Hue Fussell Had A Problem. Flies.
Published on Wed, 04/21/2021 - 2:52pm
Hue Fussell Had A Problem. Flies.
Article courtesy of Fussell Farms.
Hue is a cattle farmer in Georgia, and every year his cattle were swarmed by flies. Sprays, ear tags, minerals … they all worked to a degree but none fully solved the problem, and each came with downsides.
“I wonder if I could rig up something where the cows could spray themselves?” Hue wondered. So he got to tinkering, and he built a kind of “car wash for cows,” and you know what? The cows hated it.
So Hue kept tinkering, and sure enough, he came up with something that worked! For the first time, his cows could spray themselves for flies. And his “Cow Sprayer” worked to spray on dewormer, too! No more chasing cows around trying to spray them, and most of all, his cows were healthier, had fewer problems with diseases, and they were putting on weight faster than ever.
All of a sudden, Hue was spending less time dealing with problems that had always been a part of his operation. He was making money through a healthier herd, and he started learning, too.
“Cattlemen spend so much time and money to build up our herds,” says Fussell. “That can be lost from flies and other external parasites that harm our cattle. Horn flies alone can take up to a pint of blood per cow in a single day.”
Fussell continues, “An untreated brood cow can have a 12% decrease in the daily growth rate of a nursing calf. Stress from flies goes on to depress the immune system in a cow, making it more susceptible to a variety of diseases.”
Seeing Hue’s successes, neighbors asked if he’d build them one of his sprayers. He did, and word started to spread. Pretty soon, the Fussell Farms Cow Sprayer became a business of its own. Not long after, he built a more portable Cow Sprayer Express, and then a Mineral Feeder and Feeder Express that are suited to different grazing setups.
A study by South Dakota State University came along that showed that if a cow carries a load of 300 or more flies, it’s going to market between 30 and 50 pounds lighter than one with few flies. When cows are fighting flies, they’re not grazing efficiently.
“The economics started to be proven,” says Fussell. “If I’m selling 100 cows a year and they’re going to market 50 pounds lighter, that’s 5000 pounds of lost revenue, which is something like $5,000 - $6,000. In that scenario, a producer can pay for a Cow Sprayer in year one and not have to deal with pink eye, not have to run around trying to spray or ear tag cows.”
Fussell points out, “My cows spray themselves. I’m not getting stepped on or pushed into fences, and I’m not having to put anyone else in that position either. My stress is lower, and my cows are less stressed, too.”
In 2017 the University of Georgia Extension office did a research project where they compared ear tags, vet guns, and The Cow Sprayer over two seasons on various herds of cattle. Guess how the Cow Sprayer compared? If you guessed that it worked best and gave the best return on investment, you’re right!
That explains why Fussell Farms is expanding, and more and more producers are adding The Original Cow Sprayer, Cow Sprayer Express, Mineral Feeder or Feeder Express to their operations.
To get your hands on a unit, you can learn more and order one from Fussell Farms at fussellfarmsinc.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or give them a call at (912) 592-7237.