chickens in town and flies

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bobeena, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. bobeena

    bobeena In the Brooder

    Oct 23, 2007
    I've got four adult hens and one chick in a city back yard. They've got a coop and run and during most days range the fenced back yard. I keep the run clean and lay down plenty of food-grade DE.

    However, there's been a dramatic increase in houseflies in our yard/neighbors' yards since we began keeping these birds last year. Every time you open the door, you get flies in the house..when you sit outside to picnic, flies. Is this normal? Is there anything I can do? The flies are such a pain I'm actually thinking of getting rid of all the chickens.
  2. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    Rainwater, sewer, spilt food, or even your neighbors garbage cans would bring in alot of flies.

    I, too, have to deal with it as well but not only DE, but lime and fly baits as well. Its worse after the rains and above than usual rainwater we have been getting makes the flies and mostiquoes breed and multiply rapidly.

    Good luck!
  3. lashawnb

    lashawnb In the Brooder

    Jul 22, 2008
    Bartlesville, Oklahoma
    I have chickens and HAD hundreds of flies in my backyard this summer too. First I got one of those fly trap jars at the feed store. It has a really stinky bait that you put in the jar with some water. The kind that you can sit on the ground and has the opening at the top has worked better than the ones that have the opening at the bottom. The package stated that each jar would catch 10,000 flies. Well, after a week, mine was half full!!!!!
    Next, I added DE to the chooks crumble feed. I also added it
    to my dogs food. Apparently the DE on the dog & chicken droppings will kill the flies too. (I wear a dust mask when
    mixing the DE in the large bags of food. Then I don't worry
    about a mask on a day to day basis when feeding my dogs.)
    Then, I covered my compost pile with 4 bags of freshly cut
    grass, (I picked the bags of grass up off the curb a few blocks away) After the flies came to the yard, they really seemed to like the compost pile. The grass burried any stinkiness that was coming from it.
    Finally, I put one of those mosquito donuts in my teeny tiny
    pond. The gold fish keep the mosquito larvae eaten up, but
    I read that if flies drink the water that has the donuts in it,
    the bacteria from the donut kills the flies. And YEAH, one week later my yard went from Full of Flies to FLY-FREEEE!!!!!
    Hope you can use some of these tips.
    Bartlesville, OK
  4. marliah

    marliah In the Brooder

    Jul 24, 2008
    fly traps have worked wonders for me, also welcome the spiders, my pet area is loaded with spiders and I tell everyone to leave them alone, that are welcome friends [​IMG]
  5. Disposing of manure *is* important but it's been a bad year for insect activity all over North America. Since mine is also treated with Stable Boy powder I don't have much of a problem. Another fantastic way to keep flies away is to hang a Black Flag or Vapona 'No-Pest' strip in your coop, away from food/water and where your chickens can't peck it. If you do this or use a strip made by one of several other manufacturers you'll notice a profound difference. They're safe in the home too, also kept away from food/water and they keep fleas, lice and ticks from infesting birds and mammals, even house pets. Be sure to clean up any water spills, a dry coop seldom has a bad odor or flies!

  6. bobeena

    bobeena In the Brooder

    Oct 23, 2007
    Thanks for all the great tips. We have sticky fly strips hanging in the garage (which we open during the day as the kids do crafts in there, etc.) and the stinky-bait bag fly traps near the run and in another spot in the backyard. Both are getting flies but they are so bad we can't eat out in the yard anymore. I am going to order some of the "fly predators" someone mentioned in another post...I hope this does it. If it doesn't, I'm going to find a new home for my girls (sniff). Just can't have a yard we can't use....

    again, thanks.
  7. AllChookUp

    AllChookUp Will Shut Up for Chocolate

    May 7, 2008
    Frozen Lake, MN
    lashawnb -

    Do you happen to remember the name of the "stinky-bait flytrap jars"? I can't say I've ever seen one, but I'm interested in getting one. I'd like to know what to look for or ask for when I go to the feed store.

  8. AllChookUp

    AllChookUp Will Shut Up for Chocolate

    May 7, 2008
    Frozen Lake, MN
    Also, would I be safe in mixing DE in with the crumbles for the chicks? (they are 6 weeks).
    I already do that for the adults.
  9. bobeena

    bobeena In the Brooder

    Oct 23, 2007
    On the fly traps, no....I was at Lowe's for something else and they were in the pest-control aisle. It's a plastic bag with a bait that, once you add the requisite water, smells like rotting meat. Nice! It is pretty full of flies now, however.

    I hope the "fly predators" work...from Spalding Labs (sp?). I just ordered shipments for this summer and into fall (which, in the Carolinas, is pretty much all summer anyway).

    If not, a couple of Ameraucanas, a Rhode Island Red and my dear Buff Orpington are going to have to move on.
  10. Rhett&SarahsMom

    Rhett&SarahsMom Songster

    May 8, 2008
    We had a massive fly problem just do to the dog poop issue between our dog and the neighbors dog. Didnt help that only we cleaned the dog poo up from our own yard.
    And I can say that the stinky fly bait traps worked WONDERFULLY. But.

    OMG the stink made using the pool and enjoying the back yard impossible for me. It is disgusting. I tossed the thing in the trash last Friday.. and let me tell you how wonderful that was for all involved. I double bagged the thing. Put it in a larger trash bag. Then inside a trash can with a secure lid. Put it out on the sidewalk for collection.
    There were HUNDREDS of flies all over the trash can.
    I couldnt sit on the front porch. And it was a good 10 feet from the house. They finally picked it and dumped it and the trash can still wreaks of it. I can only imagine what the collection guys thought was in there. It was that bad.
    I will not get another one of those. As much as I think the fly strips are gross visually. And dont work as well IMHO. I would rather use those and just not look at it, except to dispose of it. Then to ever have the stink trap in my yard again. I will be cleaning the coop and run every day if need be. Might even get some fly predators. But no more stink bait traps.

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