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Genetic Parasite Control in Cattle

By   /  February 17, 2014  /  5 Comments

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Once again we have to go back in time. Cattle in the wild would have had as much parasite resistance
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About the author

Chip Hines was born and raised on a farm and ranch southwest of Burlington, Colorado. After moving to the Kit Carson, Colorado area and working on several large ranches Chip and his wife Judy began leasing land and buying cows in 1968. Unbeknownst to them this was the run-up to the big cattle break in 1974. Their first cattle cycle lesson. Chip has not forgotten! In 1989 he began planned grazing and concentrated even more on his low input philosophy. The years of learning have been published in three books on ranch management, available on his website, http://chiphines.com. Chip now lives in Yuma, Colorado and is still involved in supporting the cattle industry.


  1. Ian says:

    My two cents worth is that genetic resistance to parasites and other pests and diseases is strongly related to genetic diversity, so don’t cull so many animals that you inbreed. Genetic resistance is an arms race between host and parasite fought in every generation. The parasites have short life cycles and thus evolve fast. The host animals must keep reshuffling their genes and evolving new defences. An inbred herd cannot do this. Two animals with different genes for partial resistance to a bug give offspring with two potential defences against the parasite.

  2. Ben Berlinger says:

    I enjoyed your article immensely Chip. Excellent job. Keep them coming…!

  3. Chip Hines says:

    I don’t know what the grazing plan was, but I doubt pastures were rotated, which will make a difference. Working from both angles is always better.


  4. Stephanie says:

    I’m curious, were the cattle in the research group rotationally grazed?

  5. Bill Elkins says:

    Once again, right on, Chip.
    I suspect that systemic anti-helminthic drugs and/or their partially metabolized down-stream products which are excreted in urine or dung may be harmful to some of our newly appreciated allies , the worms and bugs that live on or in the soil. Who knows?

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