In Lancs the vets and techs have been busy putting together Parasite Control Plans (PCP’s) and planning for a summer of worm egg counts. Last year we had farms who successfully made it through the grazing season without the need to worm their animals whilst out at grass. This really helps you through the reduced cost in wormers and time. It also helps reduce the risk of resistance. I thought I’d highlight some of the steps that the farms took in order to have this success.
The Vet, Tech and the farm all collaborate and pull together data from previous and present years such as field sizes, rotation plans, stock numbers and age by filling on the PCP questionnaire. We will take the information away and come back to you with a bespoke plan to take into the present grazing system.
Key historic data needed:
- Products previously used
- Past FEC’s
- Any potential resistance?
Step 2 – Vaccinate Cattle for Lungworm
This is one of the most important steps of the plan. Generally, only the first season grazers will need the Lungworm Vaccination. Your PCP will highlight the groups that need the vaccine. This is a point in which the animals can be weighed to check they have grown at their expected DLWG.
Issues lungworm causes… (as previously stated in Feb ‘22 edition of the newsletter)
- Reduced Growth Rates
- Poor Fertility Performance
- Loss of Milk
Now all you need to do is collect FEC’s and keep an eye on the stock. We have found that the farms with the most success are those that allow the Techs to collect all the samples throughout the season, that way you don’t have to worry about your collection method and you all know how the we love a good plan and map to follow!
Step 4 – Treat Accordingly
You do not need to treat all worm egg burdens. If there is a low count, monitoring with WEC’s is more than enough. Treatment at this stage could lead to wormer resistance. Should you have a high burden, targeted selective treatment should be discussed with your vet especially if you have growing concerns over wormer resistance.
What is targeted selective treatment?
Focussing treatment on animals carrying significant worm burden e.g. only treating the poor conditioned animals in the group, Discuss with your vet the best option for your farm
Discuss with the vet and tech what the plan is for the following year. Should you have found a higher burden of worms on a certain paddock you may want to avoid
this field or put second season grazers on there.
If you treat any of your stock, ensure to take up a follow-up WEC to check that you don’t have any wormer resistance and that the WEC is now below treatment
If you treat any of your stock, ensure to take up a follow-up WEC to check that you don’t have any wormer resistance and that the WEC is now below treatment levels
Please speak to your routine vet if you would like any more information, a PCP plan put together or any help with using wormers responsibly or collecting worm egg samples. Fingers crossed for a dry summer.