The Large Ruminants we conduct worm egg counts on are cattle – both meat and dairy. As one may know, ruminants are cud-chewing animals. Due to the nature and size of their four-chambered stomachs, the types and quantities of worms differ between small and large ruminants. Consequently, the tests we offer also differ slightly. Info on our small ruminant tests can be found here.

Worm Egg Counts

Worm egg counts (WEC) are an accurate method of checking the worm status of a mob/group or individual animals. The test provides an indication of the type and size of worm burdens present. This allows the owners or managers to choose whether a drench is required. Furthermore they can minimise the use of drenches when they are not required.

The test determines the number of eggs in a sample of faeces and is expressed as ‘eggs per gram’ (EPG) of faeces. For cattle the significant worm species our worm egg counts are able to detect include;

  • barbers pole worm (Haemonchus placei),
  • small brown stomach worm (Ostertagia ostertagi),
  • black scour worm (Trichostrongylus axei or Trichostrongylus spp.),
  • large-mouthed bowel worm (Chabertia ovina),
  • nodule worm and large bowel worm (Oesophagostomum spp.)
  • small intestinal worm (Cooperia spp.)
  • thin-necked intestinal worm (Nematodirus spp.)
  • tapeworm (Moniezia spp.)
  • coccidia (Eimeria spp.)


Dawbuts offers a new diagnostic tool for cattle farmers, Mini-FLOTAC. Mini-FLOTAC has a Limit of Quantification (LOQ) to 5 eggs per gram (EPG). We offer Mini-FLOTAC for all our faecal egg count services. For more information please head to our page about Mini-FLOTAC.

Individual WEC (Mini-FLOTAC or McMaster)

An individual WEC gives you 15 individual counts from each of the wells in our sample collection tray in the WEC test kit. WECs are calculated for each of the 15 samples to show the highs, lows and distribution of eggs in a herd. This provides valuable information on existing (adult) worm burdens and paddock larval populations, if samples were collected just prior to drenching, or, for anthelmintic efficacy if faecal samples were collected 10-14 days post drenching.

Pooled WEC (Mini-FLOTAC or McMaster)

In this test, 15 samples will be divided into 3 pools with each pool representing 5 animals. The pooled test provides averages for worm burden in the herd however it does not provide information on parasite dynamics. Some information on worm distribution in the herd can be obtained using pooled samples, and is conducted at a lower cost than individual counts.

Larval Culture & Differentiation

As eggs of the significant worm species appear very similar during worm egg counts, a larval culture will be required to identify individual species. This adds informative value to the test results as knowing which worm species are present can allow you to implement a strategic drench use plan. Larval cultures take one week.

Fluke Sedimentation Test

This test will determine if liver fluke is present in your herd. Liver fluke can severely impact cattle production, with negative implications on liveweight gains, reduced milk yields and reduced fertility. If the intermediate host, the aquatic snail, is present on your property it is recommended that a fluke test is conducted.

Drench Resistance Tests

This test assesses how effective certain drenches are against the worms present on your property. At Dawbuts, a standard drench test consists of 3 drench groups plus one control (untreated) group. However, additional drench test groups can be added. The test requires 15 cattle per drench active you are testing, and an additional 15 cattle for the control group.

Results will provide information as to whether the worm species present on your property are either resistant or susceptible to the drench actives you submitted. A drench is considered effective when worm egg counts are reduced by 98% or more. These results will provide you with the knowledge to make informed decisions on which drench is best to use on your property. This test should be conducted every 2-3 years.

Our price list can be found here.