Lice in Cattle
Winter is the season for lice and if they are there in numbers in winter they will be there en masse by spring.
Cattle have a couple of types of lice - a sucking louse that sucks body fluids from the skin of the animal, the other is a biting louse which eats scraps of skin.
Cattle with bad lice look awful. They get so itchy that they’ll wear lots of hair off rubbing against trees, gates and fences. Therein lays the other problem with lice - rubbing cattle create all sorts of problems by pushing over young trees, wrecking fences and bending or opening gates.
The best bet is to be proactive and the best time to treat cattle for lice is before numbers build up. Lice aren’t fast breeders so by treating in winter you halt the slow but inevitable build up that will occur on in to spring. This stops the spread to the newborn calves too.
What to use? This is best handled case by case really. There are a few options and the best cost-effective treatment will depend on the age or class of animal and the level of lice infestation. For instance, yearling cattle that are going to get a “mectin” type injectable or pour-on drench in early spring will have most of their lice treated as collateral damage.