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Profit from Fencing What’s the Buzz on Fly Control?

Reproductive Management

Hereford Breed

Product Review

Branding Irons Join the Belted Galloway Society breeders in owning an extraordinary beef breed. Purchase cattle at our National Sale on April 30th, 2011 For details visit us at www.Beltie.org or call 608-220-1091 April 2011 | americancattlemen.com AVAILABLE NATIONWIDE

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americancattlemen.com | April 2011


c o n tents Vol.37 No.04 April 2011

feature stories 10 Profit From Fencing

By Connie Krider No matter where you’re located or how many animals you tend to, fencing is a necessary part of the cattle business. See which type will be most efficient for your operation.

18 What’s the Buzz on Fly Control?

By Pierce H. White, DVM - Animal Care Hospital Dr. White provides possible solutions to one of the most universal problems throughout the cattle industry.

22 Reproductive Management - Monitoring Patterns of First Inseminations using Graphs By Steve Stewart - Valley Ag Software Graphs are just one more tool in your arsenal to keep your cattle operation running as smoothly as possible by tracking patterns in your herd.

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americancattlemen.com | April 2011

departments 26 Product review Branding irons

30 shoot-n-the bull


Baits

These are often used around barns. They may decrease the number of flies in the barn, but you’ll have to use LOTS of bait stations for control. I’ve noticed that the flies seem to like manure and cattle better than the baits. This is most beneficial in the barns where humans hang out instead of cows.

Oral Larvicides

The life cycle of the Fly starts when the adult lays eggs in manure. These eggs then hatch into the larval stage (maggots) that feed off of the fecal matter until they change into the pupal stage and finally back to an adult. The oral larvicides work by preventing the completion of the cycle. When the cow consumes this product, its manure will kill fly larvae. If you are using a mineral supplement to administer, you hope that each cow and calf will take in enough larvicide to be effective. The pupae, the eggs and the adult fly are not affected. These are helpful in reducing the rapid multiplication of flies, but since they do not actually kill flies, the manufacturer recommends that you use additional control measures. It might be beneficial if you go ahead and buy some for your neighbor as well. Remember to start very early in your fly season.

be changed very easily and there aren’t as many options as there are with liquid products. They are also helpful with lice control.

Backrubbers

When I was younger I remember when burlap bags were wrapped and wrapped and wrapped around wire and secured every few inches with more wire or bailing twine. They were effective, but very tedious to make, didn’t hold insecticides very long and were pretty much shot at the end of the season. Not to mention that I don’t have a lot of burlap bags around my barn anymore. Now we can purchase the Cattle Rubs already made. They serve as their own reservoir and can last for several seasons. These have some of the same benefits as the oilers, but they are much less expensive and much more adaptable to many

Fly Parasites

Nematodes and parasitic Wasps that kill certain stages of the fly can be used with heavy concentrations of cattle and intensive management. They need to be started early enough in the year and applied to the environment often (sometimes weekly) for control.

Oilers

These products apply insecticide to the cattle. As they walk underneath, it applies the insecticide kept in its reservoir. These are effective since they can apply a lethal dose of product whenever the cow walks under. One of the advantages is that if resistance seems to be a problem the type of insecticide can be changed. These can be utilized in the winter months to control lice. One of the big drawbacks is the expense of each individual applicator. Sometimes it’s difficult to decide where to put the unit, since buying multiples can be cost prohibitive.

Dust Bags

Insecticide dust is applied to cattle as they walk under and hit the dust bags themselves. These are less expensive than the oilers, but the insecticide can’t

situations. These can be placed in gaps where the cattle are forced to use them or simply placed in an area where the cattle congregate to allow the cattle to use them voluntarily. There are many, many ways to attach these to mineral feeders, creep feeders, or even an old swing set that your kids have outgrown. Using the Bullets to hang down on feeders or Flyps to attach to the Cattle Rub make Face Fly control even better. There is no other product that is easier to change insecticides for prevention of resistance, as well as Lice control in the winter. Because they are inexpensive, you can put several around in different parts of your pasture. One rub can treat from 2 to 200 cattle.

Conclusion

If you have 5 cows you may not be able to justify buying an expensive oiler. If you have 800 range cattle it may be difficult to get them up and run them through a chute for a pour-on a dozen times during the fly season. If your cattle are next door to a feedlot, then simply using a Larvicide won’t put a

dent in your fly population. If your working pens are like mine you don’t want to run cows through to apply ear tags and certainly don’t want to do it again, just to cut them out. If you like trapping, go ahead and play with some fly traps, but don’t expect it to eradicate your fly problems. Think about these variables: • Length of Fly season • Number of head • Need to change insecticides • Ease of working your cattle • Concentration of cattle • Proximity to other cattle • Available labor • Farm layout • Cost (this one is usually at the top of my list) Do some figuring and think about what will work best for your situation. Just because something works great for one farm doesn’t mean that it will work well for you or meet your needs. April 2011 | americancattlemen.com

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americancattlemen.com | April 2011

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