Animal feed

Be careful with using wormer to treat lungworm in cattle

A lot of farmers use wormers to treat cattle in autumn and winter. The goal is to get on top of residual parasites, particularly lungworm and gut worms. However, you could actually be doing a lot of harm here. It would be better to use wormer sparingly.

The impact on cattle

While wormers can be effective, especially ivermectins, there are drawbacks. For example, overuse and over-reliance can prevent animals from building natural immunity to lungworm and other parasites. That means there is a higher risk of reinfection in the future. As a result, it can lead to another dose and creates a cycle.

The most important thing to keep in mind here though is relying on wormer can actually build resistance. While a dose can kill a majority of the parasites, some will have higher resistance to the active ingredients. If you use the same product time and again, you could leave animals and pastures with a high burden of worms that are resistant.

The wider impact

Overusing ivermectins in particular has some crucial broader repercussions too. They can be very harmful to insects, particularly dung beetles. These are crucial for soil health because they reduce dung levels, recycle the nutrients, and distribute micro-organisms. More importantly, they help to improve grazing turnover by clearing the pasture quicker. This also reduces the lungworm burden too.

The alternative

Instead of relying on wormer, it would be better to have a management plan. This should include steps to reduce vulnerability, prioritising boosting immunity to prevent disease. It is also a very good idea to start monitoring and managing the pastures. This will let you assess the risk, factoring in what stock was previously grazing there. Testing is also important so you know parasite loads.

The appropriate product

Finally, you should ensure you choose wormers carefully. Instead of relying on ivermectins for lungworm, you may be better with a white or yellow drench. They can do the job of killing the parasites, but with less damage to the environment. Even then, you should only use them as a last resort.

Speak to us about wormer

At JS Hubbuck Ltd we aim to provide the best service and the finest products. We understand the items we sell, from wormers to fertiliser and much more. As a result, we can advise our customers on what to choose. We can even help them with things like application and storage.

If you are looking for wormer in particular, we can work with you to select the right type for your needs. So, get in touch today and let us know more about your herd and the conditions.