The effect of a single anthelmintic treatment of cattle during the early dry season was studied. One hundred and sixty-six N'Dama cattle, 1-3 years old, were selected from five herds. There were 65 males and 101 females divided into two groups of 83 animals each. One group was treated with fenbendazole at 7.5 mg/kg body weight by mouth in November 1992; the other group remained as the untreated control. At monthly intervals from November 1992 to April 1993, each animal was weighed and the number of eggs/g of faeces (epg) was determined. The infective larvae (L3) were examined following culture of pooled samples from each group of animals. In April 1993, 6 animals (3 treated and 3 controls) from the herds under study were necropsied. The difference in the weight gains (4.6 kg) of the two groups was highly significant (p < 0.0001). The difference in the weight gains and the epg between the treated and control groups was influenced by the age of the animals. Of the treated animals, one contained no nematodes, one contained only 25 Oesophagostomum radiatum, and the third contained 25 Cooperia L4. The three untreated animals were all infected. It was concluded that the treatment in early dry season, with an anthelmintic effective against both adults and larvae, led to a significant reduction in egg counts, to elimination of adults and hypobiotic larvae and, consequently, to an increase in the body weight gain by the treated animals.