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Cows and Flies

As most cattlemen know, some breeds of cattle are considered to be more naturally pest resistant than others.



Breeds such as the Texas Longhorn, Brahman, and Watusi, for example, are breeds most cattleman consider to be naturally more pest resistant than most cattle of European descent.

With this thought in mind, below are photos of flies on the backs of different breeds of cattle. The photos were taken on a summer afternoon when the temperature was about 93 degrees Fahrenheit. All of the cattle were in the same herd within just a few feet of each other.

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Flies on a young Angus cow. The Angus breed is a European breed. The other Angus cows near her seemed to have about the same number of flies.

Flies on an Angus cow

 

This is the same young Angus cow as above. The yellow line highlights where the tail can reach to help the cow fight flies. Clearly, the tail is doing its job to fight flies on the back part of the cow. However, farther forward where the tail can't reach, she is covered in flies.

Few flies where the tail can reach

 

Flies on a half Angus, half Longhorn heifer. There were definitely fewer flies on her than on the full Angus cow shown above. Longhorns (aka Texas Longhorns) are known for their natural resistance to pests.

Flies on a half Angus, half Longhorn heifer

 

Flies on a another half Longhorn, half Angus heifer. The natural pest resistance of the Longhorn breed seems to be making a strong showing in this half-breed as well as the one above.

Flies on a half Longhorn, half Angus heifer

 

Flies on a half Angus, half Brahman steer. Like Longhorns, Brahmans are known for their natural resistance to pests. Even though this calf is only half Brahman, he, like his half-Longhorn herd mates above, is benefiting from a natural resistance to pests.

Flies on a half Angus, half Brahma steer

 

Flies on a Watusi cow. Well, kind of, because there don't seem to be any flies on her at the moment. Watusis are considered to have a high natural resistance to pests. While cattle with long horns like this one's are known to sweep the flies off their back with their horns, we had been watching this cow and had not seen her do that before the photo was taken.

Flies on a Watusi cow

 

All photos are copyrighted © and property of CowboyWay.com

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The photos above are not intended to be a scientific study, however small, of natural pest resistance of cattle breeds. We simply took the photos on a hot summer afternoon while taking a walk, thought they were interesting, and have shared them here.




 



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