flies on my new heifer's back

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by mucklingmom, Jul 16, 2004.

  1. mucklingmom

    mucklingmom Member

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    Hi, all!
    We took delivery of our yearling Jersey heifer tonight! She's absolutely darling, and already stuck her nose in my hand through the fence. Very exciting for fledgling farmers like us!
    My question is about the flies she has on her back. There are lots of them, and they're pretty small. About 1/2 - 1/3 the size of a housefly, I'm guessing. We didn't notice them on her at the field she came from when we first saw her the other night, but they were on her in the trailer she arrived in tonight. Any idea what these are, and if so, how to get rid of them without pumping our precious milk-cow-to-be full of pesticides :no: ?
    We are grateful for any help from the old pros (i.e. anyone who's had a cow longer than the 2 hours we have! :haha: )
    Thanks lots!
    Amy
    Misty Meadows Farm in Western Wa. State
     
  2. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If I'm not mistaken these are called horn flys. They are blood suckers, and can really hurt your cows output. There is a type of mineral called IGR (insect growth regulator). This is not an insecticide, rather it interupts the growth process. The breeding cycle of these flys uses the cows manure, and they don't travel far, so if you use it on your cattle, and there are no other cows within about a quarter mile, it should do the trick. I know Moormans feeds makes this product, maybe others.
     

  3. angus_guy

    angus_guy Well-Known Member

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    What about the "fly rubs" you hang them acrass the gate they walk through and they rub the cows back with fly stuff the stuff I remember was black and like tar what about ear tags or spray with fly spray none of this stuff is ingested
     
  4. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    angus guy, these are all pesticides, that said, I would probably use them myself, at least until I bred her.
     
  5. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Cows have flies, the best you can do is keep it down to a dull roar.

    Eprinex covers horn flies for 30 days (I think, check the label). Also check for any milk withdrawal.

    I feed mineral with the fly stuff in it. It prevents the larvae from hatching in the manure.

    You can spary the premises with that fly stuff...starts with a "P". You can also spray the cow with it. Mix it with diesel fuel and it lasts longer on them. That's the same stuff they put on cattle rubs.

    Jena
     
  6. pygmywombat

    pygmywombat Well-Known Member

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    I make my own fly spray which works relatively well for the flies I have here in Ohio. It doesn't keep everything off, but it does help cut down. A big barn fan that she can stand in front of will also help.

    Fly spray recipe

    1 gallon apple cider vinegar
    2-4 ounces citronella oil (has to be a quality essential oil)

    Shake before use. Apply as often as you like. I have mine in a 1 quart spray bottle. It works best if you first hose the cow down to scare off the flies, then spray her down really well so it dries onto her skin. Some cows are freaked out by the sound of the spray bottle, so you can also wipe it on her with a rag or sponge.

    Claire
     
  7. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Jena, It's called Pymethrins, made from some kind of orchid that grows in Africa.
     
  8. AR Transplant

    AR Transplant Well-Known Member

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    I use pymethrins and apple cider vinegar. I was told that pymethrins were made from a mum extract.

    CAUTION: I was told not to use any other pesticide on my dairy cow because it is stored in their fat, once there pretty much always there.

    The pymethrins works really well on my cow, I spray it on her just about every day. The only time is was a pain was when it rained about everyday, thus, it was hard to keep on her.

    She has never been in a barn, she just goes to the trees when the weather is bad.

    Hope my .02 helps

    Arkansas Transplant
     
  9. mucklingmom

    mucklingmom Member

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    Sounds great! Where do I get Pymethrins?
     
  10. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Any farm supply store or feed mill should have it.
     
  11. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    I think it's Pyrethrens or Pyrethrins (that's not the name brand but the ingredient). I have some spray and it works for about four days on those horn flys. It is a mild insecticide, not real harsh. One of my cows doesn't mind the spray, the rest hate it and I have to be tricky.
     
  12. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yeah tex, you're right, weird word, huh?...lol
     
  13. shelbynteg

    shelbynteg Well-Known Member

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    There is a newly approved organic insecticide, one brand name is Elector, you might check that out. The active ingredient is something like a spinosite.
     
  14. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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  15. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

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    A couple of organic solutions I have read about but have not tried:

    Biological control: a tiny wasp that attacks the flies.

    Feed your animals garlic: You have to feed them lots and it takes a while until it works (like a month?)
     
  16. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've seen the wasp larve used in feedlots, works well, but probably not in a pasture situation where the pies are scattered around. The IGR minerals are not a pesticide in the respects of being a poison, they do not kill, only interrupt the breeding cycle. If the cow is in a small pen or stall, you could probably eliminate the problem by dispossing of manure immediatly.