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Gain control of lice in cattle

Photo by Anna Hastert

A lot of livestock producers have ran their cattle through the shoot for pregnancy checks, but a veterinarian is encouraging farmers to run them through once more, especially if they’re showing signs of lice.

AUDIO: Larry Hawkins, Bayer Animal Health

Larry Hawkins serves as technical services veterinarian for Bayer Animal Health. Hawkins recently spoke about the effects of lice at the National Association of Farm Broadcasters (NAFB) convention. He says farmers can control lice in their herd as soon as the insect starts to reproduce.

“October through December – Good lice control is achievable. We can treat those animals. The new products have an insect growth regulator in them that kills the egg, as well as the adult lice,” Hawkins said.

Farmers need to keep cattle separated, following treatment. Hawkins says separation is key to a successful treatment.

“If you have some that had been treated more than a week ago (and) bought another group today, they need to stay separate for another week before they get mixed,” Hawkins said. “That’s important to realize – You can’t commingle treated and untreated.”

Hawkins says treating the entire animal also plays a role in effectively treating lice.

“There’s a species of lice that gets on the nose of the animal and another that pretty well covers the body, some on the brisket and down in between the front legs of the cow. Then another that goes down the rear end. If we just treat a spot in the middle of the back, it’s a long ways to get all of those treated,” Hawkins.

Hawkins suggests producers break up the application. He recommends applying it to the poll, withers to mid-back and tail head to mid-back.

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