle, Goats, Deer, Alpaca.
- <200 epg: drench probably not required
- >200-500 epg – seek advice
- >500 epg – drench probably required
Note, that there are times when a strategic drench is recommended, which does not use a worm egg count. Strategic treatments are generally at a specific time of the year, or sheep or goat management event (depending on regions) that aims to lower the overall worm population for the coming months and will be given regardless of the worm egg count or at much lower worm egg counts than for a therapeutic drench.