Oklahoma Ranchers Can Participate in OSU Research on Internal Parasite Resistance in Beef Cattle

Listen to KC Sheperd talk with Dr. Rosslyn Biggs about the latest research study on internal parasites in beef cattle.

Farm Director KC Sheperd is talking with Oklahoma State University State Extension Beef Veterinarian, Dr. Rosslyn Biggs about the latest research study on internal parasites in beef cattle at the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine.

Anthelmintic (dewormer) resistance is a growing concern, and OSU researchers are evaluating levels in Oklahoma beef cattle herds through ongoing studies. This research is important for the cattle industry in developing parasite management strategies that preserve the effectiveness of dewormers while maintaining cattle production levels for the future.

A study was conducted a few years ago on internal parasites in beef cattle, and Biggs said it has recently been published. The research being conducted today builds on that information and looks deeper into the level of internal parasite resistance in Oklahoma beef cattle.

“This project that we have going on builds upon that information, and we are looking for producers and their veterinarians to take part,” Biggs said.

Ideally, Biggs said they are looking for at least 50 different groups of cattle from all over the state. Individual operations, depending on size, Biggs added, could have multiple groups within their operation.

“They may have the cows as one group, and they may have the calves as a different group,” Biggs said.

For the study, Biggs said they are looking for groups of about 20 head of cattle in each group.

“What it is going to offer is free fecal egg count reduction tests, so you will have to take fecal samples from that group of cattle, you will have to come back and take a second set of those in a specified time frame,” Biggs said.

Area livestock specialists and county-level extension educators are available to assist with the sampling, Biggs said, if needed.

Biggs said after the first fecal samples are taken, producers will deworm their cattle with their regular dewormer, and then the second fecal test after deworming will show what the level of resistance is for those parasites.

“We would love to have more samples from calves,” Biggs said. “We have got decent representation at this point from cows, but we would really like to take a look at those calves,” Biggs said.

The inspiration for this project, Biggs said, is to test the effectiveness of deworming products.

“If anybody has bought dewormer lately, it is not inexpensive,” Biggs said. “So, you want to make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck. You also need to decide on many of these cow operations, some of these groups we are taking a look at have very low levels of parasitism in the cows, so I am a big proponent of pharmaceutical stewardship. If I don’t have to deworm, I don’t want to do that because I don’t want to build extra resistance in my herd, to begin with, but I also am a fan of saving money.”

This particular project will give producers and their veterinarians an opportunity to look at these different aspects, Biggs said, and decide if they need to deworm specific sets of cattle that may have low parasite levels. The study will also help producers see if their dewormer is effective, Biggs added, so they can develop a different deworming plan if necessary.

“We have had reports across the U.S. that resistance has been building in our parasite populations,” Biggs said. “When I say resistance, what that means is our dewormers are not being effective against these parasites. Until the initial study here at OSU, we didn’t have a lot of information about what was going on specifically in Oklahoma. This second study is expanding on that and hopefully will give us a bigger picture.”

This fall, Biggs said the goal is to have sampling finished by early November, but producers can also sign up now to participate in the spring and summer of 2024.

Take a picture of this QR code with your phone and it will take you directly to the study.

Producers interested in participating in the study can sign up and read more online at https://okstatecasnr.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cAtiVIHwoLyow50

Producers can also sign up by contacting their local extension educators, or Dr. Rosslyn Biggs directly at rosslyn.biggs@okstate.edu.

Verified by MonsterInsights