Farm Ireland

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Perfect time for parasite control

Pearse Kelly

Housing is one of the best times of the year for treating cattle against some of the more common internal and external parasites.

The cattle are close at hand and when they are treated they should, for the most part, remain clean for the rest of the winter. Feed, and in particular meal feed, is more expensive this year, and by having cattle that are clean of parasites you are going to get the best return for your money.

Any animal health store will stock a wide range of products that can be used, or you may have some product left over from earlier in the season. Products vary in price, what they control and how they are given to the animal.

However, regardless of what product you are going to use you need to ask yourself:

•Will Type II stomach worms be controlled?

•Will lice be covered?

•How convenient is it to give the product?

•How long after housing do I need to wait before giving the treatment?

Also Read

•Do I need to cover for liver fluke?

•Will I need to give a second treatment and when?

•Could rumen fluke be an issue?

•How long is the withdrawal period with any of the products used?

•What will the overall cost per animal be?

All of the avermectin (any product which has an active ingredient ending with 'mectin') and all of the benzimidazole (mostly white drench products) will control Type II stomach worms and lungworms.

The Levamisole products (mostly the clear or yellow drenches) will not kill Type II stomach worms and should not be used. Some of the combination worm/fluke drenches are Levamisole-based and so should also not be used for a housing dose. The avermectin products will also control sucking lice. If you are using a benzimidazole wormer you will need to also give a lice treatment, which will come in either a pour-on or spot-on form. Depending on the amount of lice present, many of these products recommend a second treatment a number of weeks later.

Pearse Kelly is a Teagasc cattle specialist

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