You need the right wormer for the right animal at the right time

Countless farmers attempt to avoid depending too much on individual wormers. Yet, farm-specific elements like clinical signs of infection, production performance, and grazing pressure need consideration. This is vital when creating a parasite control plan and deciding when to use wormer.

Parasitic gastroenteritis tends to be caused by gutworms Cooperia and Ostertagia. Their lifecycle depends on favourable climate conditions and the presence of host animals. As pasture contaminations accumulate, the risk of disease goes up during the summer. Consequently, the two peak times of risk are 3 to 4 weeks post turnout and afterwards in July.

Different animals

Calves in their initial grazing season are naive. As such, they are in danger of parasitic infection. Although, it is crucial that the youthful cattle receive enough exposure to infection before worming. This will allow for natural immunities to form.

As for older, second season cattle, they should have a degree of gutworm immunity. So, it is essential to balance the requirement to treat with the effects on the performance and wellbeing of cattle, and a suitable approach to the prescribing and employment of anthelmintics. Where they can, management groups need to remain separate. Create different treatment regimes for them.

Restricted clean pasture

Farms possessing restricted clean pasture are thought of as high risk. Thus, cattle with lower immunity need careful monitoring. You’ll also need a season-long worming programme in place. After 3 to 4 weeks on pasture, they will have picked a few worms up. Most critically, they will have gained some immunity. At this stage, a first wormer treatment could be necessary.

Pasture that is not utilised by cattle in the last year or silage aftermath is smaller in risk. So, you should consider moving first season calves there to prevent peak infection during June/July. There may be doubts relating to the amount of pasture contamination. Here, Faecal Egg Counts 6 to 8 weeks post turnout will aid you in examining the worm burden.

Think about the persistency of wormers

Levamisole can prove useful when balancing treatment and exposure. It lacks persistency. So, it can work as an initial grazing treatment or ‘primer dose’ that lets immunity develop after gutworm exposure early in the season.

Persistent wormers carry on keeping cattle safe from re-infection following treatment. Actives like dormacetin that possess persistency mean you might not need extra worming for another 6 to 8 weeks after treatment. This can provide practical, efficient treatments for management groups you don’t handle regularly.

It is possible for both products to be prescribed after or before other wormer classes. This will offer efficient and responsible parasite control strategies. These are ones that balance persistency, treatment, and immunity when needed.

Cases of lungworm tend to happen later in summer, but it can prove unpredictable. As such, you need to stay vigilant for the initial signs of coughing. At the first sign of infection, treat the whole management group.

Calves raised off-farm or brought-in stock risk bringing parasites in. These may be ones that also resist treatment. The recommendation is to treat brought-in cattle for gutworms using an efficient anthelmintic. After this, you should quarantine them for 48 hours minimum.

A liver fluke treatment might be necessary too for brought-in cattle. This depends on the originating farm. Combination products of flukicide and wormers can prove useful in these circumstances.

With the cattle, you need to graze them on ‘dirty’ pasture after treatment. You will be able to dilute the proportion of possibly resistant worms or fluke.

Talk to us about the ins and outs of wormer

At JS Hubbuck Ltd, we make sure that our customers have all the products they need to keep their animals healthy. This includes feeds, bedding, and handling or housing systems.

Wormer merchandise in particular can be important for animal health. However, you need to use it correctly, not relying on it and risking building too much resistance.

If you’re interested in buying any products, feel free to get in touch with us.