A new beef drench capsule, called Alpheus, has been launched onto the market. The product was designed to optimise growth rates of young dairy stock through their first autumn. Trials on beef cattle properties have indicated there is definitely potential for enhanced productivity for beef farmers.
The capsule looks similar and uses the same technology that is in the long acting sheep versions i.e. the pre lamb Bionic and Extender SeCo capsules. The differences are the length of action is longer @ 125 days, the active is abamectin alone (although there are one off priming doses of levamisole and oxfendazole given with each capsule) and there are no selenium or cobalt minerals included. The capsule is made for cattle in the weight range of 150 to 300kg.
It is administered by applicator with the 2 priming tablets. The with-holding period is 180 days for meat and milk. Specific trials have indicated additional weight gains of up to an additional 10% of initial liveweight compared to a control of monthly oral drenching with a triple combination drench.
The main benefits are the potential to enhance growth rates during the autumn growth period and the convenience of 1 treatment through this high challenge period. The risk to manage is selection pressure for resistant worms typical of long acting treatments, especially those that contain a single active.