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maryjane Posted - Jun 24 2015 : 1:03:46 PM
I've had Michael Wicks' SIDE KICK out as free-choice for my cattle now that we're in the thick of fly season but they haven't been very interested in it. So, about five days ago I started mixing it into some moist Chaffhaye ... generously. What a difference I'm seeing! A week ago my bulls were covered in flies. The change is so dramatic, I asked my husband if he'd resorted to a pour-on for them. And the girls I'm milking haven't started giving us "sulfur" milk yet. I'll report back in another week, just to be sure I'm seeing what I'm seeing.
402-925-2475 Wicks Livestock Nutrition
13   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
NellieBelle Posted - Jul 18 2017 : 1:37:04 PM
That is interesting MaryJane. I haven't noticed any smell from Darla, who came from the same place. Perhaps it was Anna's illness. Glad you have a handle on the fly situation. That can be exasperating. I'm happy I found another dealer for the chaffhaye. Only 1 hour and 15 minutes away.
maryjane Posted - Jul 18 2017 : 09:43:29 AM
I grabbed a photo of my steer, Sweet William, and my bull, Ian, lounging. It was almost 9:30 this morning when I took the photo. You probably can't see from the photo but Willy had three flies on his face and only a handful on his body. Same with Ian. I've had flies covering my animals so bad at times (way back when), I thought we'd all go nuts.

Interestingly enough, when Anna and M'lady first arrived from Iowa, they truly attracted flies. Plus, we all remarked about how their smell was off, kind of a large dairy not-so-pleasant smell. And when I couldn't give Anna Chaffhaye recently (health issues) and switched her to probably GMO Purina grain w/molasses (she wouldn't eat my non-sweetened organic grain), she started to really smell again and I had to cover her constantly with fly spray, even her nose because there would be 100s on her poor nose. But now that I've taken her off that grain and have her on just Chaffhaye, grass hay, and about 2 cups of organic Modesto grain/day, she smells yummy again. I love the smell of a cow, their breath, everything. Maybe it's like humans who ingest bad things and have bad body odor. Just a thought. Bottom line, I think my mineral program is working and helps deter flies. Then, with the daily spraying, they're in pretty good shape as far as flies go.
maryjane Posted - Jul 18 2017 : 06:08:41 AM
I quit serving it to my cows because I ended up with a daily spray system I use without fail (plus I really like the way it makes my cows smell:). I used to use a backpack sprayer but didn't love the weight of it when putting it on and taking it off. I found small handheld sprayers that I use and have several of them in various places around the farm so I can pick them up easily and spray, using the herbal spray recipe in my book.

I really don't have a nasty fly problem anymore, even on my one bull that I don't spray. Perhaps my animals are getting enough iodine with their minerals???? Also, I use predators.
tracylea.henrie Posted - Jul 17 2017 : 2:45:55 PM
Hello everyone, I know this is an old thread, but I was wondering if you all are still using the kick start for fly control? I have flies something terrible this year and NOTHING I have tried as of sprays are working, and I don't want to poison us all with the scary stuff. Please let me know if this is "the thing" to help with the flies or do you all feel the garlic is a better option?
Thanks in advance
Mike Posted - Jun 26 2015 : 6:55:44 PM
Magazine is the same name. Joe Mischka, publisher.

I completely forgot to mention garlic for fly control. Natural control, and it's the sulphur in the garlic that does most of it. Several sources of dried, granular garlic to use mixed in feeds. John Adametz at 'A to Z Percherons' told me about it. Good stuff.

Sulphurized molasses works well too. It tastes great and smells like ginger snaps!
CloversMum Posted - Jun 26 2015 : 09:09:40 AM
Wow, what great resources you all are! I am giving Betsy and Clover their kelp and dairy minerals daily with their dairy pellets. I think I'll add the SideKick as well, dosing like Janet does. I noticed this morning that Betsy had lots more flies on her belly than compared to Clover. Not sure why, just an observation.

Mike, now I just need several hours just to browse through that list, Rural Heritage! What fun and a huge resource to be able to access vast depths of experiences. Is the magazine by the same name?
Mike Posted - Jun 26 2015 : 07:24:48 AM
That list, 'Rural Heritage', is a good one. Ask any farm related questions and get answers. Several old farmers on there, for sure. Old ranchers too. I can picture several of them taking a shot at the spittoon before they reply, smiling, then typing out some sage advice. Works for me.

Joe Mischka, the editor of the magazine, is available as well and can usually point out an article or two in the back issues that will expand upon your question.
maryjane Posted - Jun 26 2015 : 07:12:19 AM
Charlene, I would think that with the kelp and dairy minerals you're giving them they shouldn't be deficient. The trick is getting it down them on a regular, daily basis. Given the results of blood work I've done in the past, I've had to step up making SURE they get it EVERY DAY and not just free-choice, which is what happened with the SideKick. I think Janet's amount sounds right.
NellieBelle Posted - Jun 25 2015 : 10:46:08 AM
I can't say that I've noticed because I spray them a couple times a day. So I would have to quit spraying and see if there is a noticeable difference. I use everything like it's seasoning on their main diet of pellet feed/alfalfa pellets. I don't over do it. There is some mineral and kelp in the organic dairy feed so I don't feel the need to add much.
CloversMum Posted - Jun 25 2015 : 08:36:14 AM
And, Janet, do you notice a positive difference with just 30 ml per cow per day?

Does an animal need to be low in iodine AND sulfur to be attracting more flies? I currently do not have the Side Kick, but I do have Kelp so hopefully my animals are not deficient in iodine but I suppose they could still low in sulfur.

Thanks for the link, Mike. That looks like a very interesting thread. I do hope people are still willing to teach those of us who desire a simpler way of life and might not have had the opportunity to learn those necessary basics of country life. So much to learn!
Mike Posted - Jun 24 2015 : 4:34:16 PM
Here is an interesting thread on 'Rural Heritage':

Down a bit, poster Vince M. mentions suflur salt for his cows. The entire thread is relevant to us here, many comments about lost knowledge, or the simple lack of education these days.

NellieBelle Posted - Jun 24 2015 : 2:42:59 PM
I've just been adding a little to their feed/mineral/pellets each day, probably 30 ml. per each cow per day. That amounts to about a medicine cup full per cow per day. I suppose I could put it into a large 5 gallon bucket and mix it all together. That's the same amounts he told me when I purchased the Side Kick from him.
maryjane Posted - Jun 24 2015 : 1:27:34 PM
I talked with Michael just now and he said that an animal low in sulfur or iodine attracts flies and that's the idea behind his Side Kick. He recommends 5 to 10 pounds Side Kick added to 50# minerals.

I then asked if it was possible to overdose them on Side Kick and he said yes. If you give them too much they'll get watery eyes or a dry cough. Now, for some math so I'm not merely winging it on how much to give everyone.

The change in the flies hovering around my bulls is significant. Happier bulls, happier me.