When it comes to parasite control, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” says Kansas State’s Twig Marston. He says strategic control for both internal and external parasites is critical to prevent parasites from becoming a costly production problem in your herd, and he offers these control guidelines:

  • Implement a deworming program for cows administered twice a year – once before spring grazing turnout and again in the fall to help ensure cows are healthy over winter.
  • For improved calf health and performance, include internal and external parasite control among calves by administering a pour-on at weaning or prior to selling calves.
  • During the summer, administer fly control as needed. Marston says fly tags can be effective, but they’ve found that back rubs and sprays also provide good protection.
  • Marston suggests working with your local veterinarian to design a cost-effective deworming and external parasite control program specifically for your operation.
  • Another common parasite control mistake is producers guessing the weights of the animals to estimate dosage. Often the weights are too light and thus the wrong dosage is administered. For deworming products to work effectively, it is important to have an accurate weight on the animal to calculate the dosage.

Next tip: Consider age- and source-verifying animals