Higher Parasite Resistance = Higher Profit
Livestock farming is an industry that has the potential for significant profits if done right. However, for those profits to be realized, the health and productivity of the animals must be maintained. One of the biggest threats to the health of livestock is the presence of internal parasites. The impact of internal parasites on livestock can range from decreased weight gain and feed conversion to even death. In this article, we will delve into the science behind parasite resistance in livestock and why it is crucial to the success and profitability of any farming operation.
Parasites Have A Huge Impact on ADG’s
Internal parasites, such as roundworms, tapeworms, and liver flukes, are a common problem in livestock farming. These parasites can live and thrive within the host animal, causing a range of health problems that can be both costly and difficult to manage. One of the most significant effects of internal parasites is the impact on the animal’s weight gain and feed conversion. Livestock that is infested with parasites will often consume more feed than those that are not, resulting in a lower feed conversion ratio (FCR). This means that more feed is required to produce the same amount of weight gain, and thus, the cost of production increases. Additionally, animals that are infested with parasites will often have reduced weight gain and can take longer to reach market weight, which decreases overall profits.
Another major impact of internal parasites on livestock is the increased cost of animal care. The presence of parasites can lead to decreased overall health, which requires veterinary intervention. Deworming medications, as well as preventive measures such as feed additives and management practices, can add significantly to the cost of production. These costs can be reduced through the selection of animals with high parasite resistance. Breeding animals with high resistance to internal parasites will not only reduce the need for expensive treatments and management practices, but it will also improve the overall health and productivity of the herd or flock.
Fecal egg counts (FEC) are a valuable tool for monitoring the presence of internal parasites in livestock. FEC measures the number of parasite eggs present in a sample of feces, providing insight into the level of parasite infestation in a herd or flock. Regular monitoring of FEC can help identify which animals are most affected by internal parasites, allowing farmers to make informed decisions about treatment and management practices.
It is also important to note that the presence of internal parasites can negatively impact the fertility of animals. Parasite infestation can lead to decreased feed intake, which can result in decreased reproductive performance. This can significantly impact the profitability of a ranching operation, as it decreases the number of offspring produced and sold for profit.
To minimize the impact of internal parasites on a ranching operation, breeding animals with high parasite resistance is essential. This can be achieved through selection for resistance traits in the herd or flock, as well as through the use of genetic testing and other management practices. By breeding animals with high resistance, ranchers can reduce the need for costly treatments and management practices, and improve the overall health and productivity of the herd or flock.
In summary, internal parasites are a major threat to the health and productivity of livestock. Regular monitoring of FEC, as well as the selection of animals with high parasite resistance, are crucial. Parasite resistance is one of the most critical factors in the success and profitability of any livestock operation. The impact of internal parasites on weight gain, feed conversion, animal care costs, and reproductive performance can be significant. By focusing on breeding animals with high resistance, farmers can minimize the impact of internal parasites on their operations and improve their overall profits.
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