Fly pressure is responsible for millions of dollars of loss in the cattle industry through stress, blood loss, decreased grazing efficacy, reduced weight gains, and diminished milk production in mother cows. We would like to demonstrate an easy, low labor, and low cost method of controlling those flies. Reduced fly pressure will allow us to have healthier animals and by using lumber from the property we will increase the acres of grazable land allowing us to increase our herd size in future seasons.
Project objectives from proposal:
- Identify the appropriate number of tree swallow houses to that will be needed to maintain a healthy population of tree swallows and minimum number of flies on the farm.
- Harvest red cedar lumber on the farm to expand our available pasture land. The harvested lumber will provide raw material to construct tree swallow houses to be used on the farm and sold at local farmers’ market and through our website to generate an extra income source.
- Evaluate health of cattle utilizing tree swallows as fly control method
- Share findings through organizing an on farm field day, website/social media, instructional videos