Dung Beetles

Discussion in 'Horse Management' started by Saiorse, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. Saiorse

    Saiorse Well-known Member

    I'd like to officially welcome these lovely little insects back into my life. Spotted the odd one or two in recent weeks, but still traipsing out to poo-pick each day from my rapidly drying-out paddocks.

    Today I saw hundreds, busily doing that thing they do so well, and I'm looking forward to a few weeks off the poo-picking treadmill.

    3 cheers for the dung beetles!


    Horsemanship with Jayne Lavender
  2. Marianne

    Marianne Gold Member

    I was chatting to a lady at the park, she's at Uni (mature age student) studding Ornathology (is that birds)? Well whatever the study of birds is... anyway we got talking about the ruddy flies. She said the reason for the current fly population explosion is due to the increased number of Ibis and the other bird that looks like it. She said that these birds eat dung beetles and the dung beetles assist in the fly population:mad: . Therefore less dung beetles = more flies. Hopefully you don't get any of these birds in your paddocks eating all your precious beetles.
  3. Cheeki

    Cheeki Gold Member

    :( Those birds annoy me greatly ... Wish I had a dung beetle !
  4. springbok

    springbok Well-known Member

    I only noticed these critters for the first time this morning and there are certainly less of them this year. Interesting with the birds - I'd also heard it was something to do with the weird seasons/weather that they hadn't hatched yet hence why the flys are soooooo bad. Wish they'd come out again - flys are driving me nuts #( .
  5. HorseSlave

    HorseSlave Well-known Member

    My sister is part of the Lucyvale Dung Beetle Group in Victoria - she's even had me mail my dung beetles to her so she could try and identify them (for your info, I had to boil them and then dry them.... make sure they are dried out completely before you do this, or they smell TERRIBLE when they get to the other side of the country - I can vouch for this fact!).

    I spend alot of time poking around in poo checking out what varieties I have - noticed 4 or so different species, active in different times of the year. The ones I have at the moment don't seem to be burrowing much though - wish they would so the goodies would go back into the ground!
  6. HorseSlave

    HorseSlave Well-known Member

    Oh, and another thing - if you don't want to kill your dung beetle populations, don't worm your horses while they are active!!
  7. Noelle

    Noelle Gold Member

    We've got dung beetles. I feel a bit guilty when I muck out the paddocks. More times than not the pile I am picking up has a few tunnelling around in it so I usually leave a bit behind for them :D . You can tell where they have been because the manure looks shredded and it is much harder to pick up. I know horses wont eat grass that grows through manure. What will happen if I cant get all the manure picked up?
  8. Bon & Ted

    Bon & Ted Guest

    Yep, where I agist if we worm our horses we have to stable them for 24 hours so as not to kill the dung beetle population in our paddocks :)
  9. Oh no! I have Ibis everywhere! I wondered what they were after!
  10. Remaani

    Remaani Guest

    Oh god, lol............ :D
  11. Shakhaan

    Shakhaan Well-known Member

    Yep, have noticed the beetles becoming more active in the past couple of weeks.... the flies at our place are noticeably less already. We do get the odd ibis... but have 3 wild ducks who go between our pools and the river, and like to waddle around in the front paddocks cleaning up any spilled feed... its funny watching the stallions chase them out of their paddock *#)

    Ciao. Kiley.
  12. HorseSlave

    HorseSlave Well-known Member

    I noticed yesterday a new species of dung beetle has appeared in the manure I inspected - a much larger one which is a beautiful bronze or olive colour. Yay!

    (Sigh... I have no life... I am excited about insects which eat my horses defecation...)
  13. Saiorse

    Saiorse Well-known Member

    HorseSlave, I get into poo-bugs too, lol! I can relate, but instead (as is my delusion) I choose to believe I have a great life. I look for, and get excited by, insects or not being able to recall the last time I wore a "frock" 'cos I'm always in horse-approriate clothes, even in Coles; No us horsey girls are just "different" to the norm... I took a test on Facebook called "are you normal" and of course failed dismally, with the comment, "everyone has the right to be wierd, you just abuse the priviledge." My response, well why be normal anyway?!

  14. HorseSlave

    HorseSlave Well-known Member

    Thanks Saiorse - I feel slightly less loopy now *#)

    To tell the truth, I know my sister is far more passionate about the poo dwellers than I am and she infected me with some of her passion, but I have yet to go grovelling about in anyone else's poo like she does.:p

    Oh, and another disgusting aside - my gorgeous, sweet and lovely 2 1/2 year old daughter dropped a number two on the back lawn last week, which wasn't noticed until a few hours later - you should have seen the number of dung beetles in it! The thing was crawling of its own accord!! They obviously don't care what species the excrement comes from ;)

    (Sorry,.. I did warn it was disgusting)
  15. Zola

    Zola New Member

    :)* Hi all, newbie for this forum here, man I wish I had discovered it months ago! I was googling conjunctivitis last night and discovered Stockyard!

    Where are all the dung beetles? We have none down here yet, just lots of flies *#) . No ibis' either, maybe the beetles will slowly migrate. Does anyone know about such things?

    My poor mare has just developed conjunctivitis, flies, dust, more flies! I am so glad today is damp and cool so she has a bit of a break from the dust and sunshine.
  16. Saiorse

    Saiorse Well-known Member

    Good news! (Potentially)

    My environmental expert mate reckons the activity of the Ibis looking through the manure for beetles is as effective at breaking up the poos to prohibit flies breeding and worms growing, as the dung beetles themselves.

    Win-win for horse lovers!


  17. Zola

    Zola New Member

    Hey horsetales, I just typed in horse conjunctivitis, and one of the websites was a thread of stockyard to do with conjunctivitis! On finding a horse forum ( I am a member of a dog forum), I couldnt resist!
    I got some goo from the vet today for her eye and lots of fly-be-gone spray too, so she is on the mend!

    Saiorse - I am still disappointed, no ibis' or beetles! What am i to do? I guess all I can do is w-a-i-t................
  18. safs_mum

    safs_mum Well-known Member

    LOL Horseslave. Thats hysterical!

    I just discovered dung beetles in my paddock aswell..tons and tons of them! *dances* So should I stop picking up poo or what? *new property owner* lol
  19. Saiorse

    Saiorse Well-known Member

    I've got a friend coming over this week to steal my beetles and import them into her pasture! You're welcome!

  20. Wendy

    Wendy Well-known Member

    Ibis! We have millions of them every day as we are close to a big dam, and I thought it was nice that they came to my paddock.
    Poor dung beetles.
    Are the ibis a protected bird? Can I chase them with a lunge whip?

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