Now that the Shooting Season is well underway, the Game Keepers are keen to test and what the Strongyle worm population is in the shot grouse.
Trichostrongylus tenuis (the Strongyle worm) is the biggest killer of grouse, so it’s cycle and density needs to be carefully monitored. Grouse have a very interesting gut, different to other birds, with 2 extra sections of dead end gut called the caeca that lead back around the larger intestine, this is to drain extra nutrition from their diet. This dead end gut can be taken from the shot birds, sliced up, washed out and then the worms can be counted. This can give us an estimate of the worm volume in the grouse.
The worm counts are obtained from grouse from various areas of the estate and depending on the results Game Keepers will look to put out Medicated Grit at the end of the Shooting Season.
Medicated Grit is only available by licence and a vets certificate is required to purchase it. As the grouse that we shoot on the estates enter the food chain then medicated grit cannot be given now. Medicated grit has an agreed withdrawal period of 28 days so it will be put out in trays once the estates have finished shooting for the season.