Don’t Forget This as Part of Preconditioning Beef Calves
See an important step for putting weight on beef calves.
In Florida, April is part of the spring working season for cattle operators, and they are busy vaccinating their cows and calves, with a focus on parasite control. For those looking to precondition their beef calves to bring top dollar, you’ll want to make sure that deworming your beef calves is part of the process If you’re weren’t planning on doing so. In terms of money and the health of the animals, research proves “a good parasite-control program leads to weight gains and improved overall health”, according to a a 2016 article in Progressive Farmer. Deworming should get as much emphasis as vaccinations during a beef calf’s time in the chute.
The Advantages of Deworming Beef Calves
Research bears out the advantages of deworming beef calves. Matt Hersom, an animal scientist with the University of Florida maintains that “deworming calves while they are still on the cow may be the most profitable decision a cattle producer can make all season long.” Hersom and a team conducted research on deworming in 2005 on University cattle farms from three different schools in Central Florida and the Panhandle.
In the study, 550 3-month-old calves were studied, with half receiving a deworming via a Dectomax injectable and the other half receiving no deworming at all. The dewormed group of calves gained nearly .1 pounds a day on average over those calves that were not dewormed before they were weaned. According to the article, the dewormed calves would have brought $10 more a head when sold at weaning based on 2005 prices, or around $50 a head based on 2016 prices of 2.03 per pound for a 500-pound feeder steer.
Hersom shared that deworming can also cut down on parasite-induced anemia and helps to strengthen the calves’ immune systems so they can better respond to immunizations. Preconditioning your calves is the best way to get top dollar for them, and deworming while the calve is still on the cow is an important and lucrative step.
Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.