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Parasite watch (March 24)

Tips for turnout

At turnout, calves and heifers are particularly susceptible to gutworm infections, which can have a significant negative impact on growth, health, and future productivity.

Taking steps to prevent high worm burdens and parasitic disease in the early part of the grazing season can support growing cattle to achieve their lifetime productive potential.

Sioned Timothy, Technical Services Manager

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health

Before turnout, assess your pasture. Select the cleanest paddocks for calves and any young animals entering their first or second grazing season. This avoids exposing them to high levels of gutworm larvae on the pasture and reduces the likelihood of high worm burdens before mid-summer.

Weigh your animals before turnout and track average daily liveweight gains through the grazing season. This will help to identify individual animals that could benefit from a worm treatment later in the summer.

It’s not always necessary to worm the whole group – cattle meeting growth targets can be left untreated. This reduces overall wormer use and retains some worms ‘in refugia’ in untreated animals, helping to lower the risk of wormer resistance.

Plan grazing rotations to minimise worm infection. Move younger, more susceptible animals to lower-risk pastures later in the season to reduce overall worm burdens. Silage or hay aftermath is ideal.

Where grazing is restricted, give younger animals priority to cleaner pastures. Generally, adult cattle will have developed immunity to gutworms and are at less risk of acute parasitic disease.

When worming is necessary, talk to your vet or suitably qualified person (SQP) at your local agricultural merchant, about the most appropriate wormer for the parasites you’re targeting.

EPRINEX® Pour-On is a tried and tested zero-milk withhold wormer that treats and provides protection against reinfection with the most pathogenic gutworm species Ostertagia ostertagi and the cattle lungworm for up to 28 days.

EPRINEX® Pour-On for beef and dairy cattle contains eprinomectin. POM-VPS. Advice should be sought from the prescriber. Further information available in the SPC or from Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health UK Ltd, RG12 8YS, UK. Tel: 01344 746957. Email: EPRINEX® and the Steerhead® logo are registered trademarks of Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health France SCS, used under licence. ©2024 Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health UK Ltd. All rights reserved. Date of preparation: Feb 2024. UIBOV-0015-2024. Use Medicines Responsibly

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