Compensating for Delayed Spring Grass Growth14 May 2013
UK - This year's severely delayed start to grass growth makes it all the more important to maximise conversion of grass to live-weight in growing cattle, advises Zoetis vet Andrew Montgomery.
In particular, he suggests that farmers who employ preventive worm control measures stand to gain significantly compared with waiting for visible signs before treatment.
According to SAC beef adviser Dr Basil Lowman, gastrointestinal worms can reduce summer growth rates long before signs start to show as loose faeces and dirty rumps: “Over a 200-day grazing season, unseen worm infections could easily reduce growth by 0.1 kg a day,” he says.
To avoid leaving cattle vulnerable to worms and the consequent risk of reduced growth rates, several options are available, explains Andrew Montgomery. “Cattle that have not been treated already with either a pulse-release bolus or long acting wormer can still be protected throughout the grazing season with a strategic 0.5 per cent moxidectin pour-on regime.
“This treatment offers protection against gastrointestinal worms and lungworm with an eight to 10 week dosing interval. So one treatment now, another in about two months time, then one up to five weeks pre-housing can provide a worm control protocol for the entire grazing season.”
The intervals between treatments allow some exposure to worm larvae for stimulation of natural immunity, then the next treatment kills them before they can have a detrimental impact on the animal.
Two other key attributes of moxidectin pour-on are its rainfastness and low impact on dung-dwelling insects. Moxidectin pour-on is available as CYDECTIN® 0.5 per cent Pour-On for Cattle.
For advice about worming choices this summer and responsible wormer use in general, farmers should seek advice from their VPS medicines supplier or veterinary surgeon.
TheCattleSite News Desk