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KayDee Gilkey Importance of Fly Control in Livestock
by KayDee Gilkey, click here for bio

Program: Land & Livestock Report
Date: May 10, 2017

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Did you know that flies cost the North American cattle industry more than $1billion a year in losses and more than $60 million a year is spent on control methods? Performix Nutrition Systems Animal Nutritionist and Consultant Joe Russo shares how such a tiny pest can cause huge problems for cattle.

Russo: “The main culprit is the horn fly. This is a small, parasitic blood-sucking fly that is about half the size of a house fly and they live on the backs and sides of cattle. Each fly will take 20 to 30 blood meals a day times the 100s on their backs that it is significant drain and stress on that animal. Then that in turn causes the reduction in average daily gains, and milk production and feed conversions. That is where that cost is. Also then you have the cost associated with transmission of disease — not only pink eye — but other infectious diseases respiratory diseases are also transmitted.”

Russo says a multi-prong approach to fly control is the best method.

Russo: “The most effective is to feed through larvacides that breaks the fly’s reproductive cycle in the manure. Other methods are sprays, baits, dust bags, fly parasites and good sanitation. Good fly management not only pays, it is our responsibility to provide comfort and relief to our livestock.”

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