Deworming Helps Maximize Grass Profitability

May 13, 2021

Tara Jo Ellerman
Countryside Feed Sales and Nutrition Professional
Internal parasites in grazing livestock operations is a major point of concern. Gains, efficiency, and health are all literally sucked away by internal parasite loads, causing lost profit potential. Implementing and testing a deworming program is essential to maximizing your grass profitability!
How do Worms Affect Your Herd? 
  • Feed efficiency: Worms burrow into the lining of the stomach/abomasum and intestines leading to a decreased ability of an animal to utilize nutrients it consumes.
  • Performance: Animals that have reduced feed efficiency will struggle to eat enough to maintain their body weight, much less perform. Decreased reproductive efficiency and weight gain are often observed in animals battling large internal parasite loads
  • Immune System Suppression: Heavy worm loads result in a weakened immune system in cattle, meaning they do not have the ability to effectively fight off disease on their own. This also leads to reduced efficacy of vaccinations!
  • General health: General “unthriftiness” can be observed when animals are infected with internal parasites.
How do grazing livestock get infected with internal parasites?
Although transmission of worms can vary depending on the type or worm and its life cycle, a general life cycle of most internal parasites can be described.
  1. Livestock ingest larvae while grazing
  2. Larvae mature into adult worms and lay eggs in the digestive system
  3. Eggs are shed onto pastures in manure
  4. Eggs hatch and mature into larvae that migrate up blades of grass to start the cycle all over again.
How Should You Treat in the Spring?
  1. Treat cattle in the chute to clean up before turning out.
  2. Treat on pasture with Safe-guard® to interrupt the worm cycle
    1. Cow calf operations retreat 42 days after grass turn out
    2. Stocker cattle operations retreat 28 days after grass turn out
  3. Retreat stocker cattle again 28 days later to reduce worm load on pasture.
Double check the efficacy of your deworming program 
Contacting your Countryside Feed representative to double check the effectiveness of your deworming program is a great idea! We can sample manure to test for Fecal Egg Counts (FEC), discuss the results with you, and determine if further action should be taken. Regardless of what chute side dewormer you use, Safe-guard® feed through dewormer is a very effective, low-cost way to clean up cattle. One huge benefit to using these feed through products, is the ability to clean up your pastures while reducing stress on cattle by eliminating the need for handling the cattle through the chute another time.

Getting a FEC test on your herd not only increases pounds of beef produced from your pastures, but it can also win you a pretty cool prize! From May 15 through July 15, 2021, all Countryside Feed customers that have a FEC analysis conducted ($200 value) will be registered to win either a Diamondback® 3.5-10X50 Rifle Scope or a pair of Diamondback® HD 10X42 Binoculars!

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