Tell me more about spray races

Spraying is a frequent alternative to plunge dipping of cattle and sheep in small to medium size properties, or for treating all kinds of livestock indoors. Spraying allows to use highly concentrated parasiticides that are diluted in water (typically 1 liter product to 500 or 1000 liters water), which results in relatively low product costs per treatment

Spray races are used in many tropical and subtropical countries to periodically treat cattle against ticks, flies and other external parasites. They are an alternative to plunge dips for medium to large properties. As a thumb rule, spray races are a good option for treating several hundred cattle. When it gets into the thousands, plunge dips are usually the better choice.

Spray races are not used on pig or poultry.

Compared with plunge dips, spray races allow a more flexible operation, e.g. it is no problem to change the parasiticide since there is no need to dispose of the old dip wash contaminated with the parasiticide and to recharge it with fresh one, which is always bothersome and expensive for a plunge dip. Spray races are also less stressing for livestock than plunge dips, which is important for pregnant cows, calves and otherwise weaker animals.

However, as for plunge dips, the animals have to be gathered and brought to the spray race, which is always time consuming and labour intensive. In addition, a spray race needs a reliable power and water supply, which is not always granted in rural areas of less developed regions.

Running and maintaining spray races is technically more demanding than plunge dips. The nozzles have to be regularly removed and cleaned and they must be correctly adjusted to have the right pressure and ensure correct coverage, i.e. complete wetting of the hair coat. Too much pressure can result in excessive product consumption. Too low pressure will leave body parts uncovered. Dip wash must not form a mist that will not wet the hair coat properly and can be easily inhaled by tha animals. The bottom line is that it is crucial to correctly train the operators to ensure that the spray-race works properly.

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