How to use a weigh tape

A weigh tape is a useful tool to help you monitor your horse's weight. Essential for calculating wormer dose as well as keeping an eye on their condition. We’d always advise adding 10% to a weigh tape reading when calculating wormer dose to ensure you give sufficient for their size as it is a formula after all!
In this video Nikki puts Fern on the weigh bridge and demonstrates how to use a weigh tape to get the most accurate reading - with thanks to the fab Nikki Meggison BSc Hons - Independent Equine Nutritionist

New research shows traditional frequent worming is unnecessary

New research, from leading equine parasitologist Dr Martin Nielsen, has provided more evidence to show that reducing worming (or more correctly, de-worming) intensity, does not have any adverse health risks to horses. The work confirms that the traditional approach of frequent routine de-worming at pre-determined intervals, without the use of diagnostic testing is unnecessary. Read the summary to Martin's paper here

Back Yard Poultry: Worming with NetTex and Tommy The Vet

This is a great video from NetTex that covers the basics of worm control in back yard hens ad poultry. Meet vet Tommy Heffernan from Kerry in Ireland with his hens!

World Horse Welfare Webinar, managing and controlling worms in your horse and on their pasture

We joined World Horse Welfare in a webinar to discuss all things worm related! We looked at the latest on drug resistance and why we need to move to evidence based control. Testing techniques available for the different parasites and then how to build this into a programme for a healthy horse.

Panelists were Kristy Hodgson, current Equine SQP of the year, and Claire Shand from Westgate Laboratories and they were joined by two World Horse Welfare Field Officers, Sarah Tucker and Chris Shaw, also SQPs, who together will be sharing their knowledge and experiences on how they have been helping owners and their horses control worm burdens and other parasites, as well as sharing experiences of what can happen when situations get out of control.

Both Westgate and World Horse Welfare promote the use of a targeted worm control approach, reducing the unnecessary use of drugs, as well as reducing the risk of resistance to these vital drugs.

Sand Testing to reduce the risk of sand colic

⏳ Horses grazing sandy soils, kept on bare or overgrazed paddocks/track systems or being fed in a ménage are at risk of ingesting sand. For these horses we recommend a dung sample be taken at intervals through the year and checked with a sedimentation test to assess sand levels in the gut.

This is because sand is a relatively common cause of colic in horses. It gets ingested as they graze and can accumulate in the colon over time. Here it irritates the gut lining and, in sufficient quantity, has the ability to cause impaction of the gut which, if not treated in time, can be fatal.

In this video we faecal sand test two horses and look at ways to help reduce gut sediment levels where these have accumulated. Our sand test kit won the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) 2020 Judges' Choice Innovation award and is an easy way to monitor this aspect of your horse's wellbeing.

👉 More info on sand testing:
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If you have any health concerns about your horse please consult your vet.

Take our online course 'An Intro to Parasite Control in Horses'

Have you got 30mins to brush up your horse care knowledge this week? Find out about parasites in horses, the dangers of wormer resistance and how to use worm egg counts and tests in this fun short course. Aimed at 12yrs + everyone gets a certificate and the chance to enter our prize draw if you complete by the end of May!

👉 Have a go:
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In partnership with BETA Equitoolz.

David Rendle at the National Equine Forum

⚠️⛔️ David Rendle from the The British Equine Veterinary Association asks: 'Is wormer resistance an issue of people or parasites?' at the National Equine Forum. This is SO worth a watch - the heath of our horse population depends on the answer...

How to take a sample for a worm egg count

A worm egg count is a useful test to monitor the presence of redworm and ascarid eggs, some of the most common and dangerous horse parasites. In this video we show you how to take and send a sample to the lab for testing. This simple test will help to determine whether a wormer is needed. Regular worm egg counts, conducted every 8-12 weeks, help to reduce wormer use by up to 82% which helps to slow drug resistance as well as being better for the horse, your pocket and the environment.

Westgate Labs; our nature reserve on the farm

Here at Westgate our purpose built lab is on the family farm in Northumberland. For the last 30 years most of the land has been part of a massive opencast coal mine. This has recently been restored. Spurred on by devastating reports on the state of our declining countryside we've made the decision to turn 73 acres into a designated nature reserve to create a haven for plants and animals. Around 50 acres of this is new tree planting and the remainder is ponds, wetland and grassland that even after a few short years is already teaming with life.