Dictyocaulus viviparus in calves: effect of rotational grazing on the development of infections

M. Eysker*, J.H. Boersema, J.B.W.J. Cornelissen, F.N.J. Kooyman, W.A. de Leeuw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


A study was made of the possibility of reducing lungworm infections in young grazing calves by rotational grazing for weekly periods on six paddocks. For this purpose three groups of four calves each were grazed on separate pastures in 1989, whereas a fourth group served as a permanently housed control group. Two groups of calves were infected experimentally with six doses of 10 larvae of Dictyocaulus viviparus during the first 3 weeks on pasture. In the third group, low natural infections with overwintered larvae occurred. One of the experimentally infected groups was rotationally grazed for weakly periods on six small plots while both other groups were set-stocked. Faecal larval counts and worm counts in tracer calves demonstrated lower lungworm infections in the rotationally grazed group than in both set-stocked groups. However, the numbers of worms found after challenge infection and subsequent necropsy were relatively high in the rotationally grazed group, indicating that development of immunity was less than in both other groups. Owing to the dry weather conditions in the summer of 1989, no serious clinical signs of husk developed in any of the three groups. These dry conditions, however, did not prevent the build-up of heavy pasture infectivity with gastro-intestinal nematodes resulting in heavy worm burdens and serious clinical signs in tracer calves grazing for 4 days in August and September-October, respectively. This implies that rotational grazing did not have a clear effect on build-up of gastro-intestinal nematode infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-135
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1992


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