Originally Posted by Teila
( part of Teilas' post ).
Fizzybelle I have found that the deep little method in the run definitely keeps fly numbers down.
In my first effort to reduce flies, I tried fermented feed as FF was reported to do that. I gave it a good 6 month trial. There may have been a slight reduction in numbers but that also may have just been wishful thinking on my part that the plan worked. While there may have been beneficial affects, not enough for me to continue with FF .. the girls ate it but were not as keen as they are for their dry feed.
The deep litter method has definitely reduced the fly numbers. I think it was in here that I read that someone did not like the idea of the chickens being “surrounded by their own poop” but I do not find that to be the case.
As the girls are constantly scratching, they are turning the litter over, drying out the poops quickly. I also give it a good turn with the garden fork every afternoon. I never see a significant amount of poop and this summer, definitely did not have many flies.
To Teila, Fizzybelle, MyHaven --- ( and all others who might be interested ).
I use deep litter method of keeping a coop --- and it certainly does keep way way down, the flies.
In fact, can honestly say flies do not hover at all - except on fresh woopsies way outside in the run. And even then, not for long as the girls chase them to catch !! ( with little success I might add ).
The ' fun ' part of deep litter is cleaning of the coop. . You need a very sharp hard spatula type tool - or even the old spade dug in deep above whatever you have as flooring, plus a range of other sharpish tool bizzos - and a large stock produce bag.
But boy ..... does it ever give up good chookie manure .... after the hard yards have been done.
I decided on doing this after reading online, some facts on deep litter. [ Sounded terrific, to me.]
As you all know, chickens pass their woopsies overnight ( and during the day when feeding at their tucker outlet or drinking, inside the coop ) .... and it is ultimately stamped down by their little tootsies over a period of time, particularly if they have been locked up because of heavy rain or because they need to become bored for a half day, so feed more ( etc ). I don't let my girls out early - more like mid morning on a good day. They only make a lotta noise when they detect movement at the rear of our home. I let them out ( after going to the toilet myself ) - the little blighters HEAR the toilet flush ! and start up. I do this to make sure they don't tear a claw out on fine wiring on their coop door. !! Otherwise..... they are as quiet as church mice.
Fresh wood shavings plus straw on laying nest ( on the floor ?? ), are added frequently and the whole process continues.
At some stage, the microbes go to work on it. Have no idea what microbes they are !!! The microbe thingies break it all down into really solid solid mass, and so we end up with woopsie cement on the flooring of the coop. That could get to inches thick ... but I spade, scrape, chip, lift and knife at the solid mass every 2 months or so, in order that it doesn't become too unmanagable.
Family / friends beg for bags of the stuff. The microbes do most of the work, with a lot of stamping help from the chooks - and it becomes manure of the purest kind.
Added benefit ---- NO FLIES. At least not in or around the coop.
In fact, I can honestly say we are almost completely fly-less out there.
Give it a go - but be prepared for some hard yacka every couple of months or so.
Edited by Anniebee - 3/18/16 at 3:48am