Spring Deworming the Best

It's more a herd efficiency than herd health issue.

Published on: Jan 29, 2009

One of the big animal health companies is offering a guarantee program which focuses on a valuable principle, regardless of who's dewormers you're using.

Frank Hurtig, director of Merial Veterinary Services says that company's Ivomec Challenge encourages spring-calving cow-calf producers to use parasite control in the spring instead of the more typical fall deworming schedule.

"The bigger benefit from parasite control is in the spring," Hurtig says.

Spring deworming advantages can include:
• Increased weaning weights
• Higher reproductive performance because of higher body condition scores.
• Lowered pasture parasite loads and therefore lower calf parasite infections

In fact, spring deworming is more a herd efficiency issue than a herd health issue, says Michael Hildreth, South Dakota State University parasitologist.

To that, Hurtig reminds producers research has shown cows treated for parasites at spring turn-out have a 12% reproductive advantage over untreated cows.

But Hurtig adds that various dewormers have different efficacies on various parasites. Some drench-type and white dewormers have little or no residual activity, for example.

Merial's Spring Challenge tells spring-calving producers if they use any of the four Ivomec products on their cows and spring-born calves, then weigh calves at fall weaning. If the increase in 205-day adjusted weight doesn't cover the purchase price of the Ivomec product, Merial will provide an equal number of doses of any Ivomec product.