Housing is one of the best times of the year for treating cattle against some of the more common internal and external parasites, according to Teagasc.

Most beef farmers treat their cattle around housing, but there are so many products now on the market that it can be confusing as to which product to use and how best to use it.

Some farmers also have products left over from earlier in the year and these also need to be considered, it says.

Products vary in price, in what they control and in how they are given to the animal.

Key questions to consider when selecting a dosing product at housing
  • Will type II stomach worms be controlled?
  • Will lice be covered?
  • Do I need to cover for liver fluke?
  • How convenient is it to give the product?
  • How long after housing do I need to wait before giving the treatment?
  • Will I need to give a second treatment and when?
  • Could rumen fluke be an issue?
  • How long is the withdrawal period with any of the products used?
  • What will the overall cost per animal be? 

According to Teagasc, all of the avermectin (any product that has an active ingredient ending with ‘mectin’), and all of the benzimidazole (mostly white drench products) will control type II stomach worms and lungworms.

The levamisole products (mostly the clear or yellow drenches) will not kill type II stomach worms and should not be used.

Some of the combination worm/fluke drenches are levamisole based and so should not be used for a housing dose.

The avermectin products will also control sucking lice. If you are using a benzimidazole wormer you will also need to give a lice treatment.

Depending on the amount of lice present, many of the lice only treatments recommend a second treatment a number of weeks later. On farms that have to treat for fluke, the key thing to watch is the product used, says Teagasc.

Some products only control adult fluke, whereas others will also control immature fluke.

Also Read: Great Value Winter Housing Products

Only a small number control early immatures. Know which type you are using; otherwise, you may only be killing a proportion of the fluke present.

According to Teagasc, many farmers will treat for fluke a couple of weeks after housing (along with their stomach worm and hoose treatment) and again later in the winter to pick up those not covered.

Otherwise, you have to wait too long to give the fluke treatment to make sure that they are all killed with just one treatment.