Monitoring is the key to worm control on Kilkenny farm

Kieran Devaney of Ormonde Vets has worked with client Gerry Brett for four years.

“The farm has a very pro-active approach to health management and over the years we have substantially reduced the amount of anthelmintics used,” said Devaney.

The farming enterprise at Kilmoganny is diverse. As well as a tillage business, Gerry buys in continental beef bulls from the west of Ireland as weanlings and finishes them at under 16 months. He also rears Friesian/Angus cross calves on contract for ABP supplying into Aldi supermarkets.

He brings in three-week old calves from local farms twice a year, spring and autumn, and adds to these management groups with additional reared calves later in the season.

‘Essential to test regularly’

Herd health is managed through vaccination, routine dung sampling, weighing and monitoring, and the plan is reviewed annually.

When it comes to worming control, pooled dung samples are taken regularly throughout the season and the vet practice is able to get results back in under 24 hours for gut worm and 24 hours for lungworm.

If animals aren’t gaining weight as expected or are displaying signs of infection, Gerry and Kieran will run additional tests.

“With so many groups of animals, with varying health status when they arrive on farm, it’s essential to test and monitor regularly,” explained Kieran.

“Although we wouldn’t regularly treat for fluke in this part of Kilkenny, in the past we have identified both rumen and liver fluke in the bought-in stock.”

Around mid-July, some of the group of Angus calves began to cough.

“They weren’t doing quite as well as I would have expected, and I suspected lungworm,” explained Gerry. “We got a sample into the vet pretty quickly and when the results came back positive, Kieran prescribed a pour-on product called Taurador.

“We treated the whole group of 135 cattle on a beautiful, dry Irish summer’s day and since then I’ve been happy enough with their progress.”

Taurador contains doramectin and has broad-spectrum efficacy against a range of gut worms as well as proven persistency against lungworm of 42 days.

“The peak risk period for lungworm is late summer, so it was important to choose a long-acting product. Hopefully it will see them through to housing, but we’ll test them in a few days’ time to see,” added Kieran.

The relationship between vet and farmer is working well.

“Kieran is a top-class operator,” Gerry commented. “He’s good with the farmer and with the cattle and his approach has always been to just ring him and talk to him. Together we’ve been able to make sure we dose the cattle as little as possible and that makes sense on a busy farm like this.”

Further information

Always seek advice about establishing the right dosing regime for your farm. Use medicines responsibly. For more information about Taurador, visit: www.norbrook.com.