With 2024 underway a lot of farmers will be looking ahead and planning for the coming grazing and growing seasons. One thing to look at is whether herds will need worming. It is important to control worms when animals are grazing. However, you shouldn’t be overzealous with wormer. That can cause worse issues.
What we want to do is offer five crucial tips to help you control worms with grazing cattle. They can help you to get the best results in terms of animal and farm health. In addition, they can ensure you don’t run the risk of animals becoming immune to the wormers.
Treat the right cattle
The most important thing to remember is the vulnerability to worms varies by animal. Matures cows will typically have had time to develop resistance to many parasites. As a result, they may not require regular worm treatments. However, young stock and yearling stock in their second season won’t have had time to build resistance. You should treat them if necessary. In-calf and first-calved heifers are also more vulnerable, so may need worming.
Select wormer carefully
If you do need to give grazing cattle a dose, you need to choose a product to use. There are a number on the market, including white, yellow, and clear varieties. They can have different active ingredients to kill worms.
The crucial thing here is to choose a quality product. You shouldn’t cut corners with animal health. Plus, cheaper products can often require larger doses. When you factor in more expensive products may have smaller doses, there can be very little difference in the price.
Some farmers have to use more wormer than necessary because they get the dosing technique wrong. It is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines here.
For pour on wormers, never apply them directly to animals in a loose pen or field. This can make it tricky to administer it properly. It is better to use a run or crush to hold them in place long enough for application.
Oral drenches can be even harder to apply. Again it is wise to use equipment to hold cattle still. A head scoop is a good way to improve accuracy too.
Injectables are typically the fastest and easiest option. You just need to ensure you get it into the skin or muscle as directed in the product guidelines. In addition, make sure you use clean needles too.
It is a good idea to group animals by size too. The goal should be to ensure the variation in liveweight is as small as possible. This ensures you are giving a sufficient wormer dose rather than over or under dosing.
Don’t rely on the same product
Finally, and most crucially, don’t just use the same type of product every time. Animals build immunity to wormers as you use them. So, over time they become less and less effective. If you only use a single product and don’t rotate, there will be a time when it doesn’t work anymore. Ultimately, it could leave you with no suitable ones to use.
Do you want to order wormer?
JS Hubbuck Ltd is a company you can rely on for different types of farming. We offer fertiliser, clothing, housing and handling systems, wormers, animal health products, and more. You can ask us for advice about any of them; we would be happy to help. So, get in touch and let us know what you need.