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Cattle Parasites

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Date:  April 2, 2021
Agent:  Damon Pollard

This is Damon Pollard, Livestock Agent with The North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service-Burke center. Today’s topic is cattle parasites.

With our recent weather trends, we have enjoyed abundant moisture, setting the stage for excessive cool season grass growth. This will make conditions ideal for cattle parasites. The brown stomach worm is the most economically important parasite of cattle. Infected cattle pass the eggs in their manure where they are scattered by splashing raindrops.

Merely picking up eggs will not infect cattle. The eggs must hatch and be living in a droplet of water on a blade of grass, when the grass is consumed to infect the animal. Usually, larvae will exist in a droplet of dew. If the droplet dries before the grass is eaten, the worm larvae will die. This year with abundant moisture, conditions are prime for worm infestation. Worm pressure is exceedingly high for cattle on pasture, and brown stomach worms are tough on cattle, especially calves. They cause cattle to consume less, utilize less of what they do consume and their immune system is compromised. Research has shown that losses of up to 50 lbs. per calf can occur. Deworming in early spring lessens the amount of eggs shed on pastures, so by deworming now you can lessen the risk of infestation later.

This is Damon Pollard, Livestock agent with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service-Burke center. For more information on controlling parasites in livestock, call us at 764-9480.

Written By

Damon Pollard, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDamon PollardExtension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock, Field Crops and Forestry Call Damon Email Damon N.C. Cooperative Extension, Burke County Center
Page Last Updated: 1 year ago
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