Bovine coccidiosis – the facts
As coccidial oocysts are robust and long-lived, calf buildings should be maintained as hygienically as possible; this should include the use of appropriate disinfectants (see table below). It should be noted that many of the disinfectants commonly used on farms are ineffective. Feed and water troughs should be clean and raised from the ground in order to limit faecal contamination and reduce the risk of exposure to heavy levels of challenge. Bedding should be kept dry; ensure there are good falls on floors to avoid pooling of water or dampness of bedding; plumbing should be maintained to avoid leakage at drinking bowls/troughs.
CIDLines N.V., Belgium
Vertriab GMBH, Germany
Table 2. Disinfectants effective against coccidial oocysts
Conclusion Coccidiosis is a common infection of cattle, but the disease is largely self-limiting as the parasites are active in calves for a relatively short time (3-4 weeks) while they complete their life cycle in the host animal. The onset of immunity is quite rapid and disease is uncommon in cattle over 6 months of age. If calves can be protected from excessive levels of exposure to coccidian oocysts by avoiding faecal contamination of feed or water, by keeping bedding dry and if necessary by using prophylactic drug treatment, then they can develop immunity without suffering from disease or experiencing production losses and can grow without any checks.
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