The weather has been great this fall, says Dave Barz, DVM of Parkston, SD. The harvest is completed and most of the fall tillage work is finished as well. The warm temperatures and lack of precipitation have made it easy to maintain gestating cows. Still, we can improve cow condition and decrease feed costs by simply following a few management rules now.

• Lice – Lice are a common problem in our area. We believe it is best to pour your cows now, before the weather gets cold. Lice reproduction increases drastically when the weather gets cold – pouring now minimizes populations. If lice populations increase when the weather gets cold, cattle may need to be re-poured.

• Deworm: We routinely deworm cows at this time of year. It has become very easy to administer through orals, injectables and pour-ons. In recent years we have seen resistance build to pour-ons. Several local feed stores have done egg counts on herds several weeks after pouring. They found very similar parasite egg counts before and after administering pour-ons. The injectable administration lowered the egg numbers significantly, but orals had the greatest response in removing internal parasites. With new formulations, these dewormers can be drenched or fed in the form of blocks or as pellets mixed in the ration. Once our producers orally deworm cows, they continue to do so because they feel they save feed and the cows are easier to condition.

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