Current set up not working- bad odor and LOTS 'o flies

PersimmonPatch

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 12, 2009
11
0
22
In the backyard...
Hello,

As some of you might already know from my last post on trying to find out whether we need a coop or tractor, I'm in the SE, near the GA, SC, NC border. I have two barred hens with hopes of having 4.

I have my hens in a moveable wire cage, about 4 feet long. I was moving them about 2x daily. The odor is pretty bad and the blue flies are terrible!! Some days it's hot and dry here, other times, it will rain for 3-5 days nonstop.

I put their cage into our dog run and let the dog out of the pen into the main yard during the day, then put the hens back in the cage at night and the dog back in the pen with them. The dog is a trained therapy dog (an aussie) and good with all kinds of animals so she is no big threat to them, and doesn't seem to be stressing them. They're eating chicken food and scraps from the garden.

This is a temporary situation until we build a tractor or coop or whatever (waiting on leftover lumber), but so far, it's not going well. DH is about ready to make me get rid of them, and with fair reason.

What should I be doing about the odor and flies??

Thanks a bunch.
Michelle
 

annek

Songster
11 Years
Mar 12, 2009
570
3
154
I am not following what you are saying. You say they are in a 4' wire cage that you move 2x a day and then you say that you put them in the dog run during the day. Is the smell coming from the dog run or is the smell coming from your yard?
 

annek

Songster
11 Years
Mar 12, 2009
570
3
154
I have both a coop and a tractor. In my opinion it is nice to have both. I put my chickens in the coop at night which is as predator proof as I can make it and when I can I bring them in the yard and put them in a hoop tractor which is definitely not predator proof. It took a while to modify a shed to become a coop since I had to add all kinds of ventilation, wire, etc. but it only took a few hours to build the tractor.

I move my tractor under various trees during the day. Each day it goes to a new place. A few flies are attracted by the fresh poop but since it only sits a day, there isn't a lot and I just hose it down if we don't get rain. I have 11 11 week old chickens. You should not have a problem with only 2 chickens. Only thing I can think of is that you are concentrating the area they can poop in so you are creating a biohazard area! Look at the hoop coop, it is cheap, simple and large enough to give your 2 chickens a lovely place to go during the day.

So, I would first build the tractor since it would be simple if it is only for day use and very cheap. Then I would look at building a coop because you really need one for the health and welfare of the chickens and your dog. It isn't good for your dog to have all that poop around it either. You may make it ill too.
 

Chicky Tocks

Songster
11 Years
Oct 20, 2008
3,213
10
206
Benton, Arkansas
Don't laugh, cause this is true. I laughed, tried it and was amazed!

Fill 3 or 4 ziplock baggies with water. Put a penny or two into each bottom corner of the ziplock baggy. Hang these in your chicken run and/or coop.

Flys be GONE!

The reason these work is because a fly's eye see's 10 or 15 copies of the same item that we only see one of. The sunlight on the baggies with the pennies causes a prism that is entirely too much action for the fly to withstand so they don't hang around. In their little tiny fly minds, they're thinking it's a fly predator.
 

wanda047

Songster
10 Years
Mar 26, 2009
602
7
141
Hardy, Arkansas
Quote:My dear motheer-in-law (in her 80's) has ziplock bags of water hanging everywhere!!
I'm not sure it helps with the flies, but they are definitely a conversation piece to newcomers.
 

PersimmonPatch

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 12, 2009
11
0
22
In the backyard...
Geesh, I did write a confusing synopsis. Sorry.

Let me try to clarify.

1. I have 2 hens in a four foot long wire cage with a metal roof. The cage sits about 1.5 inches up off the ground.

2. Their cage is inside of our dog pen which is about 25ft by 25 ft (I had them outside of the dog pen but foxes have been spotted in the area).

3. I open the cage door around 9:30am and let the chickens into the pen during the day until about 7pm, dog goes out into our main yard during this time.

4. There are terrible hords of flies on the chicken poo that is under the metal cage. I move the cage around inside of the dog pen to avoid concentrating the poo and I scoop it up and compost it with the dog poo on a daily basis.
 

threehorses

Songster
10 Years
Apr 20, 2009
3,427
157
221
Houston
One thing that really helps with flies are those plastic bag fly-bait traps. We had an explosion of them this year, really horrible. The bags are like 6 bucks a piece. We bought three and the flies are flocking to them.

They're a bit smelly - they're supposed to be - but nothing like a smelly coop. Also, they're not sticky so they won't catch small birds or your chickens. They're safe for using around poultry. I'll never be without them again!
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom