Parasites can be detrimental to animal health and performance. Given the huge variation and local unpredictability of weather seen across the country this year, it will be hard to predict the affect this may have had on parasite survival rates.

All grazing cattle are exposed to gut worms and consequently can suffer production losses; younger cattle are most at risk of disease until they acquire immunity.

Gut worms reduce:

  • Weight gain and growth rate by up to 30%1
  • Carcass quality
  • Milk production – infestations can cause a 1kg per day drop in daily milk yield1

Treat cattle at the RIGHT time

There is no ‘one-size fits all’ solution to parasite control. Treatment depends on assessing various factors, including pasture risk, animal type and time of year.

For youngstock, monitoring growth is a good indicator of when to treat for worms. If daily live weight (DLWG) gain falls below target, generally 0.7 to 0.8kg/day after weaning, anthelmintic treatment should be considered.

The risk of disease in cattle is later in the season, post mid-summer, when worm eggs have accumulated on the pasture.

A group faecal egg count (FEC) test six to eight weeks post turnout alongside weight/condition monitoring can give a good indication of whether early season treatment is needed.

Dose cattle at the RIGHT rate

When treating cattle, it is important to make sure the right product is being used at the right time. Animals should be weighed to make sure the right dose is given – if animals are underdosed then this could lead to an increase in worm resistance.

In most situations, anthelmintics are administered at a specific dose rate (ml) according to the animal’s live weight (kg).

 Therefore, it’s important to:

  1. Read the product label or Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC).
  2. Ensure dosing equipment is well maintained, calibrated and clean.
  3. Weigh animals or use a weigh band to calculate the correct dosage for each animal.

Responsible use of Medicines

It is important you discuss products and treatment plans with your animal health advisor (RAMA) and choose the product most suitable for your herd and the parasite challenge on your farm.

To help prevent resistance it is important to use the product in the correct way and at the correct time.

Downland Marketing Ltd, Warwick Mill, Warwick Bridge, Carlisle CA4 8RR. Use medicines responsibly:

Control of Worms Sustainably (COWS)