I've been doing research again. (or as usual)
Back when I got Daisy, someone commented that I should be careful with using chemical fly spray because it can have bad side effects when you inhale it...and I've felt increasingly weary about using it. I've finally cut myself off :) I researched the possible side effects. Have you ever read up on the warnings? Bronco fly repellent, for example, has warnings online that say:
Harmful if swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed through skin. Avoid breathing spray mist. Avoid contact with eyes, skin or clothing. Wash thoroughly with soap and water after handling. Remove contaminated clothing and wash before reuse.
Research says insecticide use is linked to Parkinson's disease. Google produces quite a few stories of other ailments linked to fly spray inhalation...in any case, I'm not really sold on it anymore :P (Hey, it kills flies. What does it do to us and the horses?)
I've been researching a lot on what kind of fly sprays can be made naturally. I bought Absorbine Ultrashield Green fly repellent to use until I figure something out (it's all natural, and works pretty well).
I researched feeding garlic to horses to combat flies. There was some good information, but there were some scientific studies that said it could be harmful to horses. No such stories about ACV though.
I've been using ACV mixed with tea tree oil to treat thrush in Daisy. Now people say if you feed about a 1/4 cup of unpasturized (organic) ACV to horses with meals it will make their blood more acidic so flies won't bite. It does a ton besides repel flies (just check out this forum post). It can:
- Repel flies (blood acidity level)
- Be used on the outside of wounds to help them heal (had to help hair grow back)
- It can be used externally to help skin conditions (like rain rot)
- Promote better digestion
- Help arthritic horses (results in less pain and more free movement)
- Reduces algae in water tanks when added
- Reduces (or gets rid of? This is all based of people's personal experience so...who knows for sure) Ulcers
- Makes coats silkier and shinier
- Has been known to help against fatigue and migraines in humans
- Works for weight loss (for those pudgy ponies ;))
- And heals sore throats in humans.
I've started giving Daisy the 1/4 cup with meals. At first she totally refused to eat it, now she'll eat most of her grain at once, and finishes it off later :P
It also works as a spray on fly repellent...I think I may do that (mixed with black tea and maybe some other oil (that I need to buy) like Thyme or Lemongrass or Rosemary). I added it to my store bought stuff and it right away worked better.
And so...I'm a new fan of ACV :)