Strategic Deworming: Treat at 28

Oct 16, 2020

Tara Jo Bina
Countryside Feed Livestock Nutrition
Strategic Fall Deworming: Treat at 28? F
Deworming is one of the highest return tasks on any livestock operation, especially when implemented at the right time! Fall is a great time to consider taking a look at your strategic deworming program.
What are the impacts of internal parasite infections?
  • 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
  • Anemia and bottle jaw (in small ruminants): These are two serious conditions that occur when sheep and goats are infected with heavy loads of barber pole worms.
  • General health: General “thriftiness” 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. Livestock will ingest larvae while grazing, these larvae mature into adult worms in the digestive system and lay eggs in the stomach/abomasum or intestines, eggs are shed onto pastures in manure, the eggs hatch and mature into larvae that migrate up blades of grass to start the cycle all over again.
Why treat at 28? F?
Larvae will continue to search for a host by hatching and migrating up blades of grass until they are killed by an environmental stressor, like a hard freeze. This makes treating livestock with an anthelmintic (dewormer) after the first hard freeze is a great strategy for any species of grazing livestock! Implementing this practice is a great way to stop the life cycle of worms and minimize the worm load going into spring grazing.
Developing a strategic deworming plan will vary between species, operation, and weather. The best way to implement an effective strategy, that also helps minimize worm resistance, is to consult your veterinarian. Countryside Feed offers SafeGuard® products for convenient treatment of cattle, horses, and goats1. These products can also be available for sheep2 with a Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) prescription.
1 SafeGuard® for goats is only approved in drench form.
2 Use of SafeGuard® in sheep is considered off-label and requires a VFD.

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