Are you wondering why your Fly Predators haven't hatched yet and want to know how to help them hatch quicker? Jess our Fly Predator Scientist has the answers...
Why Fly Predator Hatch Times Vary
The species that comprise Fly Predators have a life cycle that is very dependent on overall average temperatures. At ideal conditions (around 85°F) it takes a minimum of 2 weeks for the Fly Predator to develop from egg to adult. At much cooler temperatures, they can take 6 weeks or more to hatch.
Generally, we try to send out Fly Predators that have already been incubated for about a week, so that in the warm summer months, they will begin hatching within 5 days of arrival. However, temperatures during travel and temperatures where they are being kept can have large impacts on how quickly Fly Predators hatch. During the first shipment of the season, it’s not unusual for your Fly Predators to take 10 to 14 days after arrival to emerge. It’s much faster than that during the heat of August.
How Do I Help My Fly Predators Hatch Quicker?
If your weather is warm and you want to make sure your Fly Predators hatch as quickly as possible, keep them at a consistently warm temperature once you receive them. Don’t put them in direct sun as this can make them too hot while in the bag. On top of a refrigerator is a cozy place, but write a note so you don’t forget them.
If your weather is cooler than normal, particularly if you have a chance of freezing night time temperatures, you will want to slow down the hatching of your Fly Predators. If they traveled through cool temperatures on their way to you (which often happens in the early spring and late fall), even once kept consistently warm, it may take 2 weeks or more for your Fly Predators to hatch. If kept outside once they arrive, and night time temperatures are still falling down into the 50’s, this could also result in delayed hatching, even if daytime temperatures are getting into the 70’s or higher. You can match the speed of emergence to match your weather, which is also how quickly your pest flies will be emerging.
Bottom line: don’t worry if your Fly Predators don’t hatch right away in the spring and fall. Try to keep them in a consistently warm location, such as on top of a refrigerator or other electrical appliance that generates a little heat (just don’t cook them).
With animal people, like our team at Spalding Labs, there's usually some of us that enjoy the fun dress up our animal opportunity this time of year. Here's just a few picts that should bring a smile and at least one or two "Awwwww!" so enjoy!
Dakota's kitties! This bag of bones "skeleton" kitty cat is named Kit. Watch out for this furry feline come Halloween night. Tuxedo kitties are well-known for their tricks!
This adorable orange ball of fur is called Mochi. This holiday Mochi is sporting a happy Jack-o'-lantern costume.
Next in this Halloween menagerie we have Dawn's handsome cowboy Sterling. Sterling is 1 this year and definitely thinks she's people. Her human mom and dad are going to be a rodeo clown and a bull! Love this clever combo!
This is my little Izzy from last year. Do note, she is not a Patriot player. She is in costume as Derek Zoolander giving his signature "Blue Steel" look on Halloween dressed up as his favorite president (you'll just have to see the movie to get it). Hint, hint... Derek is "really, really, really good looking" but none too smart.
While not technical in costume, I have to share this photo of Dakota's pet spider. She has many really interesting insects in her pet family but I just love this picture of Regal Jumping Spider (Phiddipus regius) named Indigo!
Do you have fun photos of your animal family in costume for Halloween? Please feel free to send any (ideally with breeds and names) to us at email@example.com and we'll share them on our social media! Happy trick or treating!
Blanketing season, for many, is fast nigh. It’s that spooky time of year when kiddos, and some of us adults and our pets, play dress up for treats. Why not treat your horse to a fun fall pumpkin cookie you’ve made fresh at home!?
One of the things that I have noticed horse owners to be the most negligent about is foot care.
Proper and regular care of the feet is an essential part of good horse care. Now, that does not necessarily mean shoeing. Many horses are not worked enough to need shoes, but they still need to be checked regularly by a competent, experienced farrier.
For example, my horses and my wife’s no longer need shoes. I ride maybe once a week and, even if my wife rides daily, most of it is on smooth trails or on soft arenas, so there is not a lot of foot wear from abrasion.
However, we have our farrier see them at six-week intervals, year round. Hooves keep growing, often irregularly, and need to be balanced and trimmed.
Irregular hooves often cause abnormal angulation of the foot, excessively straining the structures of the foot, or in the joints and supportive anatomy above the foot. This can cause damage ultimately leading to lameness.
So, good horse care must include regular foot care including, if necessary, trimming and balancing the hoof wall, shoeing if needed, and sometimes corrective shoeing.
As I said, Debby and I no longer ride enough that our horses need to be shod. But, they are still seen every six weeks, and trimmed and balanced. Left untrimmed, their toes elongate, imbalancing the gait and stressing the joints.
How do wild horses get by without farriers? Well, they are in constant motion on an abrasive ground surface. That’s why wild mustangs feet usually look so perfect. But domestication is not the same as living in the natural wild environment.
Domestic dogs frequently require nail trims. Wolves, in the wild, do not. Right?
Many horse owners believe that shoeing is “unnatural”. Of course it is. But excessive wear due to domestication and hard work often necessitate horseshoes to keep the horse comfortable. For the same reason we humans often wear work gloves.
Additionally, certain breeds, especially the gaited breeds, often require special shoes. Also, many horses have either conformational qualities or pathological problems that can be helped and even corrected by special shoes.
Good professional quality foot care is part of the expense of horse ownership.
But, it is worth it.
I read, recently, that 90% of the population of the U.S.A. now lives in large cities. How different from the first half of this nation’s history, when a majority of the inhabitants lived in a rural environment, either on farms, or in small communities close to agricultural activities. Indeed, frontier life was even closer to nature.
Today, most children grow up so far removed from the food producing aspects of life and society in the past, that many of them are ignorant of these vital and basic contributions to survival. Increasingly I am shocked by comments or questions that illustrate this growing area of ineptness. I believe that early in their schooling, our children should be taught the history and significance of human nutrition. Let me relate just a few incidents, which dramatize the ignorance that exists in our urbanized population:
1. Hawaii. I am visiting a large cattle ranch. A tour bus pulls up and the tourists come out to hear a ranch employee explain, briefly, the history of the ranch. Most of the passengers are taking photos of the grazing cattle. One asks, “What do they eat?” Answer: “Grass!” Response: “Grass? They eat grass?”
2. I am doing a rectal palpation on a mare at a boarding stable. A well-dressed gentleman watches me. His young daughter boards a horse at the stable. As I completed my examination he asks, “Why did you do that?” “I’m checking to see if she’s pregnant,” I explain. “In there?” he gasps.
3. A woman telephones me. “A sheep herder gave my kids a two day old orphan lamb. They love it. What should I feed it?” “Cow’s milk,” I respond. Out of a regular human baby bottle. “Cow’s milk?” Where am I going to get that?” “Do you drink milk?” I ask. “Yes, sure!” “What kind?” I ask. “I drink skim. My husband likes regular.” “Where do you get it?” “At the supermarket,” she explains. “Where do they get the milk?” I ask. “I don’t know. From a dairy company I suppose.” “And where does the dairy company get the milk?” “I don’t know! How should I know?” “Well, it comes from somewhere!” “Well … Oh! … Oh! … Cow’s milk!”
4. Hawaii again. An agricultural and spectacular natural paradise. I am doing a seminar for a group of mainland horse owners, most of them residents of large cities. We are invited to participate in a cattle roundup. Everybody is pleased. Suddenly a wild pig bursts out of the underbrush. Two of the Paniolos (Hawaiian cowboys) immediately go after the pig. One ropes its head, the other its hind legs. Thus captured, they tie the 85-pound porker behind a saddle, and when we get back to the ranch headquarters with the herd, they untie the hog and release it into a pasture fenced with hog wire. One of the Paniolos says, “We gonna fatten him up for a month and then we gonna have a luau (a barbecue).
One of my students says, “Oh, they’re turning him loose. I’m so glad. I was afraid they were planning to eat him.”
“Not yet,” I explained.
5. A rock music star bought a cattle ranch in my area. One Sunday I received an emergency call. “One of our cows is trying to have a calf. It’s been halfway out of her all morning, but it’s still stuck. Can you come out?” I had a very full schedule, despite the fact that it was the weekend. So it was discouraging to know that the ranch in question did not possess a cattle chute. It had been one of my clients for years before these new owners had bought the ranch. I remembered some of the “rodeos” necessary to treat some of the cattle. So, I drove to the ranch with apprehension. There she was, lying on her side with a calf half way out of her. She was near an old oak tree. If I could drop a lariat around her neck and snub it to the tree trunk, there were enough people around to hold her while I injected a tranquilizer to restrain her. So, I sneaked up towards her back, my lariat ready to throw if she moved. She did! She must have heard me because she explosively jumped to her feet and started to run. Realizing that her escape would mean a lot of wasted time in a busy emergency laden day, I ran after her and threw my lariat rope at her head. It landed on the back of her neck and slid along her back as she ran away from me. But, then the loop went over her hind end and over the calf’s head and forelegs. I reflexively pulled it back, and (yay!) it snared the calf. I leaned back, and presto! The half delivered calf popped out of the birth canal and was on the ground before me. Then came a gasp from one of the guests and she said something I have never forgotten. “I didn’t know they delivered calves that way!”
6. Both our son and daughter were active in 4-H as they grew up. It’s a fine organization. We made sure they were involved in non-slaughter projects. At our county fair it always disturbed us to see the crying youngsters as the livestock projects they had bonded with and cared for went off in trucks headed for the packing houses. So our kids raised and trained rabbits, goats, horses and a dairy heifer. Once, we were requested by 4-H to lead a 4-H pack trip into the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Debby rode up front with the pack outfit guide. I rode at the rear. At one point we were on a very steep trail, barely wide enough for a single horse. One side was a very steep mountainside. On the other side was an almost vertical drop to the canyon floor. Several young men, backpackers, came down the trail. Up front, our column was stopped to allow the backpackers to pass us. They were going uphill. We were going down. As the first hiker made his way past the horse in front of me, the horse lifted his tail and defecated, necessitating the hiker to step over the steaming pile and, as he did so he grimaced, and said “Ugh! That is disgusting!” I dismounted, blocking his progress, and I said, “What? What’s the problem?” Still grimacing he pointed at the mound of fresh manure. I bent over and picked a ball of fresh manure with my bare fingers. “What?” I said. “What’s the problem?” Shocked, he shouted, “You’re crazy! You’re nuts!” I studied the ball of manure, sniffed it and offered it to him. Revolted, he drew back shouting “Oh no! You’re crazy! I can’t believe it! You’re insane!” “Looks okay to me,” I responded. “Here,” I offered him. “Take it. It’s okay.” “Aaah!” He gasped. “Crazy!” And he jogged up the trail away from me. “It’s okay!” I called after him as the 4-Hers closest to me collapsed in laughter. “It’s okay. He’s just a nice healthy horse!”
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