Feedlots

While you may be researching or planning a program for a specific parasite that is a problem for your property, it pays to be aware of what other parasite risks may be approaching and make an integrated plan.

Programs for the key parasites, ticks, buffalo fly, lice, worms and fluke can be opened below. The recommendations are generic and therefore need to be customised to the needs of individual producers and delivered by those with knowledge in the field.

Be aware that chemical resistance can develop in both targeted and non-targeted parasites.

Use of chemicals to control one type of parasite can also unintentionally select for resistance in a different group of parasites. It is important to read the label to determine which parasites will be controlled. Resistance is a significant issue in ticks, buffalo flies and cattle worms. When choosing a chemical to control one of these parasites, consider the possible side effects of increasing selection for resistance to the others.

Strategies for delaying the emergence of chemical resistance include:

  • Where possible include non-chemical control strategies to reduce reliance on chemical treatments.
  • Avoid frequent use of the same chemical or chemicals within the same chemical group.
  • Don’t under-dose products as this allows the more tolerant pests in a population to survive. Common causes of under-dosing include under-estimating the weight of animals being treated, poor application technique, and mis-calibrated application equipment.
  • Use chemicals according to the product label.

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Worms

  • A feedlot induction drench for internal parasite control is advised for cattle under 2 years old and if droughted, weak stock.
  • Treatment for fluke is also recommended if animals have come from fluke areas.
  • Without an induction drench, the parasites inside wormy cattle will continue to thrive unchecked, causing diminished performance and reductions in health throughout the feeding period.
  • No scheduled calendar treatments are necessary for worm control as the feedlot environment is unsuitable for re-infection.

Flies

Buffalo flies House flies Stable flies

  • Buffalo flies are normally not a problem in cattle feedlots.
  • House flies and stable flies can be a problem in spring and autumn, or following rain.
  • Fly numbers should not be managed on a scheduled calendar basis. They are best managed using cleaning and biological methods, and only with chemical treatments if predetermined population threshold levels have been exceeded (see treating surrounds).

Lice

  • Lice and mite infestations can spread quickly in feedlots due to the close proximity of animals.
  • A feedlot induction treatment that provides lice and mite control is good practice.
  • Cattle that are under stress from poor nutrition or disease and older animals tend to be more susceptible to lice.

Ticks

  • Cattle ticks are not a problem in feedlots.
  • In intensive feedlots engorged ticks drop from cattle and are crushed under foot.
  • Any eggs and larvae that survive will perish in the feedlot environment as it is too dry, and there is no grass.