The objective of this study was to evaluate Freedom-Ranger broiler chickens as a method to control face fly (Musca autumnalis De Geer) larvae in cow dung pats on pasture. Ninety-nine pats in three replicates were inoculated with first-instar larvae and exposed to one of four treatment conditions for 3 to 4 days: (1) an environment-controlled greenhouse (GH); (2) pasture without broilers (NEG); (3) pasture with 25 broilers stocked at a low density of 2.5 m2 of outdoor area per broiler (LOW); and (4) pasture with 25 broilers stocked at a high density of 0.5 m2 of outdoor area per broiler (HIGH). Broiler behaviors and weather conditions were recorded twice daily. Survival rates of larvae (mean, 95% CI) were similar for pats in the NEG (4.4%, 2–9%), LOW (5.6%, 3–11%), and HIGH (3.2%, 2–7%) groups, and was greatest for larvae reared in the GH (54.4%, 36–72%) group compared to all other groups. The proportion of broilers observed pasture ranging was 14.0% (6–28%) but was negatively related to solar radiation. Broilers were never observed foraging in pats. Results indicate that use of broilers may not be an effective method for controlling larvae of dung pat breeding flies.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture United States Department of Agriculture, grant number 2016-51300-25734.
This research was funded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture United States Department of Agriculture, grant number 2016-51300-25734.
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Animal welfare
- Broiler chickens
- Dairy cattle
- Dung fly
- Face fly
- Fly control
- Pest management