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Keep flies away from your farm’s bottom line

Ahhh…the joys of summer. Just sit back, close your eyes, and imagine the scene – birds chirping, sun shining, streams bubbling, flies biting… I think it goes without saying that “one of these things doesn’t belong here.” 

This time of year, the fly population grows rapidly as their generation time within manure and decaying feeds is numbered. Also growing is a public awareness of the diseases flies can transmit to animals and humans, making fly control more important than ever. 

In his article “More than a nuisance – flies impact your bottom line,” Steve McKinley explains how these diseases and the irritation flies inflict on cows can substantially impact profitability. Although the actual monetary loss is difficult to determine, various studies estimate declines in milk production ranging from 10-20% when there is a heavy infestation of biting flies. Veterinarians and university researchers have attributed several factors to the growing costs for producers. 

Factors in Lost Profitability include: 

 
 
    • A cow’s attempts to ward off flies increase her heart/respiratory rate & body temperature, increasing the risk of heat stress.
  • Difficulty differentiating between heat stress & parasite infestation (or both).
  • Increased nutrient demand due to blood loss. 
  • Staphylococcus & Streptococcus mastitis infections.
 
Patz Alley Scrapers help maintain a sanitary
environment to keep cows clean and healthy.


To avoid infestation and profit losses, sanitation is essential. Maintaining a sanitary environment involves 
removing manure frequently, keeping bedding clean & dry, cleaning up spilled feed immediately, etc. 

 
There are also many products available to help control flies and prevent infestation. Do not apply any product to an animal that is “not cleared for direct animal use.”


Take-home message: The cost of fly prevention/control is minimal when compared to the mounting costs of an infestation. 

Click on the source link below to read the full article.
 
Source: “More than a nuisance – flies impact your bottom line” article by Steve McKinley, M.S., Ph.D.
Progressive Dairyman website, retrieved 08/03/11.

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