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Effect of two stable fly control methods on dairy cattle bunching behavior on a California dairy.

E. Abdelfattah

Events

06-24-2020

Abstract:

291
Effect of two stable fly control methods on dairy cattle bunching behavior on a California dairy.
E. Abdelfattah*1, J. Tonooka1, D. Williams1, W. El Ashmawy1, A. Gerry2, H. Rossow1,3, T. Lehenbauer1,3, S. Aly1,3. 1Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis Tulare, CA, 2Department of Entomology, University of California Riverside, CA, 3Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California Davis, CA.

The stable fly (Stomoxys calcitrans) is blood-feeding fly that targets the lower limbs and abdomen of cattle leading animals aggregating into groups, a protective behavior known as bunching. The objective of this crossover study was to evaluate the effectiveness of 2 stable fly control methods on reducing the incidence of bunching and stable fly counts on the front legs of cows. The study was conducted on 3 pens, of approximately 150 lactating cows each, at a single dairy over 3 replicated phases. Pens were assigned to the following treatments: 1) KattleGuard fly spray system (KG) which dispenses a solution of 1% permethrin and 1% piperonyl butoxide over the back and legs of cows as they exit the milking parlor, 2) trigger fabrics impregnated with 0.1% lambda-cyhalothrin (TF) hung along the feedbunk of the pen, or 3) a no treatment control (CON). The treatment period lasted for 10 d, followed by a 4-d washout period before the treatments were rotated among the same 3 pens. Stable fly counts on cow legs and cattle bunching in the pens were recorded twice per day (9—11 and 12—2). Bunching was recorded daily at the pen level and stable fly counts were recorded on 15 cows from each pen by 2 trained personnel. The log-transformed mean number of flies on the legs of 15 cows from each pen was calculated and analyzed with pen and period as crossed random effects in a linear mixed model. Bunching was analyzed using mixed-effects logistic regression. Cows treated with KG had significantly reduced odds of bunching during the afternoon (OR = 0.002; P = 0.001) in comparison to CON pens. Similarly, TF reduced the odds of bunching during the afternoon times (OR = 0.04; P = 0.01) in comparison to CON. During afternoons, cows treated with KG had (P = 0.03) lower stable fly counts on their legs (0.67 � 0.21 flies/legs) in comparison to untreated group of cows (1.11 � 0.20 flies/legs); however, the fly count on legs in TF pens (1.00 � 0.30 flies/legs) was not different from CON (P = 0.67). The current study showed that the fly spray system significantly reduced bunching and stable fly biting during the afternoon on a dairy in Tulare County.

Keywords: fly spray, treated fabrics, stable fly.