Why Farmers Need to Use Cattle Dips
Maintaining livestock welfare is crucial to both the profitability and productivity of any farm. As our understanding of agricultural science has improved, so has the way in which we care for our livestock. Anyone working with livestock knows that sanitary practises are necessary to maintain health and safety for humans and animals alike. Although a farm might not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of sanitary environments, hygienic processes are absolutely essential to raising livestock. Cattle dips are one kind of specialised equipment which has become essential to farming cows.
Parasites and Risk
Cattle dips are primarily used to treat livestock for external parasites, which can be all too common sight on Australian farming properties. Parasites can lead to a variety of complications in livestock, which in turn result in ailment and sometimes death. At the very least, parasitic infestations can irritate cattle and other animals, leading to significant discomfort. Key concerns of parasites include:
Blood Loss – Parasites commonly cause blood loss, which if severe enough, can lead to death.
Loss of Appetite – Some infestations can reduce your livestock’s appetite, causing immune systems to weaken and increasing vulnerability to other afflictions.
Open Sores and Cuts – Many biting parasites can open sores or cuts in livestock’s skin. This increases risk of infection and invites a host of other issues.
Disease Transmission – Parasites infamously act as vectors for disease, transmitting illnesses from one animal to another. In certain circumstances, this leads to zoonotic transmission, or spread through different species. Zoonotic transmission is the cause of most major pandemics and is the suspected culprit behind COVID-19.
The effects of parasites on livestock are completely detrimental to the productivity of a farm. Some of the more common issues include reducing growth or reproduction rates and causing condemnation of some carcass parts at slaughter. Parasites can be an especially problematic threat in the unpredictable Australian climate. Infestations often rise following a period of flooding or significant rainfall – so be alert if your farm is in a floodplain.
Cattle Dips and Chemical Treatments
Moving cattle through a dip can be an arduous process, but its benefit to health and safety on farms is undeniable. The dip is filled with a solution containing diluted pesticides; cattle are moved through one at a time and soaked for a minute or so. Compared to days past, modern rearing of livestock involves the regular use of a dip to keep cattle clean and healthy. This typically occurs on a three to four-week basis, though this may need to be more often during times of flood or increased rainfall.
Workers involved in seeing cattle through a dip must take proper safety precaution as well, especially by wearing proper PPE. Training will be necessary as heavy livestock and chemicals can each present safety hazards in the own right. Although using a cattle dip is time consuming, it is ultimately crucial to the farm’s productivity and livestock’s welfare.
A key part of maintaining productivity and profitability on a farm is ensuring the welfare of livestock. Because farm animals spend their lives out in the paddock, it’s sometimes forgotten that they also have hygienic needs. Dips are essential to any farmer who is serious about the health of their cattle. For more information on cattle dips, get in contact with the team at Steel Supplies Charters Towers.