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Parasite Control in Young CattleParasite Control in Young Cattle

We are currently seeing and hearing about young beef cattle that are losing body condition and scouring. Some animals are being found dead or close to it. Examinations of these animals are revealing that internal parasitism is a major factor. Some animals have only been drenched one month ago with an oral drench. There are a number of factors leading to this situation. A major lack of feed is causing animals to graze the sward to a very low level and are therefore ingesting large numbers of larvae. High levels of rainfall has lead to parasitic larvae being mobilized from the dung pats and migrating onto pasture very efficiently. Warmer than usual temperatures have led to a high number of eggs hatching and surviving to become infective larvae. Combine this with the fact that young stock do not have fully developed immune systems to deal with the incoming parasitic larvae and we have the perfect situation for severe infection.

At this time of year it is usually Ostertagia worms that are causing infections. These worms infect the true stomach of cattle. They cause losses due to inflammation of the stomach lining causing fluid losses, depressed appetite and reduced feed conversion efficiency. We usually see a very liquid scour and sudden weight loss. We can see sudden death in a certain type of Ostertagia infection where inhibited larvae emerge from the stomach lining all at once.

There are a number of ways to try and prevent this from occurring. Ensuring good feeding levels is essential. Where this cannot be achieved supplements should be provided. A preventative drenching program should be in place to help young stock in the fight against these parasites. An oral drench at weaning and again monthly until the end of May or beginning of June when an injectable or pour-on drench of the ‘Mectin’ type should be given. Then every 6-8 weeks a pour-on or injectable drench should be given until mid spring. There is the ability to also give minerals with some types of injectable drenches.

The main message is to be vigilant with young beef stock at this time of the year to ensure they have adequate feeding and parasite control in place. We are ideally placed to discuss and help prevent these situations occurring or investigate current cases of ill-thrift.


Udder Health

Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: Quality milk is milk that is produced by a healthy udder, free of unwanted substances (e.g. antibiotics), and stored, treated and processed properly. The starting point is a healthy udder.


Hoof Health

Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: Incidence of lameness varies between herds and varies during the season. Smaller herds still have an incidence of 10% lame cows in the herd, larger herds often show higher incidences: up to 30%. Wet periods will boost the number of clinically lame cows, due to gravel being pushed into existing white line defects, softening of claw horn and washed out races.


Optimising Milk Production, Condition & Fertility

Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: The start of the milking season is an eventful time for dairy cows. Returning from grazing, transition from a dry cow diet to a fresh cow production diet, calving and start of production are all risk factors. Feed conditions at the start of lactation are often difficult, grass quality can be low, available pasture can be low, weather can be adverse etc. In the mean time we expect our cows to produce milk, to peak at an acceptable level and to get pregnant as soon as possible after our planned Start of Mating.


Endometritis & Mmetrichecking

Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: Endometritis is a low-grade infection of the lining of the uterus that affects fertility and increases the period from calving to conception if a cow is infected. Most cows become infected around calving time. Treatment should be aimed at restoring fertility.


Non-cycling Cows

Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: Non-cycling cows are cows that have not yet shown a heat at the planned start of mating. They occur for a wide variety of reasons including low body condition, endometritis, lameness etc.


Nutritional Consultancy & Intelact

Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: Dairy production systems are changing from the traditional NZ all grass, seasonal systems to more supplement based, often split-calving systems. Dairy nutrition is a complicated process and a lot of research is done all over the world to optimize the way we feed our dairy cows.


Heifer Health

Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: Be vigilant with young dairy stock at this time of the year to ensure they have adequate feeding and parasite control in place.


Velveting Stags

Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: Velvet antler removal is defined as a "controlled surgical procedure" under the Animal Welfare Act 1999. This means the procedure can only be performed by, or under the direct supervision of, a veterinarian.


Deer Special Topic

Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: In what has become a regular feature of our May calendar, we host a group of final year Massey University vet students here who are doing a Special Interest Topic in deer.


Tick Control in Deer

Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: NZ has just one species of tick and luckily it doesn't carry any major diseases. However, we are seeing increasingly more properties with tick problems, especially deer farms.


Pre-Lamb Ewe Parasite Control

Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: For those of you that subscribe to the AgLetter - I refer you to the excellent article of the 3rd July issue. As usual Chris Garland and his team get the "good noise" on issues and present excellent information to the industry. This article reviewed the practice of using Long Acting (LA) treatments in ewes pre lamb and my comments are as follows (you will need to read the article first).


Lice in Sheep

Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: Lice infestation in sheep is primarily caused by the biting louse Bovicola Ovis.


Why Use a Teaser Ram? And How?

Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: Teaser rams are entire rams that have been vasectomised. They have both testes still so they are keen to do the job but the operation has rendered them infertile - permanently. They are used to encourage ewes to begin oestrus activity in autumn and if used correctly the teaser rams can get this oestrus activity very well synchronized. This has some big positives - read on.


Toxoplasma Abortion in Sheep

Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: The Cause: A protozoal parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, causing 20-30% of ewe abortions in this country.


Camplyobacter Abortions in Sheep

Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: The Cause: The bacterium, Campylobacter fetus. Formerly known as "vibrio".


Refugia

Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: One of the tools in the parasite battle toolbox is the concept of "refugia". It goes against a farmer's natural instinct to kill every parasite because it means deliberately leaving 5-10% of each mob undrenched. This is done to maintain parasites susceptible to drenches because they've never been exposed.


Reproduction Cycle

Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: Dogs have an interesting reproductive cycle, rather different to most domestic animals that cycle either seasonally or throughout the year. In the domestic canine, females cycle more or less every six months, with larger breeds tending to cycle less frequently - sometimes only once a year.


Feeding Working Dogs

Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: Eukanuba Adult Large Breed Premium Performance Formula. Recommended for large and giant breed adult dogs weighing 25kg or more.


Equine Dentistry

Read more >Friday 1st of April 2016: With the current surge in interest in equine dentistry, more than a few myths have crept into popular belief. Find out more.

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