Making best use of grazing in 2015 is a must for rearers of all types of growing cattle…dairy heifers, suckler beef calves and pasture-based finishers alike. Now is a good time to start planning how to protect what you value.
It is vital to be aware that gastrointestinal worms can reduce summer growth rates long before signs start to show as loose faeces and dirty rumps, according to SAC beef adviser Dr Basil Lowman.
“Over a 200-day grazing season, unseen worm infections could easily reduce growth by 0.1 kg a day,” he says.
On good pasture, 1kg/day liveweight gain should be possible, according to Eblex. But a 10% shortfall from this could mean an additional 20-30 days of feeding next winter to reach a target weight, or selling a 20kg lighter beast in the autumn. Either way, the likely extra cost is in the region of at least £40/head, calculates Zoetis vet Andrew Montgomery.
“There are several options available to farmers for season-long protection against worm infestations for growing cattle,” he explains. “So lack of choice is unlikely to be one of the main reasons for cattle being left unprotected.”
One increasingly used option to protect what you value is season-long cover from a single treatment with CYDECTIN 10% LA for Cattle (see graphic, left), given as a sub- cutaneous injection at the base of the ear at 1ml per 100kg liveweight. The active ingredient Moxidectin is distributed through the bloodstream, so worm larvae need to penetrate the gut wall, thereby stimulating an immune response, before being killed Another option that has stood the test of time is the pulserelease Autoworm bolus. At three-week intervals, a dose of wormer is released (see graphic, below) killing all the common worms that cattle may be carrying. At the same time, this method also offers the opportunity for a natural immune response to develop. The active ingredient in Autoworm has no residual action so cattle are exposed to worm challenge during each 21 day interval between wormer pulses, thereby stimulating an immune response.