Worm Control

Main Image


Why do we need to control worms in horses?


Because the consequence of not doing so might mean severe disease for your horse. Each parasitic worm of the horse causes a different type of problem. Tapeworms can cause colic, small redworms can cause diarrhoea or weight-loss. What is important to remember is that low levels of infection do not cause problems. It is horses with heavy worm burdens that are most likely to suffer from disease.


Methods of worm control


Pasture hygiene


Scientific studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of regular removal of droppings from horse pasture. If this is done twice a week, there is minimal transmission of worms between horses. Other management techniques that can be used are rotation of pasture and grazing sheep or cattle on the same pasture. These species will eat the eggs of the horse worms without becoming infected, thereby acting as "biological vacuum cleaners!


Sheep 201: Internal parasite (worm) control


  • Pasture and grazing management
  • Implement rotational grazing practices to prevent sheep and goats from grazing severly infected pastures.
  • Rest pastures to reduce parasite infection level and give plants time to regrow.
  • Create clean pastures by removing a hay crop from the pasture field.
  • Do not allow livestock to graze forage below 2 inches; ideally four inches.
  • Graze taller forages.
  • Allow livestock, especially goats, to browse.
  • Co-graze sheep and/or goats with cattle and/or horses to reduce the parasite load on the pastures and ingestion of infective larvae.
  • Reduce the ingestion of infective worm larvae by delaying grazing until after the dew is lifted.