Vets are warning beef finishers that poor thrive in cattle can be due to rumen fluke being found widely in cattle at NI meat plants this summer.
Some producers, it seems, are overlooking the costly threat to thrive posed by rumen fluke (stomach fluke) over the summer and autumn.
Cattle generally need at least a 100 day finishing period with most getting concentrates, even when on excellent pasture, to help reach daily LWG targets.
Stock, to finish cost effectively, must be in prime condition and at their most efficient to convert feed into flesh. Especially, as finishing concentrates high in energy and protein are four times more costly, per tonne of dry matter, than grazed grass.
However, anecdotal reports from vets and cattle buyers across the province suggest that rumen fluke and, or, liver fluke are present in half the cattle going down some processing lines!
Rumen fluke is a parasite even experienced finishers do not always realise is a threat to livestock performance, especially at this time of year.
Generally beef producers tend to use combination products to treat animals for liver fluke, lice and worms. It’s important for Northern Ireland beef producers to realise that these combination products do not protect stock from the depredations of rumen fluke.
Instead the veterinary advice is that if animals about to be finished have been treated this past winter for liver fluke, lice and worms farmers should consider treating them now to control rumen fluke.
Especially as the impact of rumen fluke on livestock performance tends to gradually increase so can be hard to detect in time to protect profits.
Oxyclozanide is the only animal health product available here that kills both mature and immature rumen fluke as well as destroying adult liver fluke. Useful, as adult cattle do not develop any immunity to liver fluke