Regional Calf Report: Northern Wisconsin – Jessica Bryan, Vita Plus Kennan
It is starting to look a lot like spring in the Northwoods of Wisconsin with the snow melt gone and the rainy weather bringing more moisture. It makes it a little easier to think about the coming summer.
With the weather changing to warmer temperatures, calf raisers will have to start thinking about the ever-present challenge of flies. Fly control success lies in prevention, so we need to invest the time to understand the products available and how they fit into each unique operation.
The first step in keeping the flies to a smaller population is cleanliness of milk prep rooms, new hutches/pens and other facilities. Frequently clean the packs of the pens and hutches and wash them completely between calves to eliminate the areas that the flies can lay eggs. Cleanliness is going to be a primary defense against the number of flies around your calves.
The next step in keeping a handle on the fly population is the use of insecticides either as a spray or to be fed through the calf. Both of these options are very effective and I generally see a combination of both on farms.
A lot of farms also have a pesticide company spray for all remaining flies that are in the vicinity and come in from outside sources and the environment.
To some it may seem early to be worrying about flies and the impact they have on calf health and growth. With the weather changing to warmer temperatures, it is necessary to consider adding these larvicides into the calves’ milk and feed so the environment is ready when the flies start to lay their eggs.
Starting Strong - Calf Care