Parasites are as unique as they are destructive. Nicolaas Groenewald, operational director at Biorem Biological Products, advises that taking a general approach to parasite control could be a mistake.
“For most people, the term ‘parasite’ normally includes worms such as roundworm, tapeworm and nasal bots, as well as liver and stomach flukes. But it is more complex than this as each region’s parasite load is unique.
He adds that parasite problems require a very specific, goal-oriented approach. “Meticulous management is the best option for preventing any problems and ensuring optimal herd health.”
Common parasites and diseases
Fluke: Plummeting daytime temperatures are usually the stimulus flukes need to infest earth dams and troughs.
Tapeworm: Infestations cannot be treated preventively and a strategic dosing programme must therefore be followed, especially in areas that have a history of this type of infestation.
Cryptosporidium: Although there is no registered remedy against it, animals dosed with a probiotic often showed a significant improvement in condition during an outbreak.
Adré Kleynhans of Tzitzikama Effective Microorganisms (TEM) explains that any animal, whether in nature or in intensive farming systems, is exposed to parasites to some degree. The risk is considerably higher in the case of intensive farming systems, as environmental factors are determined mainly by management issues such as housing, nutrition, lambing seasons and handling.
When applying a more natural parasite control strategy, the greatest emphasis, according to her, is on the immunity of the animal. The higher the immunity, the stronger the animal’s inherent resistance to parasites. The pressure on the immunity of animals is much higher in an intensive farming system.
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