Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Dear Universe: Why oh why did you make biting flies?

I have never, ever had to deal with biting flies and other insects like what we are faced with here in Maine. I spend a lot of time stringing together expletives when I'm working in the barns. The horse and Old Matilda have been effected the worst.

Last year, Matilda had trouble with the biting flies on her legs. I did my best with sprays, rub ons and such, but eventually had a vet out and we shaved her and gave her antibiotics since she had a slight infection. So this year, in my usual optimistic fashion, I set out to conquer Nature.

I did pretty well until this month. I invested in monthly fly predators-they come each month in the post and I sprinkle them on the major poop piles, and the fly eggs get eaten. I also bought lots of those stinky fly traps that are so gross-they smell like dead animals and attract the flies-and they were full up most of the summer. Next summer I'm trippling the number of those. But then this month arrived and the last hatch of biting flies has just been insane.

I had been keeping up on Matilda's legs-she is the only one of the equines who has issues, I blame it on the fact she is elderly, and she also came out of winter a bit thin which probably made her more of a target, and she is white haired which attracts flies more. While we have gotten her weight up to a good level, this past week I was losing the battle with the flies. I had been scraping off the crud, which is what the vet did last year, and wrapping her legs, and giving her a tablet the vet gave me last year. But it just wasn't helping. The good thing is there was no infection.

So I had my new vet out and we shaved her legs again, and put on these wild and crazy wrappings that are soaked in something, and we have given her a super shot they swear by, versus the pills which take longer to act. She was a real trooper when we worked on her, and Im sure it actually feels good when we get all that crud off.

She is looking pretty styling', I thought.

Next year, we'll be getting an industrial fan which the equines can stand in front of and flies can't fly in wind. I also had to invest in something from the vet to make Boone dopey when the farrier comes. He has never been a bad boy with the farrier but he ABHORS the biting flies, and I can't blame him. My farrier has been so patient, but I want him to be safe, as Boone tries to kick at the flies on his belly.

The vet did tell me the predators help alot too as time goes on, so to keep doing it, and I will. But, between you and me and all the ##+!!###hrumpf flies, I'm ready for them all to be...dead. Little terrorists is what they are.

The vet call was $550. Can you hear the barnyard going wild?

If you are able to make donations, it would be great, and helpful. I have been wanting to have this clinic out but because they are far away, the trip charge alone is $100 so I kept putting it off. But they are really good and I liked this vet a lot. I had her do an overview of our animals which made the bill high, but I need to have a good clinic on board as we go forward. I was spoiled in Oregon with my three vet clinics I worked with. But I was really happy to find a vet too that I connected with and I liked her a lot. Now we have them, and the new cat/dog vet I tried this month too is a keeper.

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~