Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Nothing to Report

Not a Senior Moment

I didn't forget to post (unlike Caroline...*G*). I just didnt' have much to say horsewise.

I fell asleep on the couch on Monday night, and, of course, threw my neck out. I woke up on the brink of a headache, so as soon as they were open I called the chiroprator for an appointment. Any plans of working a horse in the morning fell by the wayside.

Couldn't get adjusted until noon time and on the way home I stopped at the market for some milk and incidentals. Came home to alternately ice and heat my still sore neck muscles. Then, after doing a few minimal chores, I went for a swim, figuring that if it ever cooled off after dark, I would long line Tucker and Chance.

No go. Not only did it never cool off, but I fell asleep in bed until late feed time....after midnight. This was because once my neck was sore the night before, I lost the bulk of the night's sleep.

This morning is, to say the least...sultry. It was so humid there was even a fog/mist rising over the woods. 7:30/8:00 AM and miserable already. Thunderstorms are predicted for early afternoon through to the evening, so I plan on going for an early swim. Unless it stops raining I guess the horses will have another day off.

They won't mind too much. They are hanging out in their stalls with the fans blowing on them, guzzling down the new hay. It is a lovely, sweet smelling mix of grass and clover and they absolutely love it. I hope all the bales are the same, but I wasn't there when they unloaded it, so I can't see what's in the back. So far all the bales I can see are the same delicious stuff.

As I was feeding this morning, I realized there are almost no barn flies at all. Yes, I've complained about the deer flies and horse flies coming into the arena when I ride, but those are primarily breeding in nature, not my barn area. The big pest around a barn are the flies that breed in the horse manure and wet areas. Well, I seem to have a good handle on them this season, despite the rain and several areas of "never dry" ground.

How have I been successful so far? I have used two specific fly management programs. The first is Simplifly, a feed through fly control. I started pretty early in the mid-Spring. Simplifly contains an IGR (insect growth control) that goes into the horses' manure and kills the fly larvae before they can actually develop. This is the second or third time I've used such a product and I must admit it helps quite a bit.

But the second method is even cooler. I'm sure many of you know of this, but I also use fly predators. Each month, I am sent a shipment of these little brown pupa cases with teeny tiny wasps ready to hatch after a day or so in their plastic bag at my house. Once I see the little critters--hardly bigger than a dot on the computer screen--bustling about in their plastic bag, I take them out to the barn and spread them around in areas where there are either wet spots or manure. I put some by the water trough, some along the edges of the manure pile, some along the side of the barn where there is mud, and any place else that looks damp. I also hang the bag in the barn aisle with a few little ones left inside it.

The little guys/gals go out into the world....within a 300'radius....and prey on any fly larvae in the area. Now, I did worry about using the Simplifly if I was also using the predators, but the fly predator company assured me is was no problem. The little wasps would not be harmed because they would not bother with the treated manure and not be bothered by the IGR anyhow. (Guess they are already grown up! *G*) This is the second year I have used both. Last year was pretty good, but so far this year it has been an exceptional success. I started earlier, of course, but with all the rain, I would have expected far more problems as the flies love the wet.

I'll keep my fingers crossed, but so far, so good.

3 comments:

  1. We might have to investigate the fly predators and feed-through control. We haven't done it so far because of concerns that it might not work so well with our large acreage - we have almost 16 acres. Do you think it would work on this scale without prohibitive expense?

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  2. Great success with the fly control!

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  3. I've never used the Simplify but the fly predators work wonders.

    hope your neck feels better soon and this weather clears up too.

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