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fly block

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jigs
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fly block

Postby jigs » Fri Apr 08, 2005 11:22 am

I am going to try some fly blocks this summer. some guys say it is a waste of money, others say it is essential... any one use them? do they work for you??

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Postby Big Muddy rancher » Fri Apr 08, 2005 11:28 am

We used to use mineral with IGR in it and it worked great. Just can't get it up here now.
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Postby Chuckie » Fri Apr 08, 2005 8:55 pm

i've used them with horses; they seem to help, but the horses used them up pretty quick. also used them with a few cattle, same deal, but some of the people that run a LOT of cows will be able to help you more than i can....

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Postby Faster horses » Fri Apr 08, 2005 10:27 pm

I may be able to help a bit with this question, but first, do you know the ingredient that the block contains to control flies? Is it Rabon or IGR? Rabon is not nearly as effective as IGR, Rabon is bitter and it is hard to get the cattle to eat a product containing Rabon. IGR is the ingredient of choice.

We sell a lot of mineral containing IGR (Insect Growth Inhibitor). My first comment to you would be to get it in loose form, works way better than block form. Understand when you put it out that you are never going to get rid of all the flies. IGR works on horn flies. Horn flies are the flies that point downward when sitting on the cow. They are the flies that create the most economic damage. The way to tell if the fly control is working, is to see the cattle out grazing, not bunched up fighting flies. Don't go by the flies you see on the cows. The mineral needs to be put out consistently. Best not to let them run out. Aheavy fly load causes the cattle to lose a lot of fluids and also creates blood loss~all which has a very negative effect on production.

Of course, cows have to ingest the mineral in order for it to work. Our mineral (Vigortone) is designed so it will work if the cows eat only 2 oz./day. Another good thing about IGR is that it does not destroy dung beetles. Dung beetles are an important part of the eco-system as far as flies are concerned. They take care of a lot of flies. Ivomec destroys dung beetles. I have seen slides where Ivomec was used for several years and the manure build up in the pasture was terrible. The manure plots were piled up, nothing was destroying them and they were full of fly larvae. The producer switched to Safe-Guard for worming and it wasn't long until the manure piles were gone, due to the presence of the dung beetles. I think we are going to hear more about dung beetles as time goes on.

IGR works by inturrupting the life cycle of the fly. The larvae hatches prematurely, can't fly and dies. You need to start fly control when the temperature reaches 60 degrees for two to three days in a row. You should keep the fly control out until the first freeze in the fall. This helps with the hatch in the sping. More flies will die instead of overwinter, therefore, you won't see as many flies next spring.

If you have a terrible fly problem, you many need to incorporate dust bags, oilers or something else to help keep the flies down. The people here who use IGR have really seen a difference in the weight of their calves and condition on their cows. Cows have to eat to produce milk, when they are bunched up fighting flies they aren't eating~and milk production drops as a result.

Hope this helps. Feel free to ask any other questions you might have, maybe I can answer them as well. (Maybe not, too!) LOL!!

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Postby jigs » Sat Apr 09, 2005 8:15 pm

yes it is IGR and I got it in the block form so I could judge the use a bit better.....will switch to bagged when the blocks are gone. I was told that it would help reduce pink eye problems, ant that was my major goal.

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Postby Faster horses » Sat Apr 09, 2005 8:27 pm

Gosh, I never ever heard that IGR would reduce pink-eye problems. Pink eye can be caused from IBR and is suspect if you get an epidemic of pink eye. Face flies can irritate the eyes when they land where the eye waters and runs down the face but IGR doesn't do anything for face flies, as least as far as I am aware.

Who told you IGR would reduce pink-eye? if I may ask.

Now I am curious and I am going to check this out. Will let you know what I find out.

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Postby jigs » Sun Apr 10, 2005 4:27 pm

not sure who said it. I run Hereford cattle, and of course the pink eye problem rears its head when you sit with an Angus man.......so after a heated discussion, the bits and pieces I recalled were that feeding a fly block would reduce it.

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Postby the_jersey_lilly_2000 » Sun Apr 10, 2005 8:20 pm

We've started on the Right Now Mineral made by Cargill...it has IGR in it. At the seminar we went to the man said 200 flys on one cow is concidered an exceptable amount..you'll never git rid of ALL the flys..but getting them under controll helps. Before all we did was spray for flys..put em in the lot and mix up corral...in a 55 gallon barrel with a gasoline pump spray rig..yes it kills some..but it don't last long...the mineral with the fly control in it I think is the easiest way to go..plus all the other added benefits from minerals.
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Postby alabama » Mon Apr 11, 2005 11:19 am

This is what Dr. Ranken from over at Auburn has to say about fly blosks.
drankins@acesag.auburn.edu
Monday, April 11, 2005 - As we approach the summer period I am beginning to receive questions regarding the use of Rabon in the mineral as a fly control method. As most are aware this compound acts as a fly control by passing through the cow into the manure where it inhibits the development of new flies from eggs that are laid in fresh manure. It is quite effective if the cows being fed this compound are isolated from other cows. However, if cows are adjacent to neighboring cows that are not receiving Rabon then it is an exercise in futility. The flies simply crosss the fence or road and lay eggs in the manure that is present there and the life cycle continues. Thus for the system to be effective the cows must be in an isolated system or all neighboring cows must also be on the program.

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Postby jigs » Mon Apr 11, 2005 4:36 pm

solution : buy your neighbors fly block for Christmas this year !

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Postby Chuckie » Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:25 pm

there ya go JIGS! really, this is interesting to me; the blocks i've had have been RABON, and the stock have just eaten them up in NO time.

i wonder if they've had so much "sweetener" in them that that the animals have chowed down to not much effect as far as fly control...they've seemed "soft" to where the cattle/horses have just really eaten them up...

i don't have the cattle here yet, but i'll have to look into it before i buy blocks this summer.

you guys make me think, give me a headache!!! :lol:

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Postby Faster horses » Mon Apr 11, 2005 10:49 pm

Horn flies will only fly half mile to a host animal. If you have your cattle half mile from any others, you will see a reduction in flies. If they are closer than that, you will see more flies for a couple of weeks, then the numbers will be lower again. I think it takes two weeks for a hatch...

Alabama cattle are probably closer to the neighbors cattle than cattle in Mt. SD, ND, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Idaho, etc. so we don't see much of that problem.

Remember what I posted a long time ago about blocks? Takes a lot of licks to get one ounce of a block of something, unless it is chewable like a previous post mentioned. (Like 3,000 licks to get 1 oz. of salt)~

Dave Wieland, Independent Nutritionist ( he used to write the "consultating Nutritonist" column for BEEF magazine. I still miss his column in that publication~it was a definite asset), has this to say about fly control:

..."horn files are the most costly parasite; they cost the beef industry more than $800 million each year. It is estimated that 500 horn flies per animal will result in the loss of 1 pint to 1 quart of blood loss per day! This amount of blood loss may lead to lowered milk production, resulting in reduced weight gain in nursing calves, reduced weight gain in other classes of cattle and a lowered immune response. In addition to these losses, flies can also transmit diseases such as pinkeye, anthrax, and tb..."

"With the advent of larvacides, used either as a bolus and or as a feed additive, producers were given an exellent method of of control that acts on a completely different part of the fly's life cycle. Instead of killing the adult, larvacides, as their name implies, acts of the larva. In one group of these compounds, insect growth regulators (IGR) kills developing fly larva in the manure of treated cattle. Another class, methoprene, interrupts the horn fly's development into an adult. A convincing argument for the use of a larvacide is that there is no known resistance to these compounds. As far as effacy, larvacides should play a MAJOR PART pf a fly control program."



"The most important fact that producers need to remember is that regardless of the methods used, we will never be successful in eliminating all flies; breeding sites are too numerous, fly life cycles are short enough that reinfestation is inevitable, not all flies will be killed by any one method of control, not all producers or their neighbors in a given area practice good fly control, and the cost of such a goal would be prohibitive. Our goal should not be to eliminate all flies but should be to attempt to get fly numbers below an economic threshold, considering both the cost of control and the potential loss of production if no contol is practiced."

Hope this helps!


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