WORMING - FLY CONTROL - HEAT STRESS
Wormers are administered to livestock not only as a treatment to kill internal parasites and to stop damage caused by parasites, but also to prevent pasture contamination and reinfection of the cattle. Strategically administering drugs reduces environmental contamination and infection of cattle and snails.
A strategic method requires proper timing. This means that a drug against a parasite must be administered at the right time considering the parasite's biology. Therefore, the correct time is not when the cattle are confined and accessible, or because it has been a long time since the cattle received a drug, or because administrations are spaced evenly (fall and spring, every 6 months). The correct time is when cattle have become infected, the parasite is beginning to develop and cause damage, and conditions are best for transmission.
Administering a drug at the right time breaks the life cycle of the worms and prevents them from building up in cattle. The right time to administer cattle wormers normally depends on the parasite and the development of optimal environmental conditions, which include moderate temperatures, rainfall and wet grass. For stomach worms, administer drugs 3 to 6 weeks after optimal environmental conditions develop. For liver flukes, administer drugs 4 to 6 months after optimal conditions are present.
Horn fly control can mean an additional 12 to 20 pounds of weight per calf over the summer months and can result in less weight loss per nursing cow. Horn fly numbers can be kept below the target level of less than 100 fly per side through a variety of methods. Factors such as cost, convenience, physical layout, and animal movement between pastures should be considered when selecting a control program.
Face Flies are very annoying but even heavy infestations do not seem to reduce the rate of weight gain. Face flies can spread pinkeye from animal to animal in the herd but outbreaks of this disease occur even when there are no face flies around.
Dust bags are most effective when used in forced-use situations where cattle have to pass under them daily to get to water or mineral. Hang bags where cattle will have daily access to them. Keep dust bags dry and charged.
Use No. 2 diesel oil, No. 2 fuel oil, or label-recommended mineral oil to dilute concentrate. Do not use waste oil or motor oil. Use one gallon of oil solution per 20 ft of back rubber. Do not use these dilutions as sprays.
As with dust bags, these devices are most effective when placed in force-used areas such as mineral stations or entrances to watering sites. Rubbers are more effective against face flies if 18'' strips of cloth are tied at four to six inch intervals along the length.
Service the devices at least once per week and position in entryways to water or mineral feeders
The impact of heat stress on livestock costs U.S. livestock producers approximately $2.5 billion a year, as much as 50 percent of their net farm income, according to a recent Ohio State University study.
When dealing with potential heat stress on livestock, people should keep in mind the weather factors contributing to heat stress and exactly how heat stress works. Most people don't measure humidity when it comes to determining the heat stress threshold of their livestock. Heat stress is brought about largely by a combination of temperature and humidity (what is referred to as the Temperature Humidity Index) and it doesn't take much of an increase in the THI to place an animal in a potential health risk
Guidelines for Livestock:
* Keep an eye on animals and check them often.
* Provide plenty of clean cool drinking water and freshen it frequently. Water consumption may increase by as much as 50%. Add Electrolytes such as Bluelite to their water.
* Provide shade for animals with temporary structures if needed.
* If kept indoors, be sure there is good ventilation. Use fans if necessary to keep the air circulating and animals more comfortable.
Donít overgraze in pastures. Typically, the taller the grass, the cooler the pasture will be.
* Consider feeding more at night rather than in the morning to shift heat fermentation to a cooler part of the day. The heat of digestion can place additional stress on the animal. Consider temporarily reducing amount of feed.
* Work livestock early in the morning to decrease the risk of heat stress. A danger sign in goats, sheep and cattle is panting.
* Do not spray a sheep with cold water to attempt to cool them. While this is beneficial for most animals, if the wool gets wet, air will not pass over the skin and virtually no cooling will occur.
* Don't over-exercise or transport livestock during the hottest part of the day.
* Take care of yourself. If you get overheated and tired, you may not be able to take care of your livestock effectively and you could miss warnings that your livestock are showing signs of heat stress.