Many cattle producers use ivermectin in a pour-on form to deworm their cattle. In our opinion, this is not best as is the case with most chemical approaches in agriculture. Here’s why we don’t do it:
- This method of treatment requires the animal’s flesh to absorb the chemical. When we as grass-fed beef consumers are particularly interested in the wholesomeness of our meat, the last thing I would want is for that meat to be permeated with a harsh chemical. I’m not sure if this method of treatment has any effect on those who eat the meat, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. (If you follow the link above, you can see that the FDA requires a 48-day withdrawal period before slaughter.) Ivermectin also is not approved for use in lactating dairy animals which might tell us something as well.
- It’s much easier to de-worm through drinking water as I’ll explain below.
We use Shaklee Basic H to de-worm our cattle. It is a bio-degradeable, non-toxic soap that has many purposes. We mix about 1.5 cups per 100 gallons of drinking water and use this mix as the cattle’s only source of water for at least two days.
We can treat our entire herd with about 3,000 gallons of water and about 2.8 gallons of Basic H. We don’t have to stress them (and us) by getting them in the corral and putting every one of them through the head-gate which could take a week or more of working cattle non-stop.
This method is also used by Joel Salatin and Polyface Farms, and in my opinion should be used by many other farms both conventional and grass-based.
Here’s some pictures of the setup we use.