It can be frustrating when you are working show calves only to have them stomping their feet or swatting their tails at flies. Additionally, those little pests carry diseases and can cost your animals valuable performance in overall gains.
A good cattle fly control program will help eliminate unnecessary stress for both you and your show string all season long.
Sure Champ® Extreme with ClariFly® Controls All Flies
Perhaps one of the best preventative measures you can take is offering your show cattle Sure Champ Extreme with ClariFly. Sure Champ is line a of products that support the health and well-being of show livestock. ClariFly is a four-fly larvicide that controls face, house, stable and horn flies.
Sure Champ Extreme with ClariFly is a pelleted, daily supplement for show livestock with ClariFly designed to support hoof health, hair coat and performance when temperatures are above 70 degrees. However, with the way the ClariFly fly works to control flies in the larval stages, you will want to start feeding it before flies start hatching for the best results.
So, in the southern U.S., it would be ideally started in March, in the central U.S., between March 15 and April 15, and in the north, by May 1. It can be fed all summer long to control flies, and there is no effect on the carcass, so there is no withdrawal time on market animals.
“Delivering ClariFly larvicide directly into your feed supplement allows you to easily control the emergence of face, house, stable and horn flies in the manure. Reducing the number of flies on the premise keeps animals comfortable and on feed. There’s no room for error in the summer show season, keep them healthy and stress-free with Sure Champ Extreme with ClariFly,” said Chris Cassady, Ph.D., Director of Beef Technical Sales.
In addition to the ClariFly, Sure Champ Extreme contains AO-Biotics® Amaferm®, a prebiotic research-proven to enhance digestibility, and MOS (mannan oligosaccharide) to help normalize gut microflora and support the immune system. This cattle supplement also includes the HEAT® technology, a combination of essential oils and garlic.
Flies Cause Challenges
Regardless of whether you have two show calves in your barn or a feedlot with 5,000 head, flies can impact the performance of your animals. Four main species of flies often find their way into your herd, each bringing their own challenges.
House and stable flies are peskier in confinement areas like show barns, feedlots, pens or corrals where manure build up exists. Wet, organic matter like feed or hay often is nearby for flies to lay eggs in and hatch. Conversely, horn and face flies are the bigger nuisance in open pasture situations because they seek out fresh, undisturbed manure piles in which to lay and hatch eggs in.
“Flies are a huge problem in the summer months, and their annoyance to show livestock can change behaviors, add stress or health challenges and reduce performance. If you want to be competitive, proper fly control is paramount in keeping your show stock healthy, stress free and on feed,” Cassady said.
Let’s explore more about each of these pesky flies and the challenges they can cause your show cattle.
House flies are most commonly found where they eat and breed – on garbage and waste, including human food. The house fly reproduces quickly and efficiently, and the females deposit between 15 to 200 eggs at a time. A female house fly can live for 10 to 30 days. Although house flies don’t bite, they can spread diseases and parasites to cattle. During the summer months, house flies can be spotted on cattle and cause annoyance.
Your show cattle will likely be most negatively impacted by stable flies. Stable flies breed in wet straw and bedding, manure, spilled feeds, decaying silage, grass clippings and various other decaying vegetation. Stable flies take 21 days to mature into a reproductive adult and can live up to 30 days. Females will typically produce 200 to 300 eggs.
Stable flies cause weight or production performance loss since they feed on one to two drops of blood several times a day. Cattle will stomp their feet because stable flies concentrate around the legs and belly of the animal. These little pests are primarily a nuisance during the warm summer months.
Although horn flies should not bother your show cattle if they are tied in, they might be a problem in the winter or during the spring or fall when your cattle are on pasture. Horn flies mature to a reproductive adult in 10 to 20 days. Females will lay eggs in fresh droppings that are less than 10 minutes old. Horn flies will survive winter in dung packs to continue their lifecycle when temperatures are warm.
These pests feast on 20 or more blood meals each day on the shoulders, sides and backs of cattle. On hot or rainy days, horn flies will move to the underside of the belly. Horn flies decrease milk production, reduce weight gain, cause blood loss and fatigue.
Face flies will complete their lifecycle in 2 to 3 weeks and will travel several miles to find a host. Fresh manure piles are where they choose to lay eggs. Male face flies do not swarm faces of livestock so are not a nuisance. Face flies will not enter darkened barns during the summer, but they will enter barns to protect themselves from the cold in the winter.
Face flies are non-biting, but they do cause secondary damage. They will feed on leftover blood left on the animal from other flies. The face fly irritates its hosts’ eyes by using their rasp-like mouth parts to cause tear production. The face flies feed off the excess tear secretions. Also, face flies carry the bacteria that causes pink eye, Moraxella bovis. This bacteria (M. bovis) causes tremendous damage to the eye and big economic losses.
Pink eye bacteria tend to develop resistance to antibiotics, which can further block treatment. Therefore, one of the keys to pink eye prevention is fly control.
Prevention is Key to Cattle Fly Control
Taking a proactive approach to fly control is the best way to keep flies away from your show cattle. It is best to start early, before the temperatures warm up and flies come out of their dormancy.
Start with a Clean Environment
Make sure you keep your show barn and runs as clean as possible. Start with clean, fresh bedding and be sure to keep it clean throughout the day. Remove feces piles and pick any wet bedding that has urine on it. To control flies, remove the wet bedding and feces from the barn and to a pile away from the entrance of the barn.
Provide fresh bedding as often as financially feasible for your operation. Fresh, clean bedding will prevent flies from having a place for flies to produce eggs inside your show barn.
Keep your Cattle Clean
It might seem obvious, especially with show cattle, but you will want to keep them clean and free of dirt, mud and waste. The cleaner your cattle are, the less likely flies are to swarm, land or bite. Wash or rinse them daily with cold water. During hot weather, you might want to rinse more frequently to help keep them cool.
Once your animals are clean, if they are still stomping at or swatting flies, you might consider a light fly spray.
Offer Fans for Circulation
Flies do not like the fresh air that a fan puts out. In addition to keeping your cattle cool, keeping fans on your cattle will help keep the flies off of them.
Use an Insecticide around your Premises
Many livestock exhibitors will use insecticides around their premises to keep flies at bay. Products like Agita can be sprayed on your barn walls, gates roofs and floor and work for an extended period to kill house flies. Be sure to administer when animals are not in the barn, and as always read and follow label directions.
Fly strips and fly bait stations are other forms of cattle fly control that you can put in your barn. Be sure to put them where you won’t be walking into them or where animals won’t have access to them.
BioZyme Cares about your Cow Herd, Too
Because BioZyme knows that flies don’t just target the show barn, this innovative company has also incorporated ClariFly into several of its VitaFerm® formulas. Economic losses to the cow herd alone from horn flies are more than $1 billion annually.
Producers can find ClariFly in the following VitaFerm products:
- VitaFerm® Concept•Aid® 5/S CTC 3G with ClariFly®.
- VitaFerm® HEAT® with ClariFly®
- VitaFerm Conserve® CTC 3G with ClariFly®
Incorporate Sure Champ Extreme for all your Show Species
Do you show more than just cattle? Well, you are in luck! Sure Champ Extreme with ClariFly is safe and labeled for all show animals including sheep, goats and pigs. You can add it to any of your daily feed rations to help control flies in your entire show string.
Not only will it help with fly control, but with Amaferm and MOS, your animals will have improved gut function, and the HEAT technology will help regulate your animals’ temperature.
Get your Sure Champ Today!
Sure Champ Extreme with ClariFly comes in both a 40-pound and 25-pound bag for your convenience. You can find a dealer close to you on our dealer locator. Or, if you prefer to shop online, we offer that option too.