How Often Should Your Cattle Be Drenched?

Taking care of the cattle’s health is one of the most important things for any farmer. You must pay great attention to in order to raise a successful and profitable herd.

The failure of the livestock to receive appropriate health care will lead to many health disorders such as weight loss, low milk productivity and a decline in fertility! So maintaining the health of your cattle is very important and ensures you get the productivity you want from your farm.

As we know, there are many parasites that surround livestock, such as worms, lice, ticks, and mites. You should take periodic precautions regularly to protect your herd.

There is no specific answer to this question. Each herd has its own circumstances in terms of the environment in which it lives, the diseases it is exposed to. In addition, you should consider its immunity, the nature of the herd, and other factors that differ from one herd to another. However, we can say that drenching is more common in young calves (every 28-42 days). On the contrary, It’s not very needed in adults depending on its own appearance.

Before we get into the details of how often cattle should be drenched, let us first know why cattle are drenched.

The Importance Of Drenching Cattle

Cattle are at risk of infection with parasites and larvae. They are surrounded by many pollutants that help the growth of these worms and larvae. Therefore, we shouldn’t neglect controlling these worms because they lead to poor general health status of the cattle. They can also make them more vulnerable to serious diseases.

How Often Should Your Cattle Be Drenched?

two cows stared at you

Drenching is more common in young calves because they are less immune. They are highly susceptible to diseases, worms and parasites. so calves are drenched according to a specific system for protection and prevention of expected diseases.

Adult cattle usually have stronger immunity that resists diseases and worms. This makes the drenching process in adult cattle dependent on their case. It is highly associated with the appearance of any worms or their symptoms on the cattle.

When Should I First Drench My Calves?

Young calves usually do not need to be drenched before weaning. Cow’s milk makes the calves immune to worms. So, if your cow is well fed and produces good and sufficient milk for her calf, the calves will resist worms. They will also have a better growth.

Usually, Young claves begin to pick up parasites and worms as soon as they start grazing. So, the best time to start drenching is after weaning. keep in mind that the standard age for weaning calves is three months old. Some farmer prefer to early wean calves during 5 to 8 weeks or even smaller than this.

You should pay close attention to this point. Milk may not protect against fecal worms, although they are not very dangerous in most cases. A few worms are not harmful, but rather they give the calf an effective immunity against pollution and diseases. However, it is better to take precautions.

Some precautions that you need take include taking stool samples. For example, five or ten samples, according to the number of your herd, then examine the stool. If eggs appear at the rate of one egg per gram of stool, this indicates a danger. You will have to drench the calves and follow a system of drenching at an appropriate rate to eliminate these worms.

You may want to read: How Often Should You Feed Cattle Cubes?

How Often Should I Drench My Calves?

The first dose of drenching can be applied when weaning. After that, you will follow specific times for drenching according to the drenching method as follows:

Every 28 Days

Calves should be drenched every 28 days when using an oral dose for drenching. The oral drenching is very short-acting as it remains effective for only 12 hours. The young, immature worms take 21 days to become adults, and it takes another 7 days to put the eggs out in the stool. So You are required to drench the calf with another dose on day 28 (21+7). [1]

In the event that the calves are exposed to many parasites or graze in pastures heavily contaminated with larvae, this will lead to appearance of symptoms and releasing of eggs in the stool before the 28th day.

Every 42 Days For Pour On /Injectio

When drenching calves by pouring or injection, the appropriate drenching rate is every 42 days.  The pour has a longer-acting, it gives 14-day resistance, which means it remains effective after being given for 14 days in excess of the oral dose. Therefore, it should be repeated every 42 days by adding the duration of action of the oral dose 28 days to the duration of resistance to infusion 14 (14 + 28 = 42).

What Is The Best Drench For Cattle?

There are three forms of cattle drenching, each appropriate for specific circumstances, they are:

  • Pour-on Cattle Drench 
  • Oral Cattle Drench
  • Injectable Cattle Drench

Below we will discuss the types of Cattle Drenching and what they are suitable for.

Pour-On Cattle Drench 

It is the most common and frequently used method for eliminating parasites. The Drenching materials are poured using a casting rod over the back of the cattle through the withers to the rump and back.

This treatment technique works by absorbing the chemical through the skin and entering the bloodstream. Then the blood loaded with these substances is absorbed by the parasites and eliminates them. The amount of drenching required is determined based on the size and weight of the animal. Excessive immersion should not be applied so as not to create resistance and weaken its effect.

This method is the best way to treat large numbers, as it is easy to apply and eliminates worms in a short time.This method is not preferred in calves, as it is difficult to apply dipping on young calves unless they exceed the weight of 120 kg.

Oral Cattle Drench

Oral Drench is the best method in the case of young calves, and its price is cheap compared to other alternatives. Therefore it can be applied every month easily in calves. It requires you to have good control as you deliver the liquid to the esophagus through the mouth with a rod, while being careful not to damage the tongue, gums or throat. Also, you should not lose the correct path, then the fluid will enter the airway and reach the lungs, this may lead to pneumonia.

Injectable Cattle Drench

Therapeutic agents are injected through the skin or through the neck muscles. Injections must be done carefully so as not to harm the animal or reduce the efficiency of the immersion, forcing you to buy and use more.

What Is The Best Drenching Dose For Cattle?

The dose required depends on the drenching method used and the weight of the animal. The manufacturer often includes dosage instructions with the medication.

It is necessary to follow these recommendations. But keep in mind that doses always contain a combination product that contains at least two active ingredients. Single active ingredient combinations may lead to the development of resistance against the drug. On the contrary, combinations of more than one active ingredient are more effective. The can slow down the development of resistance.

Abamectin should never be used in calves weighing less than 120 kg, due to the potential for increased risk of abamectin toxicity and death.

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Doaa Salah
The shy one (too shy to put her photo) and the only girl in our team! Doaa is a veterinarian who is passionate about writing content. She knows a lot about animals and birds, as she has been studying them for many years now. Her goal? She is researching and learning to convey to you all the knowledge she have and what's new about farming.