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Birds for fly control

My dad, Gary, has been working on a project we’ve wanted to do for several years now: attracting tree swallows for fly control.

We first learned about it from Greg Judy who we met at the Sustainable Ag Conference in 2014.

The idea is to put up suitable bird houses that make a nice place for tree swallows, and pretty soon we hope to end up with a large population that will then feast on the flies that stress the cattle. One pair of tree swallows can eat 8000 flies per day!

We’ve already seen that with mob grazing, the herd’s flies are concentrated more which in turn draws birds because they can more efficiently feed on the flies. By putting up bird houses around the farm, we intend to attract the birds even more. You can see an example of a tight grazing cell in the video below, as well as a few fly-eating birds if you look closely.