Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fly Control

You know it is going to be a bad year for fly’s when you have the fly swatter out in February. Our cattle are covered in fly’s already and we are only in early spring. Our herd health work is scheduled in April, fly treatment is part of the program. Our normal program is to pour the cattle with a prozap insectrin 1% Pour-On Xtra then we administer a Vigilante Insecticide Bolus VIGILANTE ® insecticide controlled--release bolus for beef and dairy cattle controls the breeding of horn flies and face flies in the manure of treated beef and dairy cattle for up to five months. The bolus also aids in the control of houseflies and stable flies. We have used this method at the farm for the past three years with great success, at the house due to adjacent farms that don’t utilize any type of fly control we have always used the pour on along with Insecticide Cattle Ear Tags. Due to the very large number of fly’s so early in the season, we are going to change the program at the home place this year to include our normal program of pour on and insecticide ear tags but we are also going to add the Vigilante insecticide controlled – release bolus.

You might ask Why would you do so much to prevent flys in our program?

• Horn flies can cause 15 lbs. to 50 lbs. of weight

loss per head during the summer season.

• At $0.90 per pound, a 30 lb.weight loss results

in a $27.00 average loss per head.

• An Altosid IGR Feed-Thru investment of

$4.50 to $5.50 per cow/calf pair for a summer

feeding season will provide returns from

6:1 up to 10:1.

Research shows that if you can eliminate flys (well at least minimize) the flys on your cow herd it will equates to long term cost savings. Of course I also enjoy the added benefit of less flys in my house, so I don’t have to spend so much time with a fly swatter in my hand.

If you don’t have a fly prevention program in place in your cow herd, now would be a good time to reconsider. The less time a cow spends trying to keep flys off of themselves the more time they have to graze and gain. No matter if you are in the purebred or commercial sector of the industry pounds count, and less flys mean more pounds on your cows.

Face it we all want happy cows!

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