Oilers provide relief for cattle
Kyle Klassen began selling cattle oilers when he needed one for his own herd.
“I have firsthand knowledge that these will work and I’ve had good luck,” he said. “That puts a sense of security in their minds.”
The Fly Killer Cover that Klassen sells has a straightforward design, with a container to hold pesticides attached to a flap that dispenses chemical onto the heads of cattle when they access the mineral feeder below.
“You mainly control the face flies and horn flies because that’s the biggest spreader of pink eye,” he said.
While other oilers depend on cattle to take the initiative, having an oiler with a mineral feeder attached attracts them more readily, Klassen said.
“They will automatically be drawn to mineral and salt blocks,” he said. “They automatically use this product. It’s not maybe they walk by it or maybe they use it.”
Where the Fly Killer Cover rests on the ground, Lewis Cattle Oilers’ feed bins are suspended in the air, and a pole dispenses pesticide when cattle rub against it.
“You leave it out there and they learn to go to it,” Joseph Dugan said. “It’s a repetitive thing. Cows are smarter than people give them credit for.”
Most cattle oilers depend on gravity to work, but Lewis oilers use a pump-fed system, Dugan said.
“Cows scratch,” he said. “Something is always going to eat on a cow, whether it’s a fly, tick, flea, or mosquitoes. They have to have relief.”
“They’re just scratching,” he said. “They don’t know there’s insecticide in there, but they’re getting relief.”
Dugan has been selling Lewis Cattle Oilers in Marion County and throughout Kansas for several years, but work in the oil and gas industries first took him to rural Kansas.
The Lewis Cattle’s main territory extends from Texas north through Kansas and Nebraska, Dugan said.
“It’s cow country,” he said. “There are more cattle through here than people realize.”
While both oilers use pesticides on external parasites, it is important to change the chemicals used from time to time.
“You can’t use the same chemical over and over because flies become less susceptible,” Dugan said.
Last modified Aug. 8, 2019