Beef cattle producers can gain $40/head when they control worms in cattle that are on pasture, according to a recent study by Iowa State University.
The study showed that deworming stockers or preconditioned calves while they are grazing and before sending them to a feedlot provided a better payout for beef cattle producers.
In one trial, 43 steers from Southeastern states varying in age and weight were shipped to a southwest Iowa feedyard, where fecal samples guided a division of cattle into high (HI) and low (LO) parasite burdens. All were treated with the recommended dose of eprinomectin to control what were 92% roundworms (strongyles).
Beef producers may invest in high-quality genetics, feed and nutritional supplements, but those may not pay off without strategic parasite control, the study concludes.
“These parasites live in the digestive tracts, where they cause damage to the stomach, steal nutrients and produce a loss in digestive ability,” says ISU Extension lead researcher Chris Clark.
After 24 days, another fecal exam showed all cattle were free of parasites, but effects of the initial parasite burden were still visible, he notes.
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