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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2003
    Location
    Berryville, VA
    Posts
    445

    Default where to get dung beetles for repopulating VA farm

    I've been avoiding Ivermectin wormers for a year now, but I suspect I won't see significant repopulation of dung beetles as my farm is surrounded by cattle farms, which use lots of Ivermectin. I've searched the web for sources to buy dung beetles, but no luck (except specimens, or live ones in Australia).

    I'm in Berryville, VA, which is near WV and MD.

    Suggestions? Anyone want to harvest some and send them to me?

    Thanks,

    Yvonne
    Yvonne Lucas
    Red Moon Farm
    redmoonfarm.com


    "Practice doesn't make perfect. PERFECT practice makes perfect." - Jim Wofford

    "Some days you're the dog, some days the hydrant." - Jim Wofford



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Posts
    22,455

    Default

    I have been trying to find a source of dung beetles for years. Some one out there must sell them, I just can't seem to find him/her. Somewhere there are plans for cultivating your own but I never tried it.



    Well whaddaya know. A new company.

    http://dungbeetles.biz/



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    43,110

    Default

    We had some friends that, many, many years ago, got on that ecological balance kick and went looking for dung beetles and said they could not find any.

    So, they asked us, we have more than enough to spare, they came, we hunted, they left with sacks full of them and called later to say they must not have been looking right, because when they went thru the pastures to spread the carefully gathered ones they got here, they found they did have many themselves already in the pastures.

    Moral of this story, do look a little harder, look at different times of the day and week and month and year, before you assume you don't have dung beetles.

    One warning, if you go catching you some, use thick gloves and watch it, they can fly and if you bother them, they BITE!
    Yep, they do.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 18, 2009
    Posts
    102

    Default What for?

    What is the purpose of dung beetles?



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Posts
    22,455

    Default

    They break down manure and carry it into small tunnels, aerating and fertilizing pastures. And by breaking down manure, very quickly, they reduce the number of flies.

    They are proven to reduce the number of horn and face flies. Fly predators don't work on those species, but horn and face flies are a significant problem on many horse farms (and definitely anywhere near cattle).

    There are usually plenty around, but since Ivermectin kills them off some folks like to repopulate them, even though they'll eventually come back on their own. They're pretty cool. They can break down a cow patty in less than 24 hours, reducing it to nothing more than a bit of fluff. Same thing with pig and horse manure.

    If you ever pick up or scatter a pile of manure and see little holes in the ground under it, dung beetles did that.

    If you google you'll find a great article on the importance of dung beetles in the pasture ecosystem. I think this is the one I'm thinking of - but I'm sure there is much more info out there. http://www.attra.org/attra-pub/dungbeetle.html



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2003
    Location
    Berryville, VA
    Posts
    445

    Default

    Thanks everyone. It sounds like there's a business opportunity there. I know I have no dung beetles - manure just sits there. I wonder if the Texas ones would make in in VA?

    I'm going to go "bug" my Ag Extension agent this week.

    Yvonne
    Yvonne Lucas
    Red Moon Farm
    redmoonfarm.com


    "Practice doesn't make perfect. PERFECT practice makes perfect." - Jim Wofford

    "Some days you're the dog, some days the hydrant." - Jim Wofford



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2007
    Posts
    2,169

    Default

    I love COTH, if only for the thread titles.
    Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack in everything
    That's how the light gets in.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2003
    Location
    Berryville, VA
    Posts
    445

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JSwan View Post
    I have been trying to find a source of dung beetles for years. Some one out there must sell them, I just can't seem to find him/her. Somewhere there are plans for cultivating your own but I never tried it.



    Well whaddaya know. A new company.

    http://dungbeetles.biz/
    Thanks JSwan. I've been in touch with the company. They're in Florida but it seems some of their beetles might work for my more clayey VA soil. I'm going to try a batch of them when they're ready. I'll report how it seems to go.

    My Ag Extension agent said there *are* dung beetles around here, but it takes years and years for them to repopulate naturally. He had no problem with me importing some.

    Thanks, all!
    Yvonne Lucas
    Red Moon Farm
    redmoonfarm.com


    "Practice doesn't make perfect. PERFECT practice makes perfect." - Jim Wofford

    "Some days you're the dog, some days the hydrant." - Jim Wofford



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Posts
    22,455

    Default

    Those species do exist in VA, so you should be fine. I seem to recall reading somewhere that the USDA did conduct releases, but I'll be darned if I can remember the details.

    The beetles are out and about here already. I peeked.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2004
    Posts
    3,386

    Default

    I did a thread about dung beetles last year -- more tidbits of info was posted there.

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...ht=dung+beetle

    I had always seen them in the barn (stalls) I had no idea how beneficial they were for the pastures. I had never given it a thought before, it makes perfect sense. The amazing COTH resource!!

    And yes here is the hole in the market - not sure how much money to be made and try telling someone at a cocktail party that you breed dung beetles. lol
    About the only time losing is more fun than winning is when you're fighting temptation.
    -- Tom Wilson, actor & comedian



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec. 29, 2009
    Location
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    314

    Default

    I'm in south central PA, feel free to come hunt and capture some of mine! haha



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 7, 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,035

    Default

    I wonder if we have them in TN? I've never seen any but now I want to go check the pastures. But I use ivermectin. I'd hate to kill them all off



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2002
    Location
    The horse country of VA
    Posts
    3,355

    Default Funny Video

    Check out the beginning of this video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ND715cP7xdM



    ETA that whole video is pretty entertaining, along with the other "walk on the wild side" BBC videos.
    Equus Keepus Brokus



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