Author

Dr. Erika Nagorske

Dr. Erika Nagorske

Dr. Erika Nagorske is a practicing veterinarian with Southwest Veterinary Services, FBN’s official veterinary partner. She is originally from Wisconsin and graduated from UofM Vet School in 2016. She has been practicing dairy, dairy calf, and feedlot medicine for the last 6 years. She is passionate about cow comfort, calf health/management and animal welfare. She enjoys assisting producers in making their animals more healthy and comfortable, thus increasing their return, longevity, and profitability. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son on their acreage with their many animals, fishing, and spending time outside. 


Apr 29, 2022

by Dr. Erika Nagorske

As cattle start to be turned out to pasture, it’s a good time to think about how to deal with clostridium and the problems it can bring to your operation. Having a sound clostridial vaccine strategy will help you manage and prevent issues for your herd.  Watch Dr. Erika Nagorske, a practicing veterinarian with Southwest Veterinary Services, FBN®’s official veterinary partner, in the video below as she discusses the different types of clostridium, treatment strategies and prevention methods.  Watch Now: Developing a Clostridial Vaccine Strategy Clostridium Types Clostridium is a large spore forming gram positive bacteria. It can produce endotoxin which will cause severe tissue damage. Both black leg and tetanus are the result of endotoxins that are produced from bacteria. The main types of clostridium to look for in cattle include: Type C (Clostridium perfringens type C) Type D (Clostridium perfringens type D) Type A (Clostridium perfringens type A) Tetanus (Clostridium tetani) Redwater (Clostridium haemolyticum) Blackleg (Clostridium chauvoei) Malignant edema (Clostridium septicum) It’s important to note the scientific name of each type because sometimes this is listed on the label of the vaccine and will help you identify what the vaccine is treating.  Type C Type C causes bloody intestines (hemorrhagic enteritis). The symptoms of this type of clostridium include lethargy, bloody diarrhea, and cattle being off milk or feed. This usually affects younger animals on milk. Type D This is sometimes referred to as “overeating disease.” The common predisposing factor that leads to this is excessive ingestion of feed or milk. Symptoms include sudden death in animals who are suspected of over eating. Severe bloat pushes the abdominal cavity on the lungs of the cattle and causes them to suffocate. Sometimes animals will appear neurologic before death and may stumble around as toxins are causing damage. Type A Younger calves who are fed milk can develop “garbage gut.” Symptoms in this scenario include lethargy, bloat, and being off milk/feed. In severe cases, the calf can die from toxemia. Type A causes lesions also known as severe ulcerative abomasitis. There is no commercial vaccine for Type A clostridium. There is hope that other clostridial vaccines may provide some cross protection against Type A. Autogenous vaccines are very effective for this type of clostridium and working with a veterinarian can help you see if this strategy would be a good fit for your operation.  Blackleg This clostridium is ingested through pasture or recent dirt work and migrates to the muscles. It typically remains dormant in the animal until injury or changes in the muscle occur from injury such as the animal’s chest hitting the front of the chute or riding other animals. This then allows spores to multiply. Symptoms include cattle becoming severely lethargic, sudden death, edema or swelling of the hip, shoulder or neck muscles.  Tetanus Tetanus is known as “lockjaw” or muscle stiffness. Tissue has to be favorable for this infection to occur and likelihood of infection can be increased by castration, tagging, or any events that can cause tissue injury. Tetanus is very difficult to treat once symptoms are severe such as locked legs or locked jaw. Because tetanus is so difficult to treat, it’s recommended to implement a vaccine strategy. Red Water This is a unique type of clostridium that is initiated by liver damage (typically by liver flukes). Once this occurs, clostridial spores multiply within the animal. The location of your herd can greatly increase the chance for red water. In an area that is very marshy (ex. Northern Minnesota), you may see more problems caused by liver flukes. Symptoms include lethargy, port-wine colored urine, and in severe cases sudden death. This is not typically found in most “7 way” vaccines so you’ll want to work with a veterinarian to find an “8 way” or “9 way” vaccine to mitigate risk associated with Red Water disease.  Treatment of Clostridiales Some of the different methods of treating clostridiales include: Antitoxin products  Antibiotics Anti-inflammatories (for endotoxins) Keep in mind that treatment is difficult when the disease process has advanced because toxins have created too much damage and drugs simply won’t be effective.  Prevention Vaccines for clostridium are extremely effective in the prevention of both disease and death. There are multiple vaccines available. Some of the more common vaccines are: CD + T Clostridium C/D Tetanus Example : by Merck Animal Health or by Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA, Inc. 7 Way Clostridium chauvoei Clostridium septicum Clostridium novae Clostridium sordelli iClostridium types C/D Example: by Merck Animal Health or by Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA, Inc.  8 Way 7 Way + Red Water strain Example: by Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA, Inc.  9 Way 7 way + Red Water and Tetanus Example: by Merck Animal Health It’s important to always read the labels of your vaccines and to consult with a veterinarian to help manage your prevention strategy.  Management Vaccinating your cattle in a timely manner before pasture turn out and before heavy feeding periods is a smart management strategy. Knowing if you’ve had a problem in the past will also help your operation. Be conscious of dirt movement and construction in your yard. If cattle ingest excessive amounts of dirt, it may change your clostridium risk. Keep in mind that feed piles stored on dirt versus cement can also increase clostridium exposure. 


Mar 15, 2022

by Dr. Erika Nagorske

Newborn beef calves are now sprinkled across the countryside. Early calf care and the right vaccination protocols can mitigate the risk and severity of sickness, setting calves up for success. Vaccines will help reduce the number of calves you’ll need to treat, minimize death loss, and improve overall herd profitability. Even though calves don’t have a fully functioning immune system at birth , they’re still able to respond to some vaccines. The cattle industry is doing a lot of work to understand when calves will respond to which vaccines, but overall there is a good understanding that calves will respond to certain vaccines right away - including vaccines for respiratory disease and scours . Watch Dr. Erika Nagorske, a practicing veterinarian with Southwest Veterinary Services, FBN®’s official veterinary partner, in the video below as she discusses why it’s important to think about a vaccination program and what the disease costs are for both the industry and individual operations. Watch Now: How to Prevent Respiratory Disease in Newborn Calves What Is the Cost of Respiratory Disease? The beef industry loses about $1 billion annually due to cattle affected by respiratory challenges. That accounts for 1 in 5 cows. ¹ Respiratory disease is the most common cause of morbidity and mortality in feedlots according to . ² These statistics show us that respiratory disease is a significant challenge. The industry would benefit as whole by minimizing the disease pressure in every way we can. How Does Respiratory Disease Affect a Farm or Ranch P&L? Respiratory disease impacts profitability in more than just actual treatment costs. Labor and facilities required to treat sick animals have a cost. Calves affected by respiratory disease will see their growth affected and will be behind the rest of the herd by 15-30 days. Finally, death loss has its obvious effects on profitability.  Intranasal Respiratory Disease Vaccines The two main options for safe vaccines to give at birth are: (IBR, BRSV, PI-3) by Merck Animal Health  (IBR, BRSV, PI-3) by Zoetis Calf Scours The second condition we can address through vaccines at birth is calf scours. If a calf has a scour event, there is significant risk for them to develop respiratory disease. It’s also important to remember that calves amplify the pathogen load when they’re sick, so it’s much easier for them to spread disease to other calves.  Scour Vaccines for Calves The two main options for newborn calf scour vaccines are: by Merck Animal Health  by Zoetis - this should be administered 30 minutes before colostrum.  What Experts Recommend Work with your veterinarian to determine which protocol is best for your specific operation. This can change from year-to-year and will depend on if you’re purchasing different cows or the disease pressure changes on your farm.  Sources:


Mar 08, 2022

by Dr. Erika Nagorske

To say it all starts with newborn calf care is not an overstatement. Getting a calf started off strong and healthy sets it up for maximized growth and a solid weaning weight. Watch Dr. Erika Nagorske, a practicing veterinarian with Southwest Veterinary Services, FBN’s® official veterinary partner, in the video below as she discusses tips and tricks for newborn calves. Watch Now: Tips and Tricks for Newborn Calves Essential Newborn Calf Supplies 
Below is a list of supplies that you’ll want to have on hand for your calving season. Many of them can be found on FBN’s online . Calf catcher - the little hook on the end is great for snagging the back leg of a calf when you need to catch and process them after birth. This is a helpful tool if the calf is rambunctious.  Iodine Tags and tagger Castration equipment and supplies Colostrum replacer Antibody supplements - these come in handy if you have scour pressure or a stressed calf. Vaccines Warming equipment if you live in a cold climate Other antibiotics or pain medications - discuss these with your veterinarian. The Basics of Newborn Calf Care Get the calf warm and dry The mother should be able to dry and warm the calf by aggressively licking but sometimes additional equipment like a warming box will be helpful. This will give you a place that is dry and warm for the newborn calf and will help protect it against the cold.  Dip navel with iodine Dipping the navel with iodine will help reduce infection through the open umbilical cord, which can take a day or two to dry up and fall off. The umbilical cord goes straight to the liver so the potential for a calf to get systemically sick is very high if it becomes infected.  If a cow licks off the iodine aggressively, you may want to consider skipping this step. In some cases, the cow licking the navel can cause infection. Discuss your options with your veterinarian. If you do decide to skip this step, ensure that you have a nice dry and bedded area for the calf to rest.  Administer vaccines and/or are good tools to protect your calf from disease. Discuss a protocol with your veterinarian that fits your operation.  Consider castrating bull calves Veterinarians often advise that castration should take place when calves are young because it’s less painful, less stressful, and the likelihood of a bull calf bleeding out is reduced because they’re smaller. Discuss the timing and pain management with your veterinarian, but veterinary medicine generally encourages producers to think about castrating calves when they are young. Let mama and baby do their thing Ideally, calves should be up and nursing within 30 minutes of birth. This is also necessary for the calf to get a within 6 hours to get passive transfer of their immune system. 


Mar 03, 2022

by Dr. Erika Nagorske

With calving season here, there are a number of best practices you should consider when assisting your cows during calving .  Watch Dr. Erika Nagorske, a practicing veterinarian with Southwest Veterinary Services, FBN®’s official veterinary partner, in the video below as she discusses four best practices to implement when helping mama deliver that calf. Watch Now: Expert Shares 4 Ways to Assist Cows During Calving 1. Have the Right Supplies & Equipment There is a broad spectrum of supplies and equipment that are helpful during calving. Facilities vary, but having somewhere safe to handle your cows is important. Chutes are ideal because some cows get nervous during calving and need extra restraint for safety.  You may also want a to help redirect calves and ensure their head is coming in the right direction and not turning back on itself. OB chains ( or ) and will help assist in pulling the calf. A calf jack is also good to have on hand just in case. It’s important to have lots of when pulling a calf. A great tip is to have an equine stomach pump and hose because it allows you to pump a warm water/lube mixture from a bucket into the cow’s birth canal and around the calf. This will lubricate the birth canal and create buoyancy for the calf which will help you better manipulate getting the calf out.  2. Know When to Help Mama Cow While you may have some anxiety about how the cow is dealing with birthing, you should pay attention to how she behaves. If she stops actively pushing, this is a good time to grab a sleeve and see what’s going on to determine if she’s too tired or find out why the calf isn’t coming out. If she’s been actively lying down to calve for 1-2 hours, this is also a good time to use a sleeve. If you see no progression in 1-2 hours, such as not seeing the “water bag” or placenta come through and break or you don’t see the calf’s feet, this could mean the cow is not dilated enough or the calf is coming the wrong way. If you are assisting the cow, try to pull when she pushes. Work with her, not against her. If the cow lets up, give her a break and then continue the cycle of pulling and pushing. This is a good collaborative way to get the calf out of the cow with minimal stress to both cow and calf. 3. Don’t Wait Too Long to Call a Vet If you’ve been physically working and assisting the cow for more than 45 minutes, it’s a good time to call a vet. Depending on how far away your vet is, you may want to call sooner.  One of the biggest mistakes producers make is not calling a vet when their help could make a difference. In the end, you can do more damage than good which could result in a cow that’s exhausted or, in a worst case scenario, a calf that’s passed away.  The faster you’re able to get a professional to help, the more likely the calf will live. This is especially true if the cow has to undergo a c-section.  4. Provide Postpartum Care If the cow had a tough calving, here are a few treatments to consider:  Uterine boluses This will help with retained placenta or help with any uterine infections. You can find on our online animal health store.  Pain medications & antibiotics Discuss the options with your veterinarian if the cow is not recovering as you’d expect. Antibiotics, among many other pharmaceuticals, are available on online .  Oral rehydration This is particularly important if the cow calves during extremely hot or cold weather. It is a stressful event for the cow and could help produce more colostrum , which will help the cow attend to the calf better.  Gain Peace of Mind with FBN Livestock Protection As producers themselves, our FBN insurance agents are intimately familiar with the ups and downs of managing livestock and are here to make sure you're protected from unexpected loss. We leverage the knowledge of FBN's precision data and information shared by farmers like you to build private products that are custom tailored to your unique needs. Connect with one of our agents today by calling (877) 576-4468 or clicking here for more information .


Feb 17, 2022

by Dr. Erika Nagorske

While most species like humans and dogs develop an immune system in utero, calves are born without much of an immune system. Because of this, it’s important to know when you should supplement colostrum.  Watch Dr. Erika Nagorske, a practicing veterinarian with Southwest Veterinary Services, FBN’s® official veterinary partner, in the video below to learn more about why colostrum matters, the differences between replacements and supplements, and how to choose the right one. Watch Now: Expert Explains Why Colostrum Is Essential Why Does Colostrum Matter? Colostrum will provide calves with a functioning immune system for the first few weeks of life. Over time, they’ll develop their own.  If they don’t get good quality colostrum, they won’t have a properly functioning immune system.  Colostrum Requirements A calf needs 150-200 grams of IgG (antibodies) for a good start to their immune system. These antibodies bind to antigens (bugs) and shut them down from infecting the calf .  Usually 4 quarts of cow’s colostrum is enough to achieve this amount of IgGs. Depending on the quality of the cows colostrum, it may take more or less for calves to receive the correct amount of IgGs.  When to Use a Colostrum Replacer or Supplement There may be times when you need to use a replacer or supplement to ensure calves receive colostrum. This can happen when: A cow is not producing enough colostrum A cow gives birth to twins and doesn’t have enough colostrum The calf is too weak to nurse or has dummy calf syndrome A producer wants to ensure that a high quality calf has a great immune system Differences Between Replacements and Supplements It’s always important to read and follow label instructions to ensure that you are giving your calf the correct amount of replacement. A replacer refers to a product that has a full replacement of at least 150g of IgG. A supplement refers to a product that only has part of the replacement, generally about 50-60g of IgG. Additional Recommendations A good example of a replacer is a product made by VetOne called which is both cost effective and has 115 g of IgG.  One bag of replacer will probably be sufficient if the calf has nursed the cow. If you really want to be sure the calf has enough total replacement, it’s recommended to use 1.5 to 2 bags of Bovine IgG Replacer 115™.  Consider spreading out over time how much colostrum replacement you give the calf. Once you’ve given the calf the first bag, it’s recommended to wait at least 6-8 hours before giving them the other half of the second bag.  


Jul 14, 2021

by Dr. Erika Nagorske

Now that fly season is well underway, it’s time to think about how to deal with cattle that are being affected by flies. It’s important to know how to triage cattle from flies so that they don’t cause undue stress on your animals.  Let’s face it, flies are a nuisance to livestock. They cause all kinds of issues that can easily be avoided by following a few simple guidelines.  Preventing pinkeye Pinkeye can be a major problem for cattle when they’re irritated by flies. Pinkeye pathogens can be spread by flies and cattle can cause injury to their eyes by swatting their tails at irritating flies. It’s highly contagious and could potentially affect your entire herd. Once an outbreak spreads, it’s difficult to contain and control.  Due to the pain and stress pinkeye can inflict on cattle, it can cause lower productivity, reduced body weight, reduced milk production, blindness and even death in severe cases.1 While vaccines are generally used to control pinkeye, it’s wise to be proactive about fly control before it becomes an issue. That’s why it’s a good idea to consider the options available for fly control such as traps and bait, sprays and potentially garlic.  Spray the animal with topical solutions As flies start to irritate cattle, sprays can be used to help keep the issue under control. Sprays are typically applied using a low pressure sprayer or mist blower sprayer onto the animals.  For best results, they’ll need to be re-applied on a weekly basis. These products usually provide between 7-21 days of control.2 Use a premise spray for fly control Premise sprays are typically applied to places where flies rest, such as walls, ceilings and floors. One of the benefits of a premise spray is that they’re water-resistant and can deliver up to 90 days of fly control.  Utilizing a longer-lasting premise spray provides a more effective and less manually intensive method of controlling flies. Spraying every three months instead of every week definitely has its advantages.  Take caution though to ensure that you are protecting both animals and water sources when applying premise sprays. It’s also a good idea to rotate between two active ingredients to prevent resistance to the spray.  Traps and baits Fly traps can be a simple way to eliminate some of the fly problems you may be facing. Whether you use fly paper or electronic fly zappers, just be sure to place traps around places that cattle pass through frequently. A good location is near your water supply.3 In general, traps are good for smaller groups of cattle but won’t cause an impact for larger herds. As well, traps do not eliminate fly breeding sites.  Baits can also be used to kill off unwanted flies. They should be used in conjunction with other fly control methods because they will not completely control fly populations. Place baits in areas where flies congregate such as doorways, windows, and outside the parameter of the pens. Just be sure that animals are not able to eat the bait.  Adding garlic to feed Adding garlic powder to cattle feed is a natural method to try to control flies. When cattle eat the garlic, their breath and skin produce an odor that deters flies. Garlic is mainly used as a repellent and won’t kill flies or breeding sites. It’s an additional natural product that is safe and easy to apply to your fly control program.  Stay proactive about Fly Control When it comes to fly control, try to be proactive and not reactive. You’ll never get them all but there’s no reason not to think strategically about how to manage the situation the best you can.  Contact the FBN® team today to order your fly control products - sprays, ear tags, baits, traps & feed additives like garlic. Resources Kansas State University, Pink Eye in Cattle, https://www.johnson.k-state.edu/crops-livestock/agent-articles/pink-eye-in-cattle.html University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Controlling Flies on Pastured Cattle, https://beef.unl.edu/cattleproduction/controllingflies Poore, Matt, Practical Fly Control, June 7, 2012, NC State University, https://cefs.ncsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/amazing-grazing-practical-fly-control-july-2012.pdf


Jun 16, 2021

by Dr. Erika Nagorske

As temperatures rise, it’s time to start thinking about the causes and effects of heat stress in cattle. Even at 80 degrees Fahrenheit, cattle endure a significant amount of stress trying to deal with their heat load.  Cattle don’t sweat effectively and rely on their own respiration to cool themselves. And when outside pests like flies aggravate animals, heat stress can affect them even more.  That’s why it’s important to spot the signs of heat stress early to provide effective relief to livestock during the hot and humid summer months.  Cattle have a primitive reaction when faced with problems like flies. They crowd together in the hope that the flies will affect their neighbors instead of themselves. You’ll often see cattle gathered together in a pen, stomping and kicking manure trying to fight flies away. As cattle attempt to deal with the fly problem, they will avoid lying down or drinking water. Unfortunately, all of this behavior contributes to heat stress even more. When this happens, the signs will be fairly clear that the animals are stressed. Some of the common signs of heat stress in cattle are excessive salivation, panting or mouth breathing, lack of coordination, and even trembling. When the effects of heat stress become a problem, it can create numerous issues for your livestock and your production system. It is not limited to older animals and can affect even young calves. But generally, animals that have had past health issues will be the first to be affected by heat stress. They will also be the most severely affected.  Some of the most common effects of heat stress include: Change in behavior Increased susceptibility to disease Reduced feed intake Reduced weight gain Lower milk production Reduced breeding efficiency Lower birth weights for calves Death With these kinds of effects, it’s important to come up with an effective way to manage and treat heat stress. Earn $250 for Every Friend Referral to FBN Direct ® As both temperatures and physical activities rise for animals, it’s important to realize that  there will be a significant water demand.  Providing proper hydration for animals with heat stress is key to treating the issue. According to Iowa State University, a 1,000 pound animal needs about 1.5 gallons of water per hour. During the summer months, automatic water tanks may not be able to keep up with the demand of your animals. Adding a stock tank of water to a pen for your animals will provide extra hydration. Providing clean and cool drinking water will help stabilize the animal’s internal temperature and cool them down. Providing the animals with adequate space will also help with heat abatement. Spreading your cattle out will hopefully prevent them from crowding one another.  It’s also important to consider providing proper shade for animals during extremely warm days to help reduce their body temperature. Shade from trees and buildings is effective when animals have between 20 to 40 square feet of shade.   Finally, ensure that barns or anywhere cattle gather has adequate ventilation during extremely hot days. This can be as simple as adding fans when necessary. If you do add fans to your ventilation system, it’s important to conduct proper maintenance on your equipment to ensure air flow is not reduced or blocked. You also need to be sure fans provide consistent airflow to animals in their pen. Recognizing the effects of heat stress during the hot and humid summer months is important for keeping your cattle healthy and productive. Recognizing the early signs of heat stress will ensure that you’re able to manage and hopefully prevent the problem from becoming too serious.  Having an effective fly control program in your arsenal will help curb some of the stress that the heat brings to your animals. It’s not too late to control flies, FBN ® fly control products are on sale until June 30th. Resources: https://www.extension.iastate.edu/sites/www.extension.iastate.edu/files/4h/AnWelfareHeatStress.pdf https://vetmed.iastate.edu/vdpam/about/production-animal-medicine/beef/bovine-disease-topics/heat-stress-beef-cattle https://extension.umn.edu/dairy-milking-cows/heat-stress-dairy-cattle https://extensionpublications.unl.edu/assets/html/g2266/build/g2266.htm The above is provided for information purposes only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any condition. This information does not cover all possible variables, conditions, reactions, or risks relating to any topic, medication, or product and should not be considered complete. Certain products or medications may have risks and you should always consult your local veterinarian concerning the treatment of your animals. Copyright © 2014 - 2021 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, “FBN Direct” are registered service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. Feed products are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are only available where licensed.


May 05, 2021

by Dr. Erika Nagorske

Now that the weather is warming up and fly season is underway, part of a solid fly control program is understanding the different types of flies that affect your animals. There are four major types of flies that can wreak havoc on your livestock. Knowing a little bit about each type of fly will help you create an effective plan of action to deal with them. As we’ve already discussed, utilizing feed additives for your fly control program is one step in a multifaceted strategy. Let’s get to know the enemy. House flies House flies are the most common type of fly in the United States and are a common pest to humans and animals alike. House flies affect all types of livestock. They typically eat garbage, manure, animal carcasses, human food, and livestock feed. You’ll find them in warm areas out of the wind. The house fly life cycle is typically 15-30 days and they breed on any organic matter with 40-70% moisture - fresh manure, spilled liquid, feed, bedding, and decaying vegetation. In other words, anywhere that is moist. House fly larvae (aka maggots) look like small grains of rice. While house flies are known to transmit pathogens to humans, they generally aren’t harmful to livestock. They are more of a nuisance and will aggravate animals more than anything. However, it’s still worth ensuring they are controlled to prevent undue stress on your animals. When it’s time to eradicate house flies, your key plans of action are to control sanitation around livestock, larva control, baiting, and sprays. Stable flies Stable flies have a painful bite and affect all types of livestock by feeding on their blood. They tend to feed on the legs of cattle. Stable flies have a life cycle of about 21-30 days. They rest in vegetation and breed on wet straw, spilled feed, and decaying vegetation. Surprisingly, stable flies do not breed in manure. Stable fly bites are stressful to cattle and can cause anemia, decreased weight gain, and decreased milk production. According to the USDA, stable flies cost producers more than $2 billion per year in lost production. Your best option to get rid of stable flies is similar to house flies by first cleaning and sanitizing around your animals. Larva control and fly traps are an effective method of dealing with stable flies as well. However, since stable flies do not breed in manure, feed additives such as insect growth regulators (IGR) would not be an effective course of action. Horn flies Horn flies are nasty little pests that feed on the blood of pasture cattle. They’re rarely found inside of buildings and feed on the back of cattle. They prefer to rest on vegetation and breed in fresh, undisturbed manure. Horn flies have a shorter life span of only 10-20 days. Horn flies create serious issues for cattle due to the painful bites they deliver. They can decrease weight gain in beef cattle, loss of milk production in dairy cows, and damage to cattle hides. But how do you get rid of them? The most effective way to deal with them is with pour-ons and IGR feed additives containing active ingredients such as methoprene and diflubenzuron. Face flies Like horn flies, face flies affect pasture cattle and are usually not seen inside of buildings. They feed on mucus secretions around the eyes, nostrils, and mouth of cattle. Similar to horn flies, they rest in vegetation and breed in fresh, undisturbed manure. They live for about 15-25 days. While face flies don’t bite, they can cause cattle to reduce food consumption leading to less milk and weight production. They can also carry disease and cause other health issues for cattle. Use fly tags and feedthrough IGR additives to eliminate face flies. Swat away the enemy Now that you know a little bit more about the most common types of flies, you’ll be able to better identify how to deal with them. Your first step is to ensure manure and spilled feed is managed regularly and that flies do not have a place to breed. Don’t wait until flies become a problem, get started now with FBN® fly control products on sale until June 30th. Resources https://livestockvetento.tamu.edu/insectspests/house-fly/ https://www.ars.usda.gov/research/project/?accnNo=427580 https://beef.unl.edu/managing-stable-flies-pastured-cattle The above is provided for information purposes only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any condition. This information does not cover all possible variables, conditions, reactions, or risks relating to any topic, medication, or product and should not be considered complete. Certain products or medications may have risks and you should always consult your local veterinarian concerning the treatment of your animals. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE USING. Copyright © 2014 - 2021 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, “FBN Direct” are registered service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. Feed and livestock products are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are only available where licensed.


Apr 22, 2021

by Dr. Erika Nagorske

As summer approaches, it’s a good time to start thinking about adding fly control solutions to your nutrition program. No matter how much you don’t want to deal with pesky flies, they simply won’t disappear on their own. Ignoring the problem can have a significant economic impact and can adversely affect your animals’ health. Fly counts of 200 flies per animal will require a systematic plan to eradicate the infestation. Having a good understanding of the different types of flies can help you get started. While there is no one single way to deal with fly control, it’s good to tackle the issue with a multifaceted approach. When it comes time to start budgeting for your fly control program, plan to spend most of your budget in April, May, and June in order to be proactive. The first step to fly control is cleanliness Whether you’re dealing with feedlot, cow calf, dairy cattle, or swine operation, the first step to any fly control program is to clean up areas where your livestock congregate and where flies breed. Removing stock-piled manure or spilled feed and silage on a weekly basis is a simple preventative measure that will help keep flies from becoming a problem for your animals. It’s also a good idea to cut or mow vegetation to less than 5 inches to prevent those pesky flies from overtaking your livestock. Adding feed additives for fly control While cleaning is the first step to a good fly control program, there are many other ways to deal with the issue. Incorporating feed additives is a smart and effective way to curb fly infestations. Start including fly control additives in your feeding program early in the spring, usually about 30 days before the average daily temperature reaches 65 degrees or when flies begin to appear. It’s key to continue using fly control in your feed  until 30 days after the first frost in the fall. Continuing treatment in the fall is just as important as starting early in the spring. Proactive treatment in the fall will help control the next year’s fly population. This prevents horn fly larvae from hibernating and surviving the winter (aka overwintering) below manure patties. It also stops them from developing into adult flies (which would cause a nuisance for you come spring). There are two main types of fly control feed additives: insect growth regulators (IGR) and larvicide products. Both are particularly effective to help control face and horn flies. It is recommended that if you are considering using either type of additive, check to ensure that these products are also labeled as being effective against stable flies and house flies. IGR products with the active ingredient Methoprene are fly control feed additives that deal specifically with horn flies. When fed to cattle, it disrupts horn fly larvae from developing in the manure of the treated animal. There is no risk to the animal because the IGR isn’t actually absorbed but instead passes through the animal’s manure. By stopping the flies dead in their tracks from developing into biting adult flies, you’ll prevent a potentially expensive impact on your herd. Luckily, Methoprene is a very cost effective way to control flies and can cost as little as 2 to 4 cents per animal, per day. Larvicide products with the active ingredient Diflubenzuron are another popular feed additive form of fly control. Diflubenzuron works by interrupting a fly’s life cycle instead of killing it outright. It targets a fly’s ability to develop an exoskeleton, which means they’re not able to survive into adulthood.  Similar to IGR, add larvicide to your animal’s feed where it then passes through the animal and ends up in their manure. Again, this is where flies lay eggs and the larvicide prevents them from maturing into adults. It’s a cost-effective way to control flies without a lot of additional work or effort . Some farmers have found success by adding garlic to their loose mineral or tubs  to help repel flies. The research on this strategy is still being developed, but early results look promising.  Unlike IGR or larvicide, Garlic is not preventing or killing flies; rather functioning as a repellent. As with all fly control programs, it’s best to use garlic in conjunction with other fly control measures such as fly tags and pour-on insecticides. Your first step to fly control is to clean the areas where your animals feed and congregate as well as where flies breed. Good manure management will help reduce flies but will never eliminate them. That’s why it’s good to swat the problem before it gets out of hand by incorporating fly control feed additives into your program. Get started on your proactive fly control program with today. https://extension.sdstate.edu/fly-control-considerations-cattle-pasture https://beef.unl.edu/cattleproduction/controllingflies The above is provided for information purposes only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any condition. This information does not cover all possible variables, conditions, reactions, or risks relating to any topic, medication, or product and should not be considered complete. Certain products or medications may have risks and you should always consult your local veterinarian concerning the treatment of your animals. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE USING Copyright © 2014 - 2021 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, “FBN Direct” are registered service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. Feed products are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are only available where licensed.