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Season Essentials – Livestock Dewormers

Spring Essentials - Livestock Dewormers

We all know warm weather brings with it flowers blooming and a fresh, new outlook for many people. Yet, if you own livestock, spring is also the right time to deworm them. Parasites peak during the spring, and even though your animals may not look sick, that doesn’t mean nothing is wrong. Let’s look at why deworming is a seasonal job.

Why Seasons Matter

If you think you can skip the springtime deworming because it’s’ just another season, you may want to reconsider. The warm weather and green grass that pops up in the southern parts of the country also mean the environment is perfect for parasites to thrive. The goal of spring livestock deworming is to decrease the contamination of parasites in pastures. When it comes to parasite control, timing is everything. When you can control parasites during the spring turnout, it’s a cost-effective way to ensure efficient reproduction and boost calf weaning weights. Calves may need more frequent treatment. Deworming twice a year could be necessary if your livestock has a large parasite load. Treating should begin at 3 or 4 months of age. The farm’s parasite levels may even call for deworming every 3 to 4 months until calves reach one year of age.

Determining Deworming Frequency

How often you deworm your livestock will depend on the type of cattle you have. It also depends on the number of parasites they get exposed to in the pasture. Mature cows typically need to be dewormed once per year and should get treated shortly before calving. That can be a stressful time for them which suppresses their immune system, making your cows more susceptible to parasites. Using livestock dewormers at the appropriate times can help remove and control the most harmful parasites. Many products are effective for at least 100 days and may need to be reapplied after that. It usually takes that long to break the parasitic life cycle, and that’s the key strategy to reducing the parasite burden on the pasture.

Consulting with Your Vet

If you’re not familiar with deworming, you may want to consult your vet to help develop the best strategy. Different products may offer various lengths of time for controlling parasites. Your livestock’s age, category, and grazing history all factor into the deworming equation. Every livestock producer’s situation is unique, so getting the advice of your veterinarian can be helpful. When cattle are dewormed correctly, they’ve been shown to produce more milk, have improved feed and reproductive efficiency, and have a stronger immune system. Sick livestock means costly vet bills down the road.

Read The Labels

Deworming is necessary, but you must use the right products for your livestock’s needs. When you undertake the task of deworming your cattle, you basically have three choices: an oral liquid, an oral paste, or a pour-on wormer. The one you go with depends not only on what you prefer but on what your cows prefer.Controlling parasites can be a tricky business, so reading the labels of the product is crucial. Make sure you follow the directions listed on the label for the best results. Follow the product’s dosing guides to ensure the correct application of the dewormer. You don’t want the parasites to develop a resistance to the drugs, but there’s always that chance, and under-dosing can contribute to that. With pasture management and the right products, your deworming process will be a synch and you’ll have healthy livestock all year long.