Season long parasite control in cattle

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Given the variability of the weather, it is hard to predict the parasite challenge from one year to the next. One thing for sure is that the most cost efficient way to grow animals is off grass and not attempt to catch up over winter when feed costs have to be taken into account.

It is vital to ensure that neither worms nor flies impact growth rate during the grazing season. Worms can reduce growth rate by up to 30%1 and flies can reduce growth rate by up to 0.3kg a day and milk production by up to 0.5l a day.

Why Season Long Control?

The key to ensuring that parasites are controlled is to make correct decisions on the type and timing of treatment. It is very important to know when parasites are going to impact your stock, this means regular monitoring and being able to handle and treat the animals at the point when parasites are appearing. This is almost impossible in the UK as every year is so different from a weather perspective. Additionally, as many farms have stock away from the home handling facilities, gathering and treating them appropriately takes additional time and money.

Season long control, where animals are treated with long acting products that offer protection for the entire grazing season could be the ideal solution. Long acting products offer an opportunity to control worms and flies throughout the grazing season, with no need for additional costly handlings.

It is not only the product choice and the time to treat that costs you money; recent studies have shown the impact on growth rate is damaging your profitability.

How much can Season Long Control give me?

Season long control can give you reduced gathering, handling and treatment times in the summer. A recent on-farm study in the UK, involved 200 dairy and dairy cross cattle, half of which were treated once with FLECTRON tags at turnout and the other half with an alpha-cypermethrin pour-on three times during the season. Both groups were dosed with the long-acting wormer CYDECTIN® 10% LA to remove any possible productivity impact from worms.

Initial results showed cattle treated with FLECTRON® had better growth rates weighing on average 12.2kg more compared to cattle treated with a pour-on over the six-month grazing period. This represents a 7% improvement in growth rate equated to an additional return of £23.15 a head.

Labour saving from reduced handling was also significant, with an estimated cost saving of £9 a head or £900 for the 100 head of animals treated with FLECTRON.

Combining all the benefits, the additional value of using FLECTRON as part of season long control was £32 a head more than the pour-on group.

What about worm resistance management?

Accurate dosing of stock is crucial to resistance management (as per COWS guidance).

The ML wormer group, which, for use in cattle, includes ivermectin, doramectin, eprinomectin and the highly potent moxidectin can be rotated annually with another group to avoid over-use. For example, alternating use of AutowormTM one year and CYDECTIN 10% the next is a valid strategy for season long control.

Whatever options you have in mind, advanced planning is the way to maintain good animal health and maximise productivity from grassland.

What are my options?

1. CYDECTIN 10% Long Acting Injection for Cattle – providing the opportunity for immunity development during treatment.

Weight related dose rate, representing a cost efficient option for younger stock. No concern about missed doses in the summer when the farming calendar intervenes coupled with a season long satisfaction guarantee.

2. Autoworm – gives the opportunity to change the class of wormer on the farm as part of a resistance management protocol. No need to set stock and the opportunity to develop immunity due to the pulsatile release of the bolus, combined with a season long satisfaction guarantee.

3. FLECTRON not only acts as a repellent, the active ingredient cypermethrin means as the chemical on the flies is absorbed, they become hyperactive and die within minutes. There is no need to retreat cattle once the tags are inserted and there is no milk or meat withdrawal.