Egret Birds/Cattle Flies

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32Paws
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Egret Birds/Cattle Flies

Postby 32Paws » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:53 am

I have had a fly issue with my cattle for the last several years and I heard that Egret birds take care of the flies on cattle. I live in Virgina near Charlottesville can I have these birds in my area of the country? Where do you find them?
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Re: Egret Birds/Cattle Flies

Postby Rafter S » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:43 am

They're pretty prevalent in my part of the country, and if they control flies I'd hate to see what our fly situation would be like if we didn't have them. I'm afraid you got some bad information. I'm not an ornithologist, but I've spent many hours watching them while going around in circles mowing weeds. I believe they follow cattle because as the cattle graze they disturb grasshoppers and other insects, which makes it easier for the egrets to catch.

Similarly, I've had as many as 8 or 10 hawks following me around in early spring when I'm discing because they're waiting for me to scare up a mouse.
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Re: Egret Birds/Cattle Flies

Postby Workinonit Farm » Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:12 pm

Cowbirds will eat a fair amount of flies, however, the birds cannot control the flies.

I'm not sure where, near C'Ville you are,(I'm in Greene County) but flies have been horrid this year. And with the almost 90 degree temps and high humidity we've been having lately, they seem to be multiplying even more.

I've been spraying my cows, fairly regularly to give them some relief. This year I've been using Permethrin, emulsifiable.

There is no one "cure-all" for flies. I wish there were. The birds, like bats with mosquitoes, certainly help, but they can't do the whole job.
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Re: Egret Birds/Cattle Flies

Postby ALACOWMAN » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:04 pm

32Paws wrote:I have had a fly issue with my cattle for the last several years and I heard that Egret birds take care of the flies on cattle. I live in Virgina near Charlottesville can I have these birds in my area of the country? Where do you find them?

A little to far north for them....we have them hang around here for a few weeks during the summer...then its back to central Ala. on south...their hard on carpenter bees I've heard..
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Re: Egret Birds/Cattle Flies

Postby farmerjan » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:12 pm

Saw some cow birds on the cows this afternoon when I hauled a load of water to this particular pasture that the spring has all but dried up at. They were sitting on their heads and I could see them drop their heads regularly so hope they were getting some.

I saw alot of the white egrets or what ever they are when I used to make the trip to Fla. to visit a friend.
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Re: Egret Birds/Cattle Flies

Postby Workinonit Farm » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:16 pm

farmerjan wrote:Saw some cow birds on the cows this afternoon when I hauled a load of water to this particular pasture that the spring has all but dried up at. They were sitting on their heads and I could see them drop their heads regularly so hope they were getting some.

I saw alot of the white egrets or what ever they are when I used to make the trip to Fla. to visit a friend.


I rarely see any Egrets around these parts. Lots of blue Herons. Now and then I'll see an Egret, but its usually near a river or a body of water of some sort.
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Re: Egret Birds/Cattle Flies

Postby farmerjan » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:18 pm

We see an occasional one here too, but mostly all blue herons and I don't see them anywhere around the cows; always in a creek or river or body of water.... even after the goldfish in some of the water troughs.
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Re: Egret Birds/Cattle Flies

Postby kenny thomas » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:28 pm

32Paws, first you need to buy some Brahama cross cows with crooked horns from either Florida or south Texas. With a good crazy cow comes 2 white birds. The issue might be catching them. Both the cow and the birds.
Seriously, we are way too dark north for them and I agree they usually catch what the cow stirs up.
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Re: Egret Birds/Cattle Flies

Postby Allenw » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:52 pm

Why? That's almost as bad as wanting feral hogs. They create a health hazard where they nest. All in one small area with feces and dead birds piling up on the ground under the trees.
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Re: Egret Birds/Cattle Flies

Postby Highpoint » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:58 pm

We tested a new product called fulvic on pasture grass and I used mineral oil with a product out of Texas called cedar oil mixed in with a little fulvic. The fulvic smells like liquid smoke and flies hate the smell of smoke. The cedar oil kills flies on contact. The test was right about flies as it did reduce them around 60 percent. We have three pastures and the cattle o
Where we sprayed fulvic we sprayed cattle every six to seven days and the others we had to spray every three days or sooner. With so many animals the increase in costs of mineral oil was offset by the reduced cost of feed to draw in cattle.

The bull was the only one which seemed to have more flies and still needed every four to five days.

In order to reduce flies further I mixed diatomasious earth with water in sprayer and sprayed the areas like ponds entrances. If I found poop on road etc I also would spray.

The research on the fulvic I found showed it reduced the odor of their sweat. Only research I found was out of Australia and they were correct.

Flies are almost gone so will give me the winter to study something to reduce the use of mineral oil. In a test I did years ago with aloe plant showed insects hated it and wonder if it could be pulverized small enough to go through sprayer as a $6 plant from lowes goes a long way not sure if it would stick to coat of animal like it does to plants either.
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Re: Egret Birds/Cattle Flies

Postby greybeard » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:07 pm

Flies are nearly gone here too. I used rubs with diesel and permethrin, therefore, the rubs must have worked.
See what I did there?

(correlation does not equal causation)
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Re: Egret Birds/Cattle Flies

Postby gizmom » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:33 pm

We bit the bullet this year and used a mineral with fly control. It has worked better than the ear tags. We have hundreds of white egrets and can assure you they don't help much if any with flys. They do make a mess where they roost. The best product we ever used for fly control was vigilante fly control bolas it worked, so of course they took it off the market.

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Re: Egret Birds/Cattle Flies

Postby Caustic Burno » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:52 pm

Rafter S wrote:They're pretty prevalent in my part of the country, and if they control flies I'd hate to see what our fly situation would be like if we didn't have them. I'm afraid you got some bad information. I'm not an ornithologist, but I've spent many hours watching them while going around in circles mowing weeds. I believe they follow cattle because as the cattle graze they disturb grasshoppers and other insects, which makes it easier for the egrets to catch.

Similarly, I've had as many as 8 or 10 hawks following me around in early spring when I'm discing because they're waiting for me to scare up a mouse.



Somebody forgot to tell the egrets here there supposed to eat flies.
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Re: Egret Birds/Cattle Flies

Postby 1982vett » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:32 pm

Caustic Burno wrote:
Rafter S wrote:They're pretty prevalent in my part of the country, and if they control flies I'd hate to see what our fly situation would be like if we didn't have them. I'm afraid you got some bad information. I'm not an ornithologist, but I've spent many hours watching them while going around in circles mowing weeds. I believe they follow cattle because as the cattle graze they disturb grasshoppers and other insects, which makes it easier for the egrets to catch.

Similarly, I've had as many as 8 or 10 hawks following me around in early spring when I'm discing because they're waiting for me to scare up a mouse.



Somebody forgot to tell the egrets here there supposed to eat flies.


I’m happy with them working over the grasshoppers.....and thankfully we didn’t have many this year.
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Re: Egret Birds/Cattle Flies

Postby cowgirl8 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:34 am

We have egrets and cowbirds and flies...We fed wind and rain all year, and we had flies. Its a constant struggle here.
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