Last week’s rain followed by a return to very hot, dry conditions has led to a very sharp increase in fly populations across all areas of Northern Ireland.
Flies bring with them the threat of summer mastitis and a number of other health-related challenges where cattle and sheep are concerned.
Keeping flies at bay will now be a priority for farmers with all categories of stock at grass.
Many herd and flock owners are hesitant to use insecticide-based applications given the withdrawal periods associated with these products.
There is also the additional workload involved in putting animals up a race in order to allow for the safe application of these treatments.
The good news, however, is that the simple placement of Crystalyx Garlyx feed blocks with grazing heifers, dry cows, dry stock and sheep provides an extremely natural and effective response to the challenge of fly strike and other fly-related problems throughout the summer months.
David Morgan, from Caltech Crystalyx, explains: “Flies are most likely to be a problem in fields adjacent to trees, a woodland area, high hedges and standing water.
“The good news is that Crystalyx Garlyx represents a natural way of protecting cattle and sheep from biting insects.
“The product has also been specifically formulated to maximise animal performance by stimulating forage intake and digestion.”
He added: “The natural, high-sulphur compounds in garlic act as an insect repellent, which ward off flies and other biting insects.
“The tubs and buckets can be conveniently put out in fields and paddocks with stock throughout the grazing season.”
Kinawley dairy farmer Nigel Graham has a very succinct way of describing the impact of the Garlyx blocks once they are put out into the fields.
He explained: “I can get a strong smell of garlic coming off the cattle, almost as soon as I come into the field with them.
“We have not had a problem with flies since we started using Garlyx. The blocks are also very palatable. The cattle can’t get enough of them.”
Nigel milks 90 Holstein/Friesian cows with his father George. The herd is currently averaging 8,000L with heifers calving down at between 24 and 25 months.
“The last thing we need is a problem with summer mastitis,” Nigel explained.
“Many of our field boundaries contain a significant number of trees. The flies are always there in large numbers during the summer months.
“Thankfully, Garlyx is providing the protection against fly strike that we need.”
Crystalyx Garlyx is ideally provided to livestock – cattle and sheep – at those times when flies and biting insects are extremely prevalent.
If livestock are stressed and/or irritated then they are less likely to graze, therefore becoming less productive.
Garlyx acts to make livestock’s skin less attractive to biting insects.
In such instances they are less likely to bother livestock. The natural garlic contained in Garlyx is consumed by livestock with every lick and over the days that follow the garlic passes through the animal and is secreted out from pores in the skin.
This then produces an invisible barrier around livestock, which flies and other biting insects find repellent.