An investment in excellent grassland management is not fully exploited if growth rates at grazing are not maximised.
One person who is very aware of these criteria is Richard Scott who runs a 320 cow dairy herd to provide a consistent supply of milk, all year round, to the Orkney creamery which is majority owned by the island farmers.
Richard Scott explains: “No matter how productive pasture may appear to the naked eye there lurks the unseen but ever present threat of roundworm.
“For this reason we ensure season-long protection by a single treatment with Cydectin 10% LA for Cattle given as a sub-cutaneous injection at the base of the ear.”
He added: “This treatment just before turnout plays a crucial role in making sure heifers grow well at grass and are in optimum condition for breeding.
“Putting them through the cattle crush for this is simple, safe and highly effective. Then before housing in October they are wormed again using a pour-on formulation.
“These treatments are needed to maximise growth rates and make best possible use of grazed grass.”
Long before this latest treatment became available Richard says worm control was a key part of cattle health protection at the family’s Caldale farm: “We once had a group of cattle that had not been wormed and their dull and dirty coats were more than enough to make us realise its importance. It’s not easy to put a financial figure on this, but you can’t beat seeing healthy cattle with shiny coats.”
As evidence of the success of this health plan the dairy herd produces just under 9000 litres/cow/year at 3.86% butterfat and 3,3% protein on twice a day milking. Nutrition is a TMR ration with a top up according to individual cow yield in the parlour.
Aurelie Moralis, Veterinary Surgeon with Zoetis comments: “The financial implications of poor worm control can be considerable. For example, with effective control on good pasture, 1.0kg/day liveweight gain should be possible.
“Only a 10% shortfall from this could mean an additional 20 to 30 days delay to reach target weight at bulling.
“There are numerous options available for protecting growing cattle from worm infestations,” she adds.
“But one increasingly used option is treatment with Cydectin 10% LA for Cattle as this gives season long protection with a single treatment. It is administered as a sub-cutaneous injection at the base of the ear.”
Cydectin 10% La for cattle contains moxidectin. POM-VPS. For further information, please contact Zoetis, Walton Oaks, Dorking Road, Walton-On-the-Hill, Tadworth, Surrey, KT20 7NS. Use medicine responsibly. (www.noah.co.uk.responsible)