Are you ready to welcome cattle this fall?

Having a strong deworming protocol in place at arrival can make all the difference in raising calves that grow quickly and stay healthy.

One of the most important pieces of a good receiving protocol is the dewormer. Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting the deworming program that's right for you:

  • There are multiple parasites that cattle deal with, both internally and externally. Key internal parasites include Ostertagia ostertagi (the most economically devastating), Cooperia spp., brown stomach worm, barberpole worm and tape worm. Lice and mites are the primary external parasites of concern.
  • Understanding the parasites present can help you choose a more effective dewormer and, especially in pasture-based environments, reduce your potential for resistance. To identify what parasites you have present, work with your veterinarian to conduct a coproculture, which determines parasite species. To get a handle on the effectiveness of your dewormer, consider a fecal egg count reduction test (FECRT).
  • When choosing a dewormer, look at the active ingredient for each product. Common active ingredients include moxidectin, ivermectin and doramectin. There are differences in how fast each works, the duration of activity against parasites and demonstrated resistance.
  • In addition to different modes of action, dewormers can also be applied in different ways, the main types being pour-on, injectable and drench. Several products come in multiple formulations to help you choose the best one for your set-up.