A comparison was made of the material costs and effectiveness of three methods of early season suppression by anthelmintic medication of Ostertagia species and two of Dictyocaulus viviparus in calves, each method suppressing faecal egg output for different lengths of time from the start of spring grazing. The anthelmintics used were: Morantel bolus administered five days before going to grazing; oxfendazole given three times at three, six and nine weeks after the start of grazing and ivermectin injected three, eight and 13 weeks after going to pasture. The effectiveness of each was estimated by comparison with worm numbers in untreated control calves. Oxfendazole, which was active for the shortest time (about 65 days) from the start of grazing (May 1), produced a 78.1 per cent reduction in Ostertagia species and an 84.4 per cent reduction in D viviparus. The morantel bolus was estimated to be active for 90 days and resulted in a 94.3 per cent reduction of Ostertagia species. The ivermectin treatment, which, because of the prolonged excretion of the chemical and different sensitivity of worm species, was estimated to suppress Ostertagia species for 105 days and D viviparus for 119 days, caused reductions of 98.7 per cent of the former and 97.4 per cent of the latter species. Material costs per calf were estimated at pounds 1.25 for oxfendazole, pounds 2.00 for ivermectin and pounds 10 for the morantel bolus.
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