Fire ants won't cross water so anything you can do to create a moat around your run will help. Unfortunately this is not always a practical solution.
You need to analyze where they may be accessing the run and coop and del with them there. Some folks add screening over hardware cloth and pre-treat bedding with food-grade diatomaceous earth, Sevin and/or Dri-Kill to repel them. Something called AMDRO is supposed to be effective too. There are several threads from BYC members here- hope this helps!
Peppermint essential oil will make ants scatter and not return. I dont know if it works on fire ants but I use it mixed in a spray bottle full of peppermint tea and spray it everywhere I see ants. I also pour peppermint tea with added peppermint essential oil onto ant colonies and that makes them abandon their homes.I dont have fire ants but I do have a lot of pets and needed a non toxic solution to the many types of ants I have here. Peppermint essential oil can be found at the health food store and is fairly cheap.Because its an oil and oil and water /tea dont mix, shake very hard before spraying and shake frequently while spraying. Hope this helps
I've already had fire ants in my yard and in the coop. My chickens are all full-grown and they don't go near the ants. I'm able to use an Amdro type poison on them and the chickens don't go near it .... none of them. When they're free-ranging they'll avoid those ants, the mounds, everything.
I patrol my one acre daily and spread poison on the beginning mounds. Neither my dogs nor my chicks bother with them on the poison.
Just as an aside...I was treating a very small "mound" last evening and a very small racer snake was being attacked by them. The snake was no bigger than a pencil and a bit thinner. I just couldn't bear to see him so I picked him up by his skinny tail and moved him away from those nasty ants.
I too am blessed with the (*#&($*&(@#_(!#& fire ants. Matter of fact, I usually get them in each closet, my kitchen, bathrooms, etc. all at differnt times through out the year.
I have seen a few in my coop. But my chickens were pecking at them. I am putting down some sevin tomorrow, I dont think it really helps THAT much on fire ants. Because they are just soooo resilant. But, I have to do something. And with as many kids as I have, I hate to put down anything really poisonious.
I really dread when the ants get bad. right now they are not just awful yet.
Guineas are great for anykind of ants, flies, mosquitoes, ticks, etc. if you can stand the noise. Had some where I used to live in FL. before predators wiped them out. Much fun and very entertaining also........Pop