Fluke Guide

Livestock essentialsLivestock essentials

FLUKE AT HOUSING, NOT AFTER!

Protecting beef cattle against fluke at housing rather than delaying treatment will yield a financial return by reducing stress and improving growth rates.

The transition into housing is a risky time for first grazing season animals, there are so many things to consider; dietary change, weaning, grouping, respiratory disease and how to control parasites, specifically fluke and worms.

A study that examined condemned cattle livers in abattoirs in the autumnmonths found that a high proportion of the fluke present were late immature or adult and it is the adult fluke that have the greatest impact on productivity.

INJECTABLE OPTIONS:

Using a flukicide that targets late immature and adult fluke, such IVOMEC Super, Molemec Super (both containing clorsulon) or TRODAX (containing nitroxynil) will remove the majority of fluke present at housing.

A follow up treatment given several weeks later (according to flukicide label) will remove any remaining fluke and ensure that cattle are turned out fluke free in the spring. In order to ensure that productivity gains are sustained for the entire housing period and animals are turned out fluke free in the spring, cattle should either be tested and retreated if necessary, or retreated strategically during housing. The required interval will depend on the product used.

In a recent study, cattle infected with liverfl uke that received treatment at housing for fluke and worms showed signifi cantly better growth rates than those being treated for worms alone. The 26% of cattle with patent, egg-shedding fluke infections at the time of housing showed the greatest response, gaining on average 20.5kg more than those not treated for fluke over the 112 day study period.

This highlights theimportance of clearing chronic fluke burdens at housing to maintain optimal growth. Overall, cattle treated for fluke gained an average of 8kg more than those treated for worms alone. Those treated with ivermectin and clorsulon (IVOMEC Super or Molemec Super), performed marginally better than those in the other treatment groups (see chart).

Flukes graph
Flukes cow graphic

POUR ON OPTIONS:

The transition into housing is a risky time for first grazing season animals, there are so many things to consider; dietary change, weaning, grouping, respiratory disease and how to control parasites, specifically fluke and worms.

A trial by FAI Farms in Oxfordshire compared the effectiveness of parasite treatments in fi rst season grazing animals. The treatments were either; the fluke and worm pour-on CYDECTIN TriclaMox or the worm pour-on CYDECTIN given at housing. A control group was also given no treatment to determine the impact of delaying treatment.

IMPRESSIVE RESULTS:

The stress of housing and weaning led to an 89% drop in growth rates across all groups. Cattle handled post housing also have the potential for a second growth rate dip of 20%, as a result of being handled twice.

  • Cattle treated at housing with CYDECTIN TriclaMox (fluke and worm) gained an average of 16.1kg.
  • Cattle treated at housing with CYDECTIN (worm) gained 13.4kg.
  • Cattle offered no worm or fl uke treatment at housing gained 8.6kg.

Cattle treated at housing had:

  • The potential to finish up to 12 days before untreated animals.
  • Gained up to 7.5kg more delivering an extra £16.52 per head.