Some UK cattle producers could make up to an extra £24 per
animal this summer simply by changing their usual worming regime.
Many worming regimes fail to maximise the financial return producers can make over a 150-day grazing season.
That’s the message from Schering-Plough Animal Health, pointing
out that many worming regimes fail to maximise the financial returns
cattle producers can make over a normal 150-day grazing season.
“With the removal of headage payments, it makes sound economic
sense to keep young grazing cattle growing as fast as possible.
Any first season weight gain setbacks due to worms will be extremely
costly,” says Schering-Plough livestock veterinary adviser
Paul Williams MRCVS.
“It’s crucially important this year that worming regimes
keep the worm challenge low enough throughout the whole grazing
season to avoid growth checks. Worm parasite infections result
in lost income - primarily through loss of appetite and lung damage,
which can slow cattle growth,” he points out.
Paul Williams estimates that around 60% of calves reared in the
UK are done so in a way that puts them at risk from lungworm infection
and its associated growth setbacks, and recommends producers review
their worming strategy urgently to avoid unnecessary financial
losses this season.
He stresses that for optimum efficacy, a wormer should deliver
a uniformly long period of grazing cover for all the major worms
that affect UK cattle.
“To be effective, modern worming regimes must follow product
manufacture guidelines to the letter, deliver a financial return
by helping to maximise weight gain, be easy-to-manage and allow
cattle to develop some level of natural immunity so that wormers
are not needed in later life,” he says.
He points out that farmers using the Autoworm First Grazer bolus
- which provides seven doses of oxfendazole wormer, each automatically
released every three weeks throughout the grazing season - can
expect to make more money than if they follow some two or three
dose pour on worming regimes. A financial benefit that is worth
up to £24 per animal even after taking into account the respective
wormers costs, he claims.
“Part of this cash advantage is down to the fact that an
Autoworm bolus is administered only once at the start of the season,
then keeps on worming the cattle while you get on with something
else. It’s a fantastically simple system that reduces labour
costs compared with more staff-intensive, multi-dose pour on regimes
that must be followed religiously to work effectively.
“On many mixed farms, pour on regimes can be difficult to
implement - certainly around harvest time - but if cattle do not
get the recommended pour on treatment on time, weight gains and
financial returns will suffer,” he says.
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