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Flies in the run

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I saw another thread about flies in the coop but figured I would make my own since situations are different..

Haven't had any fly issues. But we just had a huge rain that turned my run to mud for days. I got in there a couple days ago and mucked it out and then set a box fan for the past couple days to air it out. Today I put the box fan away and this evening went out to give the girls some treats and there are TONS of flies in the run. Many around the food but they seem to be pretty spread around the entire run. I imagine the rain and moist ground has something to do wit it since we weren't having an issue before. What can I do about this? I can go out and rake again but don't think it will help. The run is just grass and dirt right now the girls haven't cleared the grass yet. I'm planning on putting out sand in the next few days to try to help the soggy mud pit the run turns into when it rains.

Any ideas? I know there will be flies but this is TONS.
post #2 of 8

if you can... clean it out more thoroughly and allow it to dry.. then cover it with something that can help absorb the moisture and odor

 

if it's dried and odorless.. t will not attract as many flies

 

 

i don't like fly traps for 2 main reasons

 

1- smell worst than chicken manure

2- pricey

 

 

 

unless you built your own fly trap using chicken manure as bait! :)

 

i'm thinking of making something like this.. but bigger.. big even to put over my compost bin

 

since usually when i put the chicken manure inside the compost bin i have to cover it with a layer of dried leaves. to control the smell..thus reduce the # of flies


Edited by BruceAZ - 6/9/16 at 12:20pm
What i posted above are just my opinions.. they are NOT facts.
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What i posted above are just my opinions.. they are NOT facts.
Reply
post #3 of 8

I am not sure of your particular location, but if available, cover the run in 10 inches or so of free wood chips.

 

The top will be dry, and the flock will love you.

Heat the nesting boxes to stop eggs from freezing.

Forever Water Heater one that lasts.

Unfrozen Nipple Watering for those cold days.

Removing dust the easy way.

Quick and Easy 5 Gallon Waterer.

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Heat the nesting boxes to stop eggs from freezing.

Forever Water Heater one that lasts.

Unfrozen Nipple Watering for those cold days.

Removing dust the easy way.

Quick and Easy 5 Gallon Waterer.

Reply
post #4 of 8

We had a lot of flies in the run last year, even when it was mostly dry. We used a deep-litter method and kept layering in straw. When I finally cleaned it out mid-summer, we had well over a bale of straw and manure mixture and in spite of the top layers being relatively dry and odorless, the bottom inch or two was wet mucky urine-smelling stuff! It worked a treat for speeding up the compost heaps, but I never want to deal with that mess again. We layered straw for the winter and then 2-3 weeks ago, I cleaned it all out down to the dirt and replaced it with 3 bags of sand instead. The chickens still dig holes all over the run, but the haven for flies is gone, which seems to be working so far. I also added a fly ribbon hanging out of reach of the birds, which I'm hoping will keep any remaining flies from accumulating. I will be sure to post more as the summer progresses, but at the moment the sand seems to be the ticket. Even though it gets a little muddy after a rain, it dries up quickly and does not seem to harbor the potential problems that the straw typically does.

post #5 of 8
Veganurbanfarm, I have no problems with flies at all with my deep litter run. I use a mix of dried leaves, grass clippings (fresh and dried), pine shavings from my once a year coop clean out, hay barn sweepings, etc over a base of chipped tree trimmings. One would be hard pressed to find any poop in my run and it only smells of leaves and dirt.

Straight straw would be a poor choice for deep litter and I'm not surprised to hear that it bred flies and nasty odor underneath. Given you only used a bale of straw total and it only took only 3 bags of sand to cover your run and given "urban" is in your username, I'm guessing your run is a small one. It might be that your manure load is just too high for the space regardless of choice of litter or sand. You may find that, as the level of poop that gets pulverized into the sand increases, your sand begins to stink when it gets wet. If it's only 3 bags worth it will probably be pretty easy to change it out but if it isn't working for you I encourage you to revisit the deep litter method but use a variety of textured material for greater success. I would stay away from straw as it doesn't offer much absorption and doesn't compost quickly.
post #6 of 8
Anyone care to share
Pictures of their coop and run? I'm going to be starting my DEEP litter method. I am starting fresh. I have a 5x6 coop. 8x12 run and 8 babies (will be hens)

I would appreciate it. INSIDE COOP AND RUN and outside.
LOOKING for feeder placement and water placement too.
Edited by lowrypt - 6/10/16 at 7:44am
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by lowrypt View Post

Anyone care to share
Pictures of their coop and run? I'm going to be starting my DEEP litter method. I am starting fresh. I have a 5x6 coop. 8x12 run and 8 babies (will be hens)

I would appreciate it.

Your coop and run dimensions are very similar to my Coop Project.

IMG_6976.JPG

The Coop is setup under the deck, it has external egg boxes for easy egg collection.

IMG_7106.JPG

The run is fenced with 1 X 2 welded wire.



Both the inside of the coop and the run are filled with wood shavings to keep down odors. But our climate is so dry most of the time, that odors have really not ever been a problem. I think the deep litter system very effective.
Edited by Rock Home Isle - 6/10/16 at 7:42am

"Experince is the teacher of all things." Julius Ceaser

"The only real valuable thing is intuition." Albert Einstein

"Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest" Mark Twain

 

My Coop Project

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/656727/coop-project-maken-the-plunge-getting-chickens

Reply

"Experince is the teacher of all things." Julius Ceaser

"The only real valuable thing is intuition." Albert Einstein

"Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest" Mark Twain

 

My Coop Project

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/656727/coop-project-maken-the-plunge-getting-chickens

Reply
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkALittle View Post

Veganurbanfarm, I have no problems with flies at all with my deep litter run. I use a mix of dried leaves, grass clippings (fresh and dried), pine shavings from my once a year coop clean out, hay barn sweepings, etc over a base of chipped tree trimmings. One would be hard pressed to find any poop in my run and it only smells of leaves and dirt.

Straight straw would be a poor choice for deep litter and I'm not surprised to hear that it bred flies and nasty odor underneath. Given you only used a bale of straw total and it only took only 3 bags of sand to cover your run and given "urban" is in your username, I'm guessing your run is a small one. It might be that your manure load is just too high for the space regardless of choice of litter or sand. You may find that, as the level of poop that gets pulverized into the sand increases, your sand begins to stink when it gets wet. If it's only 3 bags worth it will probably be pretty easy to change it out but if it isn't working for you I encourage you to revisit the deep litter method but use a variety of textured material for greater success. I would stay away from straw as it doesn't offer much absorption and doesn't compost quickly.


Thanks for the tips. We did some reading on deep litter before starting, but apparently not enough. We only have 3 hens, so I doubt the manure load is too much, but in hindsight, it would appear that straw alone was not the best choice considering how wet our fall/winter/spring can be. The run never smelled bad and we didn't attract anything other than flies in the hottest part of the summer, but we were mostly masking the issue I think.

 

That being said, so far the sand has been better. We've had hotter than normal temps the last couple of weeks and there are some flies, but so far the chickens seem to be cleaner because they can dustbathe in the run, where they couldn't with the straw before. Aside from that, we plan to go back to deep litter in the fall to abate the winter moisture. I'm also planning to put a solid roof on 2/3 of the run to reduce the amount of rain and provide a little extra shade this summer.

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