Source: AgriLife Today
Following recommendations to treat the threat of internal parasites in cattle herds is a proactive way to protect production gains, and therefore profits.
Dr. Jason Banta, AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist, Overton, said internal parasites can cause reduced appetite, reduced digestion and absorption of nutrients, lessened immune function, reduced performance, such as lower calf and yearling growth rates, and lower pregnancy rates in cows.
Banta said it’s important for producers to consider their environment and stocking rates when it comes to internal parasites. Recommendations for the northern half of the U.S. are vastly different than the southern half.
Similarly, parts of Texas that receive more rainfall — like East Texas — face more challenges when it comes to parasites, he said. Parasite eggs spread through cow manure and rainfall allows larvae to emerge from manure piles and crawl up blades of grass, where they are consumed by cows.
Stocking rates also factor into deworming recommendations, Banta said. For instance, internal parasites are a bigger problem when cow-calf pairs are stocked at 3 acres per pair compared with 15 or 100 acres per pair, Banta said.
Banta said producers typically treat cattle for gastrointestinal roundworms with products administered as pour-ons or injectables. He said the main culprits, Ostertagia ostertagi and Haemonchus placei, can be treated with macrocyclic lactones, including Eprinex , Cydectin, Dectomax and Long Range.
Cooperia species can be a problem in cattle that are less than 1 year old. The “white dewormers” like Safeguard, Synanthic and Valbazen are probably the best choices to control this group of worms, he said. When cattle get older they generally develop good immunity to this group.
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