The song says ‘Summer time and the living is easy”. I wish that were the case but warm weather brings its own problems not least of which is flies. In particular the head fly (Hydrotea Irritans) has been shown to transmit mastitis causing bacteria, in particular Truperella Pyogenes.
Whilst not generally fatal summer mastitis can cause serious financial loss in the herd. Heifers are especially susceptible and this can result in blind quarters thus reducing productivity. This applies to both beef and dairy heifers.
July, August and September are the worst months with cases often increasing over 100 fold in that time. A single case can cost upwards of £300 in lost income and animal value.
Steps can be taken to prevent or at least reduce the incidence of this.
1. Keep animals away from wooded areas
2. Keep access to ponds and still water ways to a minimum
3. Use ‘spot ons’ and ‘fly tags’ to reduce fly populations
4. Keep stress to a minimum
5. Use Garlic tubs to create a natural fly repellent layer on the animal
Megalix Garlic Grazer has proved to be a useful product in reducing the risk of fly strike. As well as supplying garlic, Megalix Garlic Grazer also includes a range of trace elements to help maintain a strong immune system.
Don’t forget that garlic has also been shown to have natural antibiotic activity also.
Now there’s something to think about!