Breaking the grip of parasites
The correct timing of treatment and selecting the right products are critical to ensuring cattle remain in good health when housed for the winter
Published 25/11/2015 | 02:30
As cattle come off grass and are housed for the winter, they bring in with them a huge burden of parasites.
Without treatment these parasites can do a lot of damage, reducing thrive by causing a drop in appetite and feed intake thereby affecting performance. If untreated these parasites can reinfect pastures after turnout and keep the cycle going.
Housing is one of the best times to break this cycle and treat cattle against the most common internal and external parasites. So what parasites are we targeting at housing?
The main ones are stomach worms, lungworms, liver fluke and lice, whilst rumen fluke may need to be taken care of, if an issue on individual farms. The number of parasites carried by cattle at housing can vary according to a number of factors, their age, health status, grazing management and level of previous treatments.
As cattle cannot pick up worms and liver fluke while they are indoors, an effective treatment programme shortly after housing keeps them free of these parasites until they return to pasture or are slaughtered.
The choice of product to use and the correct timing of the treatment then become the critical questions to answer.
Many of the above active ingredients are found in combination products, but be sure to check the label for efficacy against various stages of parasites and consult your vet if you are in any doubt.
These parasites are very difficult if not impossible to get rid of at farm level and can cause both clinical and sub clinical losses on your farm, therefore the rationale for their control is good and the housing period provides an excellent opportunity to simply treat a broad spectrum of parasites at the one time.