Hello from west Texas

farmerjan

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I'm also pretty much a"newbie" here on SS, but been on BYH for awhile. Went on BYC a few times, but after having purebred show chickens for 50 years, and raising free range layers and lots of ccx broilers a year, decided that it was too much more for smaller pet type flocks..... mine have to pay their way at the least.... make some money or contribute to the freezer big time at best.... and since we farm "full-time" as well as both my DS and I work full-time jobs....(although mine is slowly fading away as more dairies sell out or owners retire from milking); decided I liked the more practical group on BYH . It's a pretty great group on there. I like SS because I have gotten some insight into others doing more things to be independently self sufficient. I like hearing about the different areas of the country too.
 

HornyToadAcres

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I'm also pretty much a"newbie" here on SS, but been on BYH for awhile. Went on BYC a few times, but after having purebred show chickens for 50 years, and raising free range layers and lots of ccx broilers a year, decided that it was too much more for smaller pet type flocks..... mine have to pay their way at the least.... make some money or contribute to the freezer big time at best.... and since we farm "full-time" as well as both my DS and I work full-time jobs....(although mine is slowly fading away as more dairies sell out or owners retire from milking); decided I liked the more practical group on BYH . It's a pretty great group on there. I like SS because I have gotten some insight into others doing more things to be independently self sufficient. I like hearing about the different areas of the country too.
Yes, I was on BYC a while back and I know what you mean. Somewhat different "audience."

My daughter put it very well - here on Horny Toad Acres, animals are Pets, Production or Products.
And we don't even have anything that is solely a pet. We just can't afford it. And that creates a different
mindset. So if I get a chicken that starts eating eggs, even if she is my oldest, favoritest Easter Egger, she's going to be dog food as soon as I scope her out. I just had to cull a young EE (or something that TSC said was an EE) that laid beautiful medium brown eggs. She didn't eat her own eggs. No, she went after the white eggs.

This is Muffy - she is about 5 years old and makes me smile. She can get by with not laying as much but she is the only one. lol
IMG_20180218_113925049 (1).jpg
 

HornyToadAcres

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This is not very self-sufficient of me but I am eagerly awaiting my first spring shipment of fly predators.
They work really well for me.

Just house flies but a lot of them.

I feel like a wuss after reading this thread.

It's JUST house flies. :sick
 

Lazy Gardener

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You are saying that you have a shipment of predators to eat flies? More info, please... what species? Do they eat fly maggots or do they eat flies on the fly? That sounds exciting. You might consider raising Black Soldier Fly Larvae. My understanding is that they do a great job decreasing house flies. And, if you have chickens, they LOVE BSFL. They are a wonderful source of protein.
 

HornyToadAcres

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You are saying that you have a shipment of predators to eat flies? More info, please... what species? Do they eat fly maggots or do they eat flies on the fly? That sounds exciting. You might consider raising Black Soldier Fly Larvae. My understanding is that they do a great job decreasing house flies. And, if you have chickens, they LOVE BSFL. They are a wonderful source of protein.

First, that is interesting information about Black Soldier Fly Larvae. I have looked into that some but I did not know the added attraction of them decreasing house flies.

The fly predators I get come from Spalding Labs (https://spalding-labs.com/) and attack the pupae stage of the fly. I can't find the species though the website is full of info. The people that answer the phone are super helpful. They are tiny but bigger than gnats. It is possibly it is a mix of actual species.

Last year was the first year I tried them. I started a month late and the control is gradually better but it definitely cut our fly population in half pretty quickly. I use those hanging traps but they seem to have a disadvantage of also attracting the neighbors' flies. Lots of horse owners around me. The control is supposed to be even better this year because of starting sooner. By the end of the season, we had only a reasonable amount of house flies (if that makes any sense). We have great swarms of flies (some of them biting, not just regular house flies) otherwise.
 
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