Feedpad management

Feedpad management offers a non-chemical means of reducing cattle tick numbers on cattle. The use of an intensive feedlot can eliminate ticks from cattle if the engorged ticks are all crushed after they drop from the cattle or the eggs and larvae all perish in the feedlot environment. Using a feedpad in conjunction with pasture or crops may help to reduce tick numbers if used strategically. Over 90% of fully engorged female ticks drop from cattle before 5 am to lay eggs on the pasture. If animals are brought in to a feedpad between 2 am and 6 am, the majority of engorged cattle ticks will drop onto ground unsuitable for tick and egg survival (too dry and no grass) and they will be crushed underfoot if the feedpad area is restricted and not too large. This will keep the tick burden off pastures. A feedpad management strategy needs to be optimised farm by farm. Although there are no chemical costs, there could be an increase in feed costs and feedpad related issues such as mastitis or foot problems may increase.