Preparing calves for fly season
Flies are significant pests on calf operations, both for the animals and for the premises, by potentially decreasing productivity, spreading disease or simply being a nuisance to animals and people.
How are flies costly to an operation?
Flies are known to:
Decrease milk production;
Decrease average daily gain in growing cattle; and
Calf hutches are popular breeding grounds for flies. Why?
Flies complete their life cycle by laying eggs in fresh manure or wet, decomposing feed and manure. All of these conditions commonly exist in calf rearing facilities. Flies carry bacteria and spread diseases.
Why is that especially important for calf raisers and calves?
Flies are directly involved in the spread of bacteria causing pinkeye in cattle and creating new infections in the immature udders of calves. This irritation of the teats through biting increases the potential risk-and spread-of mastitis.
What flies are the most common on calf operations?
Horn flies and stable flies cause significant economic damage through biting and blood feeding. Face flies and house flies are known for spreading disease. All these fly species are a serious nuisance to cattle and people on and around the dairy operation.
How can you prevent flies from impacting your operation?
The key is to start early in the spring to get ahead of emerging fly populations.