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you have livestock, you have flies, it's just a fact of life.
Keeping the flies under control is an important consideration.
Flies make life unpleasant for you as well as your livestock.
following is what we do to control flies. It works for us.
Keep it clean & dry - This is the number one most important issue in fly control and will go far in controlling
flies. Don't give them a place to breed, and they can't reproduce.
In the summer, we sweep out the barn completely every day. We
leave no bedding for the flies to reproduce in. The poops are
added to the compost pile and the waste hay is spread along our long
path to the barn. Our chickens then patrol the path and catch
You can "lime" your barn by sprinkling it on the floor. Lime
will keep down the flies by making an inhospitable breeding environment.
lime... this is important.
are two different kinds of lime.
lime, slake lime, or "burn lime"- This is pure white.
Hydrated lime is very caustic, so the bag will have a warning
on it. This is the kind of lime you use for white
This lime will burn you and your livestock. Do not use it
on the floor. Do not breath it.
lime, "ag lime", "garden lime", "barn lime" or dolomite-
This lime is gray and can be used to spread on the floor of your
barn. This is safe for you and your livestock. It will
not burn. We spread this lime on our barn floor because it
provides an antibacterial quality, dries out and "sweetens"
the floor , and also Larry says it makes it easier to clean.
If you just ask for lime at your feed store, they will probably give
you hydrated lime. If you say it's for the barn floor they will
still probably give you hydrated. Please be safe, get the "Ag"
lime for use in fly control.
Fly parasites & natural predators-
Parasites: These are nature's original method of fly control
(some companies call them parasites and some companies call them predators;
they are the same thing). These tiny beneficial insects kill the fly
larva before it can develop into a fly. Please visit Beneficial
Fly Predators for more information. I
buy my Fly Parasites from Spalding Laboratories at 1-888-562-4552
I have the parasites sent automatically every month throughout the
summer. This is a holistic method of fly control. You have to start
early and use them every month. If you just get one shipment to "see
if they work" you will see no change in the fly population.
Note: I stopped using Fly Parasite a couple years ago, and we don't really have a major fly issue. Maybe the parasites are established now? Nowadays, we just concentrate on keeping the barn clean and use fly ribbons and Shoo-Fly spray.
Spiders: do a lot to keep down the fly population in a barn. Even though they
may creep you out, remember that spiders are our friends, so don't
go knocking down all the spider webs in your barn. You may not realize
it, but the spiders are catching and eating a lot of those pesky flies.
Chickens: will eat flies (as well as occasionally mice). Our "heritage
breed" chickens (Dominique) live right along side our goats with
never a problem. These older types of chickens still posses a good
hunting instinct. I am always amazed when I see our chicken leap to
catch one of those big nasty horse flies right out of the air.
Ducks: We heard these are great fly catchers.
We acquired two duck to see how well they
do their job.
of duck experiment-
We tried the ducks and finally ended up giving them away to a new
home, where they can live as pets. Why did we get rid of them? Because
nothing we did would keep them from pooping in the goats water tank,
and we will not stand for defecation in anyone's drinking water.
We gave the ducks a big pond, a little pool, and run of the entire
farm. The only rule we set was no pooping in the goats' water tank,
and that rule eventually was broken (over and over again) and nothing
we devised (covers, grids, etc.) would keep them from pooping into
We use good old fashioned fly paper, or "fly ribbons".
We used to buy these in boxes of 100 from PBS livestock (1-800-321-0235), but I actually found them cheaper in four packs at Walmart.
One box of 100 lasted us all year. We try to hang the ribbons where the
goats won't pull them down.
These work great. I change the tapes whenever they get full, or dry
out. I have used those big jar or bag traps, but these smell horrible
after a while, which makes visiting the barn very unpleasant.
5. We use a natural essential oil spray herbal fly/insect repellent called SHOO-FLY that I have developed to keep the flies off the goats. It is available
for purchase on the Molly's Herbals web site.
6. You could use Diatomaceous
Earth, it would kill fly larva. We don't use it, because
with all the other things we use, we don't need it, AND it would also
kill the fly parasites, which we don't want to happen. This stuff doesn't work once it gets wet and needs to be reapplied.
Do not breath it in. For more information on Diatomaceous Earth, click
Here at Fias Co Farm we do not like to use poisons. We try to
be as "organic" as possible, and I milk our goats and we drink the milk
raw, so we are very concerned about what goes into the goats, because
that goes into our milk. Also, if you use the fly parasites, which
I highly recommend, you must be careful about poisons because you don't
want to kill off the "good guys".
have in the past, when we first started out in goat keeping, before getting into Natural and Holistic health care, used to use a product called CyLence.
This contains a 4th generation pyrethriod (pyrethrum) called cyfluthrin.
It controls horn flies and face flies, as well as biting and sucking
lice. It is cleared for use in dairy cattle and has no milk or
meat withdrawal. You can get CyLence from PBS livestock (1-800-321-0235)
CyLence by dripping it along the spine of our goats. The dose
we used was: 1 cc per 25 pounds. We used to apply it the first of
every month throughout the summer, but with the use of Fly Parasites,
keeping the barn clean & dry, having spider & chickens, and
using fly tapes find we don't need it at all.
this is what we do. It works for us. We have practically
no flies. Come on over and take a look if you want ;-)
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