Heifer growth vital in the Hattenbay herd

Sam Newell demonstrates the ease of using Cydectin LA which gives season long protection against worms. Also included is Aurelie Moralis, veterinary surgeon with Zoetis.
Sam Newell demonstrates the ease of using Cydectin LA which gives season long protection against worms. Also included is Aurelie Moralis, veterinary surgeon with Zoetis.

During the summer months, Sam Newell, who runs the family’s Hattenbay Holstein herd in Kilkeel, aims for maximum growth rates in replacement heifers, with minimal handling-related stress.

Achieving this requires excellent grass growth and management, including effective control of gastro-intestinal worms.

Many wormer treatments are available, but most require cattle to be gathered, handled and treated during the grazing season, which inevitably creates stress and potentially disrupts growth.

Many wormer treatments are available, but most require cattle to be gathered, handled and treated during the grazing season, which inevitably creates stress and potentially disrupts growth. In addition, at this busy time of year, the task of further worm treatments after turnout can be delayed or even sacrificed for other farm operations such as silage making.

A few years ago, on advice from his vets at The Veterinary Clinic, Rathfriland, Sam introduced CYDECTIN® 10% LA for Cattle, administered as an injection in the back of the ear at turnout. “At first, we had some worries about locating the injection site,” he says. “But we quickly found that as heifers reversed instinctively in the crush gate, it was easy to access the injection site without unnecessary stress to the animal.”

The result has been reduced workload and peace of mind that cattle are protected from worms throughout the grazing season, with no further handling until autumn.

This policy has produced excellent grazing season growth rates in young stock. By ensuring that replacement heifers are well developed at first mating, they are set up for life to contribute to the performance of the Hattenbay herd. Current production includes a 305 day yield of 9,700kg at 3.8% butterfat and 3.2% protein.

Sam adds: “We put a lot of focus on genetic progress and choosing the right bull for every cow. To protect this investment we need to ensure continuous growth rates with no setbacks in our heifer rearing enterprise.”

Discussing the worming policy, Zoetis vet Aurelie Moralis explains that CYDECTIN® 10% LA for Cattle has licensed persistency of 120 days against the main stomach worm of cattle (O. ostertagi) and lungworm (D. viviparus).

“With treatment cost in mind, dosage is weight-related and so the cost is lower in younger animals at turnout than it would be later in the year at higher weights,” she adds. “The active ingredient moxidectin is distributed through the bloodstream, so worm larvae need to penetrate the gut wall, thereby stimulating an immune response, before being killed.”

For further details Aurelie can be contacted on 07557 076104.