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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Flies In The Chicken Coop And How to Control Them

Of all the good things about raising backyard chickens, one of the biggest negatives is FLIES. Not kidding. When you don't have property, but instead you have a small yard and are raising those extreme urban chickens, flies in your coop are one of your main concerns.

flies in the chicken coop, controlling flies in the coop, fly predators, backyard chickens


The first year I was raising chickens I almost gave up because of flies. They were everywhere despite my best attempts. I experimented with all the tricks but not much was working.

Finally, after a lot of research and testing, we found what actually works to control flies in the urban chicken coop. I will share the steps we take for a successful backyard chicken coop in the warm months when flies are most bothersome.

1. Don't keep too many chickens for your yard. Chickens poop all the time. So avoid the urge buy chicks every time you head to the feed store or to keep too many chickens for your space.

2. Pick up droppings or rake up daily if possible during warmer months when flies are present. In a backyard setting this is doable and worth it. Leaving droppings for a deep mulch or composting in the run has not worked in our small yard. This goes for other animals. Pick up early and often! I also find if I rake up the coop real quick and put leaves and debris in the compost bins this works great.

3. Keep things dry. Especially in the coop and run. Even in your yard, water less frequently and preferably in the evening so things are drier by morning. Try sand in the run. I have found sand in the chicken coop run area really dries the poop out fast. Dry poop = less flies.

4. For really warm weather, I use Diatemacious earth in the chicken feed and sprinkle in the coop and run. Also, hanging some sticky fly strips help to catch mature flies. The stinky traps do not work for a small backyard because they will attract flies to your garden.

5. I do use fly predators. They have been amazing. They are tiny, and I mean teeny tiny, flying predators  that feed on fly larvae. They do not bother humans or pets.
I will share more next time on how I disperse the predators and the best ways to do this.

fly predators, spalding labs, flies in the chicken coop and how to get rid of them

I think the problem of flies in the chicken coop is one of the biggest draw backs to raising chickens in small backyards. You MUST be pro-active in controlling them before they get out of control.




9 comments:

Nancy po said...

I use the deep litter method and I really think that helps, as everything gets covered all the time. We also have cold winters though, so they freeze...

Kris said...

Interesting!
XOmKris

Terri Steffes said...

Learning something new everyday!! Love it, thanks for sharing!

Cranberry Morning said...

This is so interesting, Elaine! You know I've always been fascinated by your wonderful chicken coop and run. We have plenty of room up here on our farm, but I still can't get past taking care of chickens when it's -20 degrees F.(or colder), trudging through the snow. Sounds like you've got your fly problem under control.

Elaine Lewis said...

Yes, caring for chickens in winter in SoCal is pretty easy.

Sandra G said...

Thanks for the tips! I live in SoCal also and just started with chickens a few months ago. It's our first summer and the flies are all over the coops (thankfully we have 3/4 acre so it's not too bad at the house...I use DE in the coop and clean daily but I will have to look into sand and the predators. What kind of sand do you use and where do you purchase it? Thanks

Annette T. said...

We used to use Spalding Labs fly predators for our horse stalls. They are so easy o work with and help a lot!

Charlene Bartlett said...

Where do you get fly predators? I live in Maine and with the cattle we have lots of flies, however I have fly jars where I catch millions of them. Just started raising chickens though.

Sunny Simple Life said...

Hi Charlene. I get the fly predators from Spalding Labs. You can google them.

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