SELECTIVE WORMING: The scientific way to treat your livestock
Selective treatment for worm infections in horses is now becoming the norm with worming guidelines moving away from the calendar based worming system many horse owners are familiar with. Selective treatment is based on the worm egg count of a horse. This is determined by counting the worm eggs present in their manure via a Faecal Egg Count (FEC).
Horses that have a worm egg count of above 200 EPG (worm eggs per gram of faeces) usually require treatment, while horses below 200 EPG do not. Strategic worm control now focusses on reducing pasture contamination. This should be done in several ways, including manure collection and cross-grazing, and when it comes to worming, targeting only animals with FEC of above 200 EPG., meaning that owners worming on a seasonal basis are in fact over-worming their horses.
For all animals, there is a pattern with worm egg shedding in faeces, where a small number of animals shed the majority of the eggs. Studies have shown that the majority of adult horses (80-90%) have an EPG of less than 200 EPG, and that a small proportion of animals are responsible for the majority of pasture contamination. By conducting FECs, you can reduce egg shedding within a herd by up to 95% by only worming half of the stock. This results in less drug use, which is better for your animals, your pastures, and your pocket, not to mention helps prevent drug resistance occurring.
If you would like to talk more about FECs, or organise a FEC for your livestock, message this page. FEC samples can be express posted from across Australia, or dropped off locally (West Gippsland, VIC)