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 2. Alpaca Healthcare & Nutrition
 Manure Management by Dung beetles
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alpacastarr

686 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2007 :  5:25:05 PM  Show Profile  Visit alpacastarr's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted in the Valbazen thread by xr6004
[br
Soil organisms also play a role in this game. Earthworms consume worm eggs and larvae. Dung beetles feed on manure and store it in the ground preventing the worm eggs from hatching. There is also a nematophagous fungus that produces a “trap” that will engulf and kill parasite larvae. This fungus is sensitive and an out of balance or depleted soil allows other microorganisms to replace it.

Ivermectin is passed through to the animal manure and can kill dung beetle larvae for up to 45 days. Ivermectin tainted manure also does not break down as fast, either. For those in white-tailed deer country, your dung beetle population is probably zero. Dung pile management becomes even more important. (Maybe not all dung beetles, I’ve seen dung beetles back east reduce a pile of droppings to powder with a few days; my observation, not Nancy Wells, DVM)




I want to know more about dung beetles, earthworms and crows etc!

Yes I am in North Carolina but we don't have any deer in our vicinity. Therefore, I do not worm monthly for MW prevention. I monitor fecals and worm only when and as needed; which hasn't been very often. I think that's why my beetle population is robust. Sometimes I can't get the pile scooped before it's all crumbled and about gone. What is better - removing the dung to the compost pile or leaving it in the pasture for the beetles?

I always figure the beetles or earthworms get any piles I might have missed in the tall grass. I don't have any notion what the dang crows are after - probably the beetles and worms? - but they sure can scatter a pile all over heck.



Starr
Venezia Dream Farm
Asheville, NC
http://alpacanation.com/farmsandbreeders/03_viewfarm.asp?name=11404
http://www.veneziadream.com/

LazyE

90 Posts

Posted - 11/14/2007 :  3:14:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have beetles in my bean piles...so I guess they are dung beetles lol I was wondering if they were the reason my piles turned to dust so quick...I was starting to think I was trying to scoop up dirt and not beans!

I have yet to see a crow or a big bird of any kind land in my pastures...the only ones I see are little wrens and they aren't any where near my bean piles...lol who knows :)

would be great to learn more though!!

Shana Elliott
Lazy E Alpaca Farm (LEAF)
Jefferson, Texas
903-738-3165
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xr6004

241 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2007 :  10:52:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dung beetles were worshipped by ancient Egyptians and with good reason.

According to In Practice, a quarterly publication of Holistic Management International, dung beetles can help sequester carbon and help prevent both flooding and drought.

They can bury a manure patty in less than 24 hours, reducing flies, dramatically improving soil fertility, water infiltration and range health.

Research in Oklahoma showed that dung beetles buried approximately one ton of wet manure per acre per day.

This increased water infiltration by 129% on studied plots.

Each extra inch of water that is absorbed into the soil adds almost 30,000 gallons of water per acre to the soil, thereby reducing both flooding and drought.

Dung beetles use the manure of large animals to create underground nest for laying eggs.

More info @ http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/dungbeetle.html

Edited by - xr6004 on 11/16/2007 12:51:30 AM
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clarkshire

16 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2007 :  6:00:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This idea looks interesting. I read the attached article and then did a Google search to see who is selling dung beetles. I didn't find a place to buy them. How would you get dung beetles if you wanted to try this? Some of the natural pasture management tools are great.

Alexandra Clark
Clarkshire
Alpacas of the King
North Bend, WA 98045
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jillmcm

3204 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2007 :  6:20:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit jillmcm's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Alexandra, dung beetles are not sold (to my knowledge). They are a natural part of pasture fauna, and in many parts of the country, they are in danger from overuse of wormers. The chemicals in our animals end up in their dung, and are injested by the dung beetle larvae. In some cases, it affects their development adversely. Dung beetles numbers are in decline across the United States.

In any event, dung and carrion beetles are great things to have in your pastures. I envy those of you in more temperate climes where there are greater numbers of them.

Jill McElderry-Maxwell
Bag End Suri Alpacas of Maine - ˇBESAME!
Benton, ME
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Heidi Christensen

4211 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2007 :  8:31:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit Heidi Christensen's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Very interesting. I find all kinds of beetles around, but never thought they might be dung beetles.

Here are some pictures (on the last page)

http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/entomology/guidetoncdungbeetles.pdf

Guess I will have to look closer at them next summer

Heidi Christensen
WingNut Farm
Graham, Wa
(253) 846-2168
http://alpacanation.com/wingnutfarm.asp
http://wingnut-alpacas.com
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Q-L-F

41 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2007 :  10:01:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Heidi,

THANK YOU for that link with the pictures!!


Kate Tufts
Queen's Land Farm Alpacas
New Gloucester, Maine

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Kaye

154 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2007 :  07:59:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ohhh, the things I'm learning...sipping coffee and researching dung beetles! How my interests have changed! News about poop, worms, beetles...all catch my attention now! Thanks for sharing this! Kaye
Kaye Sanderson
Diamond Rose Ranch
3950 N US Hwy 68
Wilmington, Ohio 45177
(937) 372-3625
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Heidi Christensen

4211 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2007 :  10:25:24 AM  Show Profile  Visit Heidi Christensen's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hey Kaye,

See the thread - "You may be an alpaca farmer..."

Heidi Christensen
WingNut Farm
Graham, Wa
(253) 846-2168
http://alpacanation.com/wingnutfarm.asp
http://wingnut-alpacas.com
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Kaye

154 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2007 :  11:09:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Okay Heidi, now I gotta learn something else - how do I find that thread? Kaye
Kaye Sanderson
Diamond Rose Ranch
3950 N US Hwy 68
Wilmington, Ohio 45177
(937) 372-3625
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Heidi Christensen

4211 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2007 :  8:22:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit Heidi Christensen's Homepage  Reply with Quote
http://www.alpacanation.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6074

Under the forum subfolder (or whatever its called) off topic/breeders social

Heidi Christensen
WingNut Farm
Graham, Wa
(253) 846-2168
http://alpacanation.com/wingnutfarm.asp
http://wingnut-alpacas.com
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Kaye

154 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2007 :  08:51:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Now that's cute. Who couldn't laugh? I'm glad you shared that. I can't tell you how many times I've said "I can't afford that beautiful alpaca sweater" because the money went to the alpacas!
How life has changed.....and it's true, our non-alpaca friends are still waiting on our senses to return. They keep telling us "don't you want to agist again? Remember when you had free time to go to dinner? Why don't you just 'own' alpacas and let someone else do all the work?" It's hard to explain to them how addicting this farm life is - and how these creatures take over your hearts. Kaye
Kaye Sanderson
Diamond Rose Ranch
3950 N US Hwy 68
Wilmington, Ohio 45177
(937) 372-3625
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