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Jane’s Got Mail

March 5, 2013

Okay, first Jane gets seeds in the mail and now clothing.  :p  Cow couture has trickled down from the equine world.  A long, long time ago, I had this great idea to make a fly mask for Jane’s grandma, Lee, short for Wilsonview Nick’s Cecilee.  Well my muslin pattern for a cow fly mask has languished so long in my UFO (unfinished object to the quilters among us)  area, I don’t know if it actually is with the quilt stuff or the milk cloth muslin…gah.

Alas, while I was putting that idea on the back burner, Kirby, a family cow aficionado on the Keeping a Family Cow proboard wasn’t languishing, she was busy making her cows comfortable.

Shoo Fly!

Shoo Fly!

Now Jane can be a little more comfortable this summer.  I like the No-Fly from Crystal Creek, but Jane HATES it!  Cows and strong essential oils are not a good mix.  I wrote about applying the No-Fly in this post, but I look forward to not using it this summer on Jane’s face and putting this fly mask to good use.

Kirby has some fly masks made ahead in anticipation of the summer fly season.  Jane is sporting green, but navy, salsa, red, blue, orange, yellow and beige are also available in the sizes below:

Extra large over 1200 lbs $14.50
Large 750 lbs – 1200 lbs $13.50
Mini/ Medium 350 lbs – 750 lbs $10.50
Newborn/small 40 lbs to 350 lbs $ 9.50
Newborn/ x- small under 40 lbs $9.50

You can contact Kirby by sending her a personal message on the Keeping a Family Cow proboard, her member name is 4ever.

If the feedback she has received from other members who are using these fly masks is any indication, these masks hold up very well, due to the Kirby’s workmanship .

15 Comments leave one →
  1. March 6, 2013 1:03 am

    flies have been a big problem for us this summer and our cattle hate the organic essential oils I bought them too. How does the mask work? can Jane see out of it? I don’t know if our girls would let me put one on them!

    • March 6, 2013 6:17 am

      Liz, I put the mask on after I milked which is when Jane is calm and knows I’m going to be futzing with her and she was was fine. It was getting dark and I led her around and turned her loose and she behaved as if it wasn’t even there. The mask is mesh and just like horse masks it is see through. Horses tolerate them fine, and I think this will be great allowing me to skip her face with fly repellent and letting me concentrate on the belly area.
      Here is someone that is using them right now with good results.

      Or here is another thread with lots of photos and feedback:

  2. March 6, 2013 4:39 am

    That’s funny – I was just considering this myself, but was trying to figure out how to adapt them to fit over my cow’s horns. I’ve often wondered why there isn’t more cross-over between products.

    Since I come from the horse world, I often use horsey products & resources on my cows and wonder why there isn’t similar stuff available for cows. Flies were especially horrible last year, assumedly because we had no freeze.

    Our winter this year has been normal – I’m anxious to note the difference.

    • March 6, 2013 6:22 am

      AMF, the mask fits between the horns and ears, the gal who makes these has cows with horns and they look like they fit great.

      I think minerals have more to do with fly problems than temperature, I’ve seen a huge difference over the years since we finally figured out to feed loose minerals instead of blocks. I can see it in our cow families, one cow will have flies and the cow next to her won’t. So it’s a culling problem rather than a fly problem. Similar to insects on vegetables, they attack the weaker plants and leave the stronger ones alone.

  3. Bev permalink
    March 6, 2013 7:05 am

    What a great idea. Always felt sorry for the cows. Know they have ear tags that are suposed to do the job. Not sure how they work or if they are good for your animal. Probably costly, too. Fly masks for horses are great. Have used them for years. Our mare actually sighs when we spray and put her mask on. Where we live there is lots of livestock. We do manure detail every few days. Piled up for the garden later. This helps a lot keeping flies under control. We used to have a neighbor that never took care of their manure. Lots of flies. We used fly predators. A little wasp larvae that you applied to some fresh manure. They would hatch out and and eat fly eggs. They were extremely tiny and caused no problems. Just a couple of applications in the spring helped. I bet Jane will be smiling this summer.

  4. Mom24boys permalink
    March 6, 2013 7:26 pm

    Those masks look to be priced very economically. In my experience, any livestock “extras” were over-the-top expensive.

  5. March 6, 2013 11:38 pm

    What essential oils do you use to keep the flies away? Our alpacas were bothered quite a bit last year and I am not sure what they use around here, but I would rather use something natural than something containing one of the dreaded chemicals

  6. March 7, 2013 12:14 pm

    ….strong essential oils…Our cows seem to appreciate lavender on the wife’s hands when she is getting them ready for milking.

    I wonder if it’s the peppermint Jane doesn’t like…

    • March 7, 2013 1:24 pm

      HFS, I would kick if anyone got near me with lavender…;) smells like a wrinkle or soap. I think it’s the cedar which is similar to the eucalyptus I used to use. But who knows, she hangs her head like all the other cows before her, and puts up with it. For that reason I never spray, I always wipe and that way at least she doesn’t have to breath any in. Could be the peppermint…

  7. Chris permalink
    March 7, 2013 3:10 pm

    Very cool…I’m glad to see that cows are getting some respect now too and not just horses! 🙂 Jane looks very discreet in her new headwear! 🙂

  8. March 12, 2013 5:48 pm

    Now both Sara and Siobhan want one!

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