Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘fly control

Impressive Sky

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There was no missing the approach of a significant change in the weather yesterday afternoon. It didn’t come as a surprise after a dramatic jump in temperature and humidity that was combined with a strong, gusty wind. All the ingredients were there for a bumpy end of the day.

I was moving the horses back into the paddock from the back pasture when the leading edge of a line of thunderstorms arrived overhead. A short while later, our cell phones announced our county was included in a tornado warning.

This was the second such warning to occur in this county during the past three weeks. Something tells me it’s going to be a long year for severe weather. It would be just fine with me to be wrong and have these two close calls be nature’s way of using up the threatening storms right away in early spring so the rest of the warm months will be safe and calm.

In addition to the weather drama, I got a little shock when an itch on my side turned out to be a small wood tick latched onto my flesh. Makes me miss our chickens free-ranging all over the place and controlling insects like nothing else I’ve ever seen. Sure wish the rest of the busy wildlife around here would pick up the slack and eat more flies and ticks.

The horses are also going to miss the fly-control the chickens were providing. All the wet weather of the previous weeks is harbinger of a high fly population this year. Flies have shown up early and are already making pests of themselves around the horses’ eyes.

As the sky began to look gloomier and doom-ier, we checked weather radar maps and watched as the worst looking blobs on the screen approached. Fear not, this wasn’t to be our day for damage. Just like the storms a couple of weeks ago, our location was spared as the worst-looking masses passed on either side of our property.

At one point, it began to rain in the backyard while the other side of our house remained dry.

That’s what I call really riding the edge.

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Written by johnwhays

May 10, 2022 at 6:00 am

Got Flies?

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Why, yes. Yes, we do. We have so many flies that it makes us want to get chickens to help control the insect population around here.

Oh, wait. Yeah, that.

I had a weird thought about devising a way to put a predator poison around a chicken’s neck in such a way that it wouldn’t bother the chicken but would either take out the predator or teach them that these chickens are no longer desirable prey.

In the meantime, our horses are donning fly masks and leg boots in an attempt to give them a break from the incessant insect harassment.

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Yesterday afternoon I spotted Mix having a little tantrum, running and gyrating to and fro. I suspect something got inside her mask and the poor girl couldn’t just reach up with a hand and remedy the situation. I felt so sorry for her.

I’m not as strong as a horse and nor do I have their keen sense but I do have hands with opposable thumbs.

When we were serving up their afternoon feed, I took the opportunity to use my hands to give Mix a thorough rub down and massage. I imagine after being pestered all day long by little pokes, bites, and tickles, a deep rub with heavy pressure must be a welcome change.

I know I would love that.

I would sure love it if we could have free-ranging chickens and not have them decimated by predators. I suppose it’s time for us to go back to adding fly predators to our property management like we did back when we first got horses and didn’t know a thing about keeping chickens.

We are behind the optimal control by that method as the fly predators feed on the pupa, killing flies before they emerge. They don’t do anything to stop adult flies.

One thing going for us this summer is the drought has reduced conditions that make for more flies, so I guess it could be worse.

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Written by johnwhays

July 24, 2021 at 9:58 am