While some of my friends and I are having a problem with gnats and fruit flies around the house, our cows are having a problem with flies out in the field! This summer was so dry that we didn’t really have a big problem with insects earlier in the year. And now that we have gotten some rain, the bugs have come back out. Ick.
Because the cows are being bothered so much by the flies, we treated them with fly spray. Farmer Doc and I went out to visit some of our cows we keep at a different pasture and give them a fly spray bath.
First, Farmer Doc put out some corn to entice them to come out of the rolling pasture and into the barn lot. (Where we could reach them.)
Then we waited.
Finally, some of them started poking their heads around the corner.
Corn? Is that corn? Can I have some?
Hey, thanks for the snack! All this grass is great, but I was having a corn craving!
We did put fly tags in the cows’ ears earlier this year, but they have stopped working by now. The fly tags have a slow release fly repellant, and by this time of year all the chemical has been released. Now they’re just yellow triangle-shaped earrings.
As you can see, the flies are pretty awful. They are thick as thieves around our cows.
They keep their tails swishing to keep the itchy insets off, but they just come right back.
And those flies are no dummies. They tend to hang out around the cows front legs and head – just out of reach of the swishing tail.
Even our late-season calf isn’t immune from the flies! Poor guy! (Or girl… I’ll be honest, I’m not sure…)
About half the herd came up to have a mid-day snack. These cows aren’t quite as tame as the cows we have in the pasture by our house, and they certainly don’t come when we call them. Farmer Doc had his fly spray all mixed up, and squirted it on their backs when they were distracted by the corn buffet.
I wish I could say that that they didn’t notice, or that they didn’t mind. But, frankly, that’s not true. They didn’t much like being sprayed with the fly repellant. But Farmer Doc has long arms, and the sprayer has a long reach. He got everybody a little wet, and the cows came right back to eating when he stopped spraying.
Poor cows. They don’t like the bugs, they don’t like the spray… This is much less stressful than putting each cow in the chute and putting new fly tags in their ears. And, we’re hoping that it will start getting cold around here and the bugs won’t be a problem for too much longer!