Mark L. Alley, DVM, MBA
Although we have known the importance of internal parasites in cattle for many years, we still face an endless battle to control these organisms. Parasites are the ultimate "survivor". Parasites realize that their survival is dependent on not killing their host. As a result, they have adapted as their hosts (cattle) are exposed to different management practices (including parasiticide products and pasture management practices).
With the current economy, everyone is becoming increasingly interested in discussing financial numbers with farms. However, the numbers do not tell the whole story. It is important to determine the goals of the farm prior to jumping into evaluating the numbers.
In the current economy, one thing that has become abundantly clear is that things are going to change. One of the changes occurring rapidly is the increased interest in allowing the animal (cattle) to harvest the forage growing in the pasture.
Developing herd health programs for cow-calf operations can be time consuming but rewarding for both the producer and the veterinarian if done appropriately. However, many producers think of a herd health program as only a vaccine program. Interestingly, the vaccination schedule and the vaccines that will be used constitute the smallest portion of a true herd health program.