Blind Quarters: All You Need to Know

Flies are a nuisance to both humans and animals, including dairy cattle and beef cattle. There's more to them than just inconvenience, however. To dairy cattle and beef cattle, flies present serious health risks, and by default, this presents economic risks for your farm. That’s why it is important to have strong fly control mechanisms within your operation.

Flies are known to transmit more than 65 diseases, including mastitis, a condition that can lead to the development of blind quarters in the udder. With the development of blind quarters, a cow’s milk production may be reduced to a catastrophic level, and that can cause severe challenges for your production operation, whether you have a dairy or a beef cattle operation. Keep reading to find out more about what you may be able to do to prevent blind quarters.

Table of Contents

  • What is a Blind Quarter?
  • Preventing Fly-Borne Disease Among Cattle

What Is A Blind Quarter?


What Is A Blind Quarter?

Dr. Stephen C. Nickerson, professor at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, tells us that 75% of heifers have some kind of teat or udder infection before they calve. Bacteria spread by cattle flies account for roughly half of those infections. If you are wondering why, it is because flies are vectors for disease and bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, the primary cause of mastitis. 

A fly infestation presents the opportunity for this disease to spread throughout your herd. If mastitis has developed in a heifer as the result of fly bites, it could lead to a blind quarter in the udder and limit the cow’s milk production.

When cow teats become irritated from flies, the bacteria enter the teat and move upward into the quarter. This destroys the milk-producing tissue by causing these delicate structures to be overrun by scar tissue, which is the body’s final response to damage caused by infection or trauma. This condition is known as a blind quarter, and it can significantly reduce milk yields, even by as much as 50%.

Preventing Disease From Cattle Flies

ALT Text: Preventing Blind Quarters From Cattle Flies

Protecting your cattle from disease—including blind quarters—is essential to

Preventing Blind Quarters From Cattle Flies

helping your farm remain profitable and productive. While flies are not the only way your cattle can suffer from blind quarters, they are large contributors to the problem. This is why preventing flies also helps prevents your cows from potentially catching this disease of the udder.

While there are many fly prevention solutions out there, JustiFLY is the perfect feedthrough solution for you. It is an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR), which offers you the flexibility of being able to control flies without having to handle the cattle themselves. Instead, you can put JustiFLY directly into your cattle’s feed, mineral or salt, and the cattle will ingest the larvicide. It passes through the animal and starts to work in the cattle manure. The fly larvae feed on the manure and ingest the larvicide, which inhibits chitin formation that creates their exoskeleton. Flies hatch, but cannot survive and die immediately.

With the help of a feedthrough IGR like JustiFLY, you can go a long way toward reducing the number of flies affecting your cattle. This may help you reduce the likelihood of one of your cows developing a condition that can lead to blind quarters. Don’t hesitate to add JustiFLY to your fly control program today.