Farmer’s Guide: Why & When Deworm Your Cattle?

Farmer’s Guide: Why & When Deworm Your Cattle?

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By Spy Uganda

Kampala: It is economically important to deworm adult cattle at strategic times to improve production and reproduction. The best times would be early summer before the winter season. Deworming at these strategic times will help to:

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  • Reduce the internal parasite challenge on the veld
  • Reduce the risk of the negative impact of internal parasites on cattle

Of the 3 internal parasite groups (Roundworms, Tapeworms, Fluke worms), 2 are of major importance in adult cattle:

1.  Roundworms cause:

  • Depressed weight gains
  • Poor feed efficiency
  • Reduced milk production and reproductive inefficiency in cows

Although adult cattle may develop resistance against roundworm species, these parasites may have an influence on production, especially when animals are subjected to stress. Stress can include the transition period (just before and after calving), as well as nutritional (low quality /quantity feed) and environmental (drought and extreme weather) related stress.

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2.  Liver fluke on the other hand causes liver damage to such an extent, that it:

  • Deprives the animal of energy and protein (loss of condition, fertility, and growth)
  • Limits the storage ability of trace minerals, which makes supplementation with trace minerals ineffective and leads to suboptimal trace-mineral levels (impaired immunity, reproduction, and production)
  • Leads to a vitamin-A shortage, even on green pastures.

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Although cattle produce “antibodies” that are detectable via an ELISA test, cattle do not develop protective immunity against liver fluke.

Importance of Regular Deworming for Dairy Cattle

Due to fluctuating environments and climates, cattle go through various health issues. However, worm infestation is a hidden disease that is prevalent in cattle all around the world. Until and unless the growth of the worm doesn’t come to the advanced stage and shows outward signs, it is quite difficult to detect the presence of worms.

It is suggested that if you are a dairy farmer, don’t wait for worms to have complete control over your cattle’s health. You better take precautionary measures by doing regular deworming of your cattle and keep the worms at bay.

Deworming helps to keep your livestock healthy and ultimately supports your dairy farming business to flourish.

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Deworming Schedule

As a dairy farmer, keeping cattle in good health must be important for you because only healthy cattle produce a good amount of milk and help you to develop your dairy business. Make sure you deworm your cows regularly and at the right time of the year. Below, we are sharing the deworming schedule with you. Follow this schedule and protect cows from worms.

Type Deworming Plan
  • Liver Flukes
Twice a year in an endemic year.
  • Round Worms
After birth, the first dose at 10 days. Thrice a year with monthly intervals of up to 6 months.
  • Tape Worms
Twice a year. (Jan and June)

 

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