Want to Improve Early Conception? Consider Strategic Deworming

Treating cows can result in breeding back quicker and easier.

An Iowa State University study shows that parasite control is the most economically beneficial practice for beef producers.1 But more specifically, producers who treat both their cows and their calves may set themselves up for greater bottom-line success, even when cattle prices are down.

Why? Because when it comes to breeding back beef cows, the sooner the better. Cows that conceive late calve late, and that can decrease weaning weights.

Conception management tip: Timing is everything

Treating cows for parasites is imperative if you want your cows breeding back sooner.

A cow’s peak lactation period occurs approximately 85 days after calving, and during that time, the cow also experiences a feed shortfall and a loss of body energy stores. This is the ideal time at which to breed back a cow,2 which increases the need for a parasite control program.

Be particular and be proactive

When considering dewormers, take into account when you’ll be deworming and how long the product lasts. What’s convenient for you may not be most effective for the herd. Depending on the product, a second application may be required. Also, take into account cow comfort. Products that control flies during this time can keep them focused on their food and not on flies.

If it’s been a while (or never), a fecal egg count reduction test can tell you exactly what you’re dealing with and what products continue to be effective.

Get the most out of your efforts. Contact your veterinarian to discuss your operation’s needs. And of course, the sooner the better.

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1Lawrence JD, Ibarburu MA. Economic Analysis of Pharmaceutical Technologies in Modern Beef Production in a Bioeconomy Era. Iowa State University. 2009.
2Coppock CE. The importance of an energy-dense diet for high-producing dairy cows. Vet Med/Food Anim Pract. 1990;85:429-434.