Are Flies and Mosquitoes Taking a Bite Out of Performance?

May 29, 2020

Tara Jo Bina
Countryside Feed Livestock Nutrition
Have you ever thought you were actually what was on the menu for flies at a barbeque? How about feeling like you needed a bat in the stands of a baseball game because of how much you were swinging at mosquitos? There is no doubt that flies, mosquitos, and other biting insects can make summer absolutely miserable! Now imagine you can’t go inside, or put on a long sleeve shirt to avoid the bites and irritation those pesky pests bring. That is what it’s like for your livestock!
Flies and mosquitos are two common biting insects that impact sheep and goats this time of year. Animal feed intakes, performance, and herd health are all at risk due to these pests:
Feed Intake
When sheep and goats are constantly fending off insects, they tend to spend less time at the feed bunk, and in turn intakes decrease.
To add insult to injury, animals that are exerting more energy than normal to battle pests don’t convert the feed they eat to growth or milk as efficiently. Less efficient animals eating less feed is not a formula for success in the sheep and goat industries!
Herd Health
Flies and mosquitos also carry many diseases that can affect the health and performance of livestock. One example of this is the transition of Cache Valley Disease in sheep and goats.
The good news is that there are economical ways to help your animals combat biting insect through the feed. Both feedthrough insecticides and garlic products have been shown to control pests for just pennies a day. Contact your Countryside Feed representative to help reduce the impact of biting insects and keep your sheep and goats comfortable this summer.

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