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Author Topic: Cattle Rub vs Ear Tags.  (Read 1613 times)

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Offline LeeB

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Cattle Rub vs Ear Tags.
« on: June 24, 2021, 07:28:41 PM »
The flies are horrible this year. I've used ear tags in the past but not recently. Just wondering if a rub sock would be more effective. The face flies are bad too this year so thought may a rub with face flaps might be good. Any opinions on which would be a better option? I don't have a whole lot of cattle and have sprayed them with permethrins a couple of times already this year but it doesn't seem to make much difference.
'98 LT40HDD/Lombardini, Case 580L, Cat D4C, JD 3032 tractor, JD 5410 tractor, Husky 346, 372 and 562XP's. Stihl MS180 and MS361, 1998 and 2006 3/4 Ton 5.9 Cummins 4x4's, 1989 Dodge D100 w/ 318, and a 1966 Chevy C60 w/ dump bed.

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Cattle Rub vs Ear Tags.
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2021, 08:14:26 PM »
Good ear tags work, in both ears, but get them from the COOP if you can, they will know which formulations are the most effective for this year.  When a cow has them in both ears, and they are near the tips, the cow will flick their ears and the tags will reach their face.  They will knock put the face and horn flies pretty well.  The flies get immune to some of the insecticides, yearly, so basic brand ear tags from tractor supply were pretty worthless, year after year, at least from what happened to us.  

A sock rub works OK but I had much better success with a good cattle spray mixed heavy with diesel.  I use a standard garden pump sprayer, and literally hosed the cows down every couple days, dripping wet, when we brought them up for feeding.  (We sold our cattle last year and havenít restocked this year).  When their heads are down in the trough, hose them down, but avoid their faces.    

Spray every cow plop you can find, especially in your feeding area.  The flies hatch from them, so spray them as you walk by.

One year the flies were so bad, we bought fly parasites, and sprinkled them into the cow plops.  The little buggers hatch, and seek out fly larvae and kill them.  They were pretty effective, but we eventually quit, and just went to ear tags and lots of spray.  

Remember that the flies hatch from the manure, so the ones you kill today will be replaced next week.  Just keep at it.  
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If it wonít roll, its not a log; itís still a piece of tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not pieces of trees.

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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Cattle Rub vs Ear Tags.
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2021, 08:42:06 PM »
This was a good document i came across while researching the active ingredients in all sorts of product to put on my boots and pants for summer in the deer woods.


The Cow-Calf Manager: Fly Control to Keep the Flies From Winning



Ive been stocking up on "mosquito halt" at my local co-op for $7/gallon.. Its outrageously expensive online.  Works great on me and the dogs. More than just permethrin.  
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Re: Cattle Rub vs Ear Tags.
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2021, 09:13:04 PM »
Well the way I see it spraying insecticide onto manure pies is a great way to create resistant parasites. Just the same way we now have Roundup resistance in many plants.  

When you attack the problem bugs with poison you also attack the good ones, those are the ones that eat the problem bugs.  Be that dung beetles or cow birds. Eventually all you have are super resistant bad bugs. 

Try mineral oil instead of diesel as a carrying agent. Very effective and a whole lot less toxic. 
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Offline Nebraska

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Re: Cattle Rub vs Ear Tags.
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2021, 09:35:57 PM »
Dragging your pasture to break up the manure piles is probably  a better process  than  spraying patties. That being said most folks don't have that kind of pasture where it's an option.  Yes flytags can help, different  ones work better in different places.  So visit with local large animal folks (retailers, veterinarians  etc) about what is working.... also  don't forget ag extension agents.  I have a mildly adversarial view of fly tags in my area. Our worst fly season is late summer,  we put most of our fly tags in during late spring. Most of the goody is gone by the time we need them the most. Consider that issue. Also most cows don't really like getting them restraint can be an issue.. Face wipes  are pretty effective if you can find an insectide  that works in your area and your cows figure them out.. Yes mineral oil is probably  a better diluent than diesel.  Just my two cents.. 


Offline mike_belben

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Re: Cattle Rub vs Ear Tags.
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2021, 09:42:26 PM »
Nebraska is too humble to come out and say that hes a doctor of veterinary medicine.. If im getting the title right.
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Cattle Rub vs Ear Tags.
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2021, 10:47:03 PM »
I never tried mineral oil, I assume it would repel flies, also.  Kind of expensive though, but Iím recently out of the cattle business so Iíll defer to the professionals and the people still active in it.

All the guys around here use diesel, thereís not too many flies that will to land on a diesel smelling cow, pesticide or no pesticide, and itís rain resistant.  The cows certainly didnít mind getting sprayed, they would just stand there with a smile on their faces as the flies lifted off and disappeared.  

Without a doubt, the best way get rid of the flies is to get rid of the cows.  We raised registered Angus for a couple decades, but got out because input costs were higher than our gross profit.  It was a shame, we enjoyed it, but between the hay, fertilizer, feed, etc, we were losing money.  The only thing we have left now is 3-1/2 miles of fence line and a couple donkeys.  No more flies.  The pastures never looked so lush.  

I donít see how the pros do it, the margins are so thin.  We made more in one month with a sawmill than in a year with cattle, and I donít even have to castrate the mill.  I got pretty good at roping, but itís hard to drive a 4 wheeler and swing a rope at the same time.

We finally closed up shop when Bugger, our bull, decided to tear down a steel gate and joust with our Porta Potti.  Fortunately, the customer who was in it at the time came out fast when he heard the screams from onlookers, him running like a rodeo clown, pants down around his ankles.  It was scary and hilarious at the same time.  

YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

If it wonít roll, its not a log; itís still a piece of tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not pieces of trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, theyíre burned, and you canít fix them.  Donít burn the cookies.

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Re: Cattle Rub vs Ear Tags.
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2021, 11:19:23 PM »
The only way the little guy makes money in cattle is the same way the little guy makes money with a sawmill.  Manage every aspect, produce something nobody else does, have better quality that anyone else, eliminate input costs every place possible, and make every penny work for you until it earned a dollar, then recycle it.

In the same way you keep your walnut losses minimized - buying the right logs, not allowing too much over cut, knowing exactly what the kiln is doing, I manage the soil microbes in my pastures and hay ground, which give me grass that I feed to the herd.  This time of year I spend 30 minutes each evening walking behind the daily paddock moves with a shovel and whacking and carrying out any bull thistle that shows up.  It actually does not feel like work standing there looking over the temporary fence watching all the little ones playing as a bunny or wood chuck shuffles by, it's my decompression time from the day no matter what happened I walk away feeling better.  
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT Super 70 and LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.
White Oak Meadows

Offline LeeB

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Re: Cattle Rub vs Ear Tags.
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2021, 12:15:11 AM »
I'm certainly not in it commercially. Kinda hard to do that with only 12 head. I enjoy them. They are more like pets that keep the freezer full. Even though they are for feeding me, I still want to take care of them and practice good husbandry.
'98 LT40HDD/Lombardini, Case 580L, Cat D4C, JD 3032 tractor, JD 5410 tractor, Husky 346, 372 and 562XP's. Stihl MS180 and MS361, 1998 and 2006 3/4 Ton 5.9 Cummins 4x4's, 1989 Dodge D100 w/ 318, and a 1966 Chevy C60 w/ dump bed.

Offline brianJ

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Re: Cattle Rub vs Ear Tags.
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2021, 08:14:35 AM »
Permethrin is a contact killer with no residual activity so spray in the evening and more flies be bugging the cows by morning.    

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Cattle Rub vs Ear Tags.
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2021, 12:19:51 PM »
Im not disagreeing because i dont know, but if there is no residual activity how can  it last in fabric for several washings?  
Isaiah 63:10

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Cattle Rub vs Ear Tags.
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2021, 12:20:46 PM »
And a question.. Is anyone here a commercial swine producer?
Isaiah 63:10

Offline LeeB

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Re: Cattle Rub vs Ear Tags.
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2021, 01:11:44 PM »
Permethrin is a contact killer with no residual activity so spray in the evening and more flies be bugging the cows by morning. 


I believe it has residual killing power, just no deterrent powers. Won't prevent new ones from coming but will kill them when they do. 
'98 LT40HDD/Lombardini, Case 580L, Cat D4C, JD 3032 tractor, JD 5410 tractor, Husky 346, 372 and 562XP's. Stihl MS180 and MS361, 1998 and 2006 3/4 Ton 5.9 Cummins 4x4's, 1989 Dodge D100 w/ 318, and a 1966 Chevy C60 w/ dump bed.

Online Southside

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Re: Cattle Rub vs Ear Tags.
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2021, 01:51:22 PM »
@Wudman had a commercial hog operation in the past. 
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT Super 70 and LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.
White Oak Meadows

Offline LeeB

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Re: Cattle Rub vs Ear Tags.
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2021, 03:19:13 PM »
Bought a rub pillow today. I'll see how that works out.
'98 LT40HDD/Lombardini, Case 580L, Cat D4C, JD 3032 tractor, JD 5410 tractor, Husky 346, 372 and 562XP's. Stihl MS180 and MS361, 1998 and 2006 3/4 Ton 5.9 Cummins 4x4's, 1989 Dodge D100 w/ 318, and a 1966 Chevy C60 w/ dump bed.

Offline farmfromkansas

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Re: Cattle Rub vs Ear Tags.
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2021, 03:20:59 PM »
I get IGR mineral from the Coop, have to get a prescription to buy it, but it treats the manure to keep flies from reproducing, also has the right amount of antibiotic to protect the cows from antiplasmosis.  That disease showed up a few years ago, so now we have to feed this expensive mineral to protect our cows.  70 cows in my pastures.
Most everything I enjoy doing turns out to be work

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Re: Cattle Rub vs Ear Tags.
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2021, 06:28:22 PM »
Surprisingly, throughout the 80's and early 90's I was a 100 sow farrow-to-finish operator, which nicely complemented the 2500 acre cash crop operation.

How can I help?

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Offline Nebraska

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Re: Cattle Rub vs Ear Tags.
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2021, 07:40:54 PM »
I like  the rub option, trick is getting them to use it and the right mix of fly stuff.

Offline LeeB

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Re: Cattle Rub vs Ear Tags.
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2021, 07:43:42 PM »
I think getting them to use it will be easy enough. They love their grain and have to go through a gate to get it.  :D
'98 LT40HDD/Lombardini, Case 580L, Cat D4C, JD 3032 tractor, JD 5410 tractor, Husky 346, 372 and 562XP's. Stihl MS180 and MS361, 1998 and 2006 3/4 Ton 5.9 Cummins 4x4's, 1989 Dodge D100 w/ 318, and a 1966 Chevy C60 w/ dump bed.

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Re: Cattle Rub vs Ear Tags.
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2021, 09:37:54 PM »
Good the right bait always helps. :)


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