Worm Control in Grouse

This guidance aims to provide the owners and managers of land with a population of Red grouse with:

  • Sufficient understanding of the issues to make an informed decision about whether or not to implement a worm control programme,
  • Sufficient knowledge to carry out disease control in a legal, responsible and sustainable manner, and
  • Information about the different techniques that can be used.

Red grouse is a wild bird and intervention through medication should only be considered after careful consideration of the risks, costs and potential benefits.

Three forms of worm control are available:

  • Managing grouse numbers:
    • Reduces densities and thus the transmission of worms; this was the traditional approach.
  • Direct dosing: 
    • Catching grouse by hand and treating them with an oral drench wormer.
  • ‘Medicated’ quartz grit:
    • This is provided to free living grouse.  
    • The grit has been prepared with a digestible coating into which a wormer drug is impregnated.

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