Poll Recap: Parasite Control Strategies

Poll Recap: Parasite Control Strategies

Of the 764 respondents, 356 (47%) said they use rotational deworming for parasite control, while 260 (34%) indicated they perform fecal egg counts and deworm based on the results.

Photo: Travis Church

How do you control parasites on your farm? In last week’s poll on TheHorse.com, we asked about our readers' primary parasite control strategies on their farms. More than 750 people responded, and we’ve tallied the results!

Of the 764 respondents, 356 (47%) said they use rotational deworming for parasite control, while 260 (34%) indicated they perform fecal egg counts and deworm based on the results. Another 106 readers (14%) said their parasite control strategy involves property, pasture, and manure management. Twenty-six readers (3%) said they feed a daily dewormer, and the remaining 16 respondents (2%) said they do not worry about parasites on their farm.

In addition, 75 readers left comments about their parasite control strategy.

Many readers said that they use a combination of the options mentioned:

Poll Results

  • "Property management, rotational deworming, and fecal counts."
  • "All of the above."
  • "Combination of the first three choices!"
  • "Rotational dewormng and property, pasture, and manure managment all year-round."
  • "Pasture rotation, paddock cleaning, and rotational deworming. I always worry about parasites."
  • "Rotational worming combined with pasture rotation and manure management."
  • "We also manage pastures (pick up manure daily) and deworm in spring and fall."
  • "Rotational deworming combined with fly control management in barn and pastures"
  • "Both fecal count for correct application of dewormers and pasture management"
  • "In addition to performing bi-monthly fecals, we ensure manure if picked twice per day."
  • "Directional deworming and pasture management. I'm doing everything I can for those zero egg counts!"

Other readers commented that they use fecal egg counts and deworm based on the results:

  • "I do fecals two to three times a year and then deworm for tape since they are not detected in fecal."
  • "I manage manure carefully and do fecals in the spring - always negative. I deworm after the frost."
  • "Fecal egg counts showed nothing, so now I deworm in deep of winter and driest heat of summer—two times per year."
  • "Fecal egg counts as well as 24/7 turnout in paddocks cleaned twice a day. Very low egg counts."
  • "Do a fecal count on the old guy and rotate as well depending on the time of year."
  • "I get fecal egg counts twice a year, spring and fall and deworm based on results."
  • "I worm twice a year based on prior fecal egg counts that indicated low parasite levels."
  • "We do fecal egg counts and treat accordingly."
  • "My horse has epm and I will not deworm unless fecal egg count calls for it."
  • "Still get fecal egg counts done when the vet calls to make sure everything is under control."
  • "I had been doing rotational deworming,but I'm switching to performing fecal egg counts."

Several readers left comments about management of their property, pasture, and manure as part of their parasite control strategy:

  • "I manage my property, pasture, and manure. My horses haven't had any parasites for over 3 years."
  •  "I also use pasture and manure management"
  • "We manage our pens and pastures by removing manure daily."
  • "We compost all manure and stall bedding for at least 18 months."
  • "Paddocks are picked two to three times per week."
  • "We also rotate pastures and manage manure"
  • "We clean our paddocks daily"
  • "I clean out the water tubs and shovel poop out of stall, but not as much in field though."
  • "I also remove manure from stalls and paddocks daily and from pastures weekly."
  • "I pick up manure several times a day; feed horses in clean, bedded stalls; and deworm twice a year."
  • "The dry lot they live in is cleaned daily."
  • "We also pick manure from our pastures during grazing months."

Some commented on rotational deworming as their choice of parasite control:

  • "Ivermectin or ivermectin+prazyquantel three or four times a year."
  • "I deworm when coming off grass in the fall, and again when coming off hay in the spring."
  • "I have a more or less closed family herd, but do rotate and deworm two to three times per year."

A few readers commented that they don’t deworm their horses:

  • "I let the horses and cows fend for themselves."
  • "I deworm when needed—if it ain't broke don't fix it. The over use of pesticides create super pests."
  • "No dewormer. Vet wanted clients to stop. She tests feces two times per year. I do worry if this is okay."

Read more about which deworming method is most cost-effective, and why each horse needs its own individualized deworming plan

This week, we want to know: what common hind-leg conformation is least worrisome to you in horses? Vote in the poll and share your comments!

The results of our weekly polls are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter, which offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters on our homepage and look for a new poll on TheHorse.com.

About the Author

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer, is a lifelong horse owner who competes with her Appaloosas in Western performance events. She is a University of Kentucky graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in Community Communications and Leadership Development, and master's degree in Career, Technical, and Leadership Education. She currently lives on a small farm in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

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