THE transition into housing is a risky time for first grazing season animals, there are so many things to consider – dietary change, weaning, grouping, respiratory disease, and how to control parasites, specifically fluke and worms.
Protecting cattle against fluke at housing rather than delaying treatment will yield a financial return by reducing stress and improving growth rates, according to a recent study.
A trial by FAI Farms in Oxfordshire compared the effectiveness of parasite treatments in first season grazing animals. The treatments were either the fluke and worm pour-on Cydectin TriclaMox or the worm pour-on Cydectin given at housing. A group was also given no treatment to determine the impact of delaying treatment.
The stress of housing and weaning led to an 89 per cent drop in growth rates across all groups. Cattle handled post housing also have the potential for a second growth rate dip of 20 per cent as a result of being handled twice.
Cattle treated at housing with Cydectin TriclaMox outgrew those that were untreated during the 4-8 weeks post housing. It is at this time after housing that many farms would consider treating their cattle, missing out on vital growth rate and profit during the 4-8 weeks post-housing. Animals treated at housing with Cydectin TriclaMox gained an average of 16.1kg; cattle treated at housing using with Cydectin gained 13.4kg; cattle offered no worm or fluke treatment at housing gained 8.6kg
Therefore, treating cattle for worms and fluke at housing has been shown to produce both production and management benefits. From an animal management point of view, it reduces the need for further handling of animals later in the housing period. From a productivity perspective, animals that were treated at housing had the potential to finish up to 12 days before untreated ones and also gained up to 7.5kg more delivering an extra £16.52 per head.
Cydectin TriclaMox is the only combination fluke and worm product to provide both a persistent wormer and a triclabendazole flukicide. Treating cattle at housing rather than delaying treatment has been found to improve growth rates compared to animals receiving delayed treatment or no treatment at all.