Faecal Worm Egg Counts

It is extremely important to know the infestation level of worms and their drench resistance status before you start drenching.  This is firstly because you may not need to drench and secondly because you want use the most effective drench as possible. Ultimately the testing will save both time and money.

To make these tests as accurate as possible we have outlined below the correct procedures for collecting sheep faeces in both situations.  These guidelines will help if doing for the first time, or to simply refresh your memory.

Testing overall mob Faecal Worm Egg Counts (FWEC’s)

  • Collect between 10 and 20 individual samples from a mob of sheep (undrenched weaner/lamb mob if potentially doing the drench resistance test).  Tip: In case you have never done this before the easiest and most convenient method is to hold them in the paddock for about 5 minutes and then wander through where they are standing and collect samples. Or even better: if you are grain trail feeding them, put a trail feed out and again wait 5 minutes to collect.
  • Use sandwich bags, by putting your hand in bag and then picking up sample.  We need 3 grams per individual sample so a minimum of 1 level teaspoon.
  • Once you have collected between 10 and 20 individual samples, put the bags into 1 larger bag, expel as much air as possible and tie off the bag. Ensuring the samples are air tight prolongs the period before the worm eggs may hatch. Once they hatch it is very difficult to count. We generally get about 3-4 days before the eggs start to hatch.
  • If unable to drop the samples in at the shop then please send via post in overnight / priority post bag.
  • Address: ATT:  FWEC, Kojonup Agricultural Supplies, PO Box 19, Kojonup 6395.
  • Upon testing, we will advise the results via email. If the FWEC is above 250 eggs per gram (e/g) we will contact you to see if you know your drench resistance status. If not, we will suggest you do a drench resistance test.

Drench resistance testing procedure

In order to perform a drench resistance test to ensure you are getting the maximum elimination effectiveness for your money the following procedure is required: Kojonup Agricultural Supplies do offer this service.

What you will require

One bottle (500 ml) of each drench will be required (and can be supplied by Kojonup Agricultural Supplies) to carry out a drench resistance test. Each drench group and the control group must be clearly identified.  Our recommended method is to use 5 drench groups and one control group and to colour mark each group (as shown with each drench type below). Three cans of coloured spray marker (Red, Blue & Green) will be required (and can also be provided by Kojonup Agricultural Supplies). A drench gun and back pack will also be required.

  1. Moxidectin (Cydectin)   Red Rump
  2. Abamectin  Red Shoulder
  3. Levamisole and Albendazole (Combination or Scanda)  Blue Shoulder
  4. Levamisole/Albendazole/Napthalafos (combination plus rametin) Blue Rump
  5. Levamisole /Albendazole/Abamectin  (Triguard or Hatrick Green Shoulder
  6. Control  (No drench)  Green Rump
Recommended procedure
  • You will need to draft 120 lambs of similar weight and score condition (5 x drench groups of 20 and one control or undrenched group of 20).
  • Start drenching and spray marking each group with their respective drench and spray mark (highlighted above). If a sheep spits out drench or you are not sure if you have drenched, take it out and put back with main mob. ( of the 20 per group we have allowed for up to 8 reserves). It is also a good idea to spray mark after they have been drenched.
  • When spray marking be generous as we have found if not enough it can be quiet difficult to see when brought back for drafting.  Also be mindful to spray between shoulder blades and not too close to neck, plus between hip bone not too far down rump.  Again if too close to neck or too far down rump it is difficult to see when drafting.
  • Even though the control group has not been drenched, it is important to still spray mark.
  • Once drenched, and spray marking completed, they can be put back in the mob from which they were drafted out, or kept separate in their own mob of 120 and put in another paddock.  Whichever is the most convenient for you.
  • 10-14 days later, bring back into yards and draft into the 6 groups.
  • Begin sampling each group (between 10 and 20 per group.)
  • Using the dung spoon, insert into rectum and extract dung. The best way is to have a slight angle down on insertion and slight angle up on retreat. More is better but with the dung spoon a minimum of 3/4 spoon per sample which is equivalent to a level teaspoon.
  • Have a rag with you and wipe  spoon of any excess dung between sheep.  Between groups thoroughly wipe and disinfect.
  • If you have sheep which is empty move onto next one. As I said we have allowed for 8 reserves.  Between 10 and 20 is ideal – no need for any more per group.
  • Once you have completed each group gather individual sandwich bags and put in one bag.  Mark clearly on a bit of paper your name, drench group and spray mark identification. Put in bag with samples, extract air and tie.
  • If unable to drop at shop send via post in overnight priority post bag to: ATT:  FWEC, Kojonup Agricultural Supplies, PO Box 19, Kojonup 6395.
  • Please put in fridge until you put in post.  As well as the bags being air tight this will also prolong eggs hatching.

Please contact Kojonup Agricultural Supplies on 9831 1022 if you need any advice or assistance.

Call Kojonup Agricultural Supplies.

We provide rural supplies, farm and agricultural services and products to clients in Kojonup, Arthur River, Wagin, Katanning, Tambellup, Cranbrook, Frankland, Boyup Brook, Darkan, Gnowangerup, Williams, Mount Barker, Broomehill, Woodanilling and their surrounding communities.