Deworming is the act of giving livestock animals anthelmintic drugs called dewormer, to get rid of parasitic worms such as roundworm, tapeworm etc. affecting the animals. Livestock animals need to be dewormed on a regular basis, say every four months or twice in a year. Deworming is one of the important managerial practices in a livestock farm.
This must be done to improve the health condition of the animals and also enhance their productivity. There are different types of intestinal worms affecting livestock animals; also, there are different types of dewormers used in getting rid of these parasitic intestinal worms. A good farmer needs to have adequate knowledge about these two key factors.
Worms Affecting Livestock Animals
There are four major types of worms affecting livestock animals; they are:
- Nematodes or Roundworm
- Cestodes or Tapeworm
- Trematodes or Flatworms
- Protozoan or coccidia
These worms affect various portions of the animal’s system; they show different signs of infestation. Roundworms and flatworms rob farm animals of blood and nutrient; this leads to the poor health status and loss of vigor of such animal. Worm infestation generally leads to:
- Poor health condition
- Low productivity
- Loss of profit
- Waste of time and resources
- Death in severe cases
Generally, worm infestation occurs from the nature of the feed farm animals eat; this is why it is imperative farmers deworm their stock periodically. Worms do not multiply in their host; worms lay their eggs in the grass, which transform into larvae. Animals eat the larvae with the grasses when grazing. The larvae enter the body of the animal and develop into adult worms. The adult worms produces egg, which are dropped back to the ground as the animal defecates.
There are different types of dewormers used to control internal parasites or worms. Some are broad spectrum, that is, control more than one worm while others are narrow spectrum, they are meant for just a particular type of worm. Below are the various examples of dewormers and the kind of worms they control. The first eight (8) are broad-spectrum anthelmintic or dewormers while the last five (5) are narrow spectrum, majorly for controlling just one type of worm.
- Albendazole: Also known as albendazolum, albendazole is an effective dewormer used in livestock farm to treat parasitic worms. It is a broad spectrum anthelmintic or dewormer; it is best used for controlling: Roundworms, Liver flukes and Tapeworm.
- Fenbendazole: This is another broad-spectrum anthelmintic or dewormer; it is effective in controlling Roundworms, Liverflukes, and Tapeworm
- Ivermectin: This is also a broad spectrum dewormer. It is very effective in controlling Roundworm, Lungworms and Stomach worms.
- Levamisole: This is a broad spectrum dewormer used in treating parasitic worm infection. It is specifically used in controlling two types of worms. They are: Roundworm and Stomach worm.
- Mebendazole: This is another broad-spectrum dewormer effective in controlling parasitic worm infestation. They are best used in controlling: Roundworms, Liverflukes, and Tapeworm.
- Oxyfendazole: This is also a broad spectrum anthelmintic used in controlling Roundworms, Liverflukes, and Tapeworm.
- Piperazine: This type of broad-spectrum dewormer is used in controlling Roundworm and Ascaris.
- Thiabendazole: This is another broad-spectrum dewormer specialized in controlling Roundworm and Lung worm.
- Morantel: This is a narrow spectrum anthelmintic. It is a type of dewormer used to effectively control an intestinal worm called Roundworm.
- Flukazole: This is another type of dewormer. It is a narrow spectrum dewormer; it is best used to control Liverflukes
- Nitroxymil: This is another type of narrow spectrum anthelmintic or dewormer used to control Roundworm.
- Oxyclozanide: This is a narrow spectrum anthelmintic. It is best used to control Liverflukes.
- Triclabendazole: It is another type of narrow spectrum dewormer best used in controlling Liverflukes.
These are the types of dewormers and the types of worms they control effectively. You can also use any of them, especially the broad spectrum dewormers, as a preventive measure against worm infestation.
Precautions To Take When Deworming Farm Animals
Follow the below precautions when deworming your farm:
- Follow the right dosage as prescribed by the manufacturer of the dewormer.
- Do not deworm young animals. For cattle, goat, and sheep; deworm when they are above 4-5months of age. While for poultry birds, deworm at 4-5 weeks of age.
- Do not slaughter the animal or consume its products like milk, egg or meat; for at least 3 weeks after deworming. The above dewormers are synthetic compounds and tend to have residual effects on human upon consumption. However, you can as well use organic dewormers which are safe for human consumption as they contain chemical compounds.
To boost the productivity of your farm; ensure you add deworming to your managerial activities. Intestinal parasites or worms are pests to livestock and can inflict on them great pain, leading to poor growth and production.