Flies in the run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kkapotsy, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. kkapotsy

    kkapotsy In the Brooder

    Mar 3, 2016
    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.

  2. BruceAZ

    BruceAZ Songster

    May 18, 2016
    Valley of the Sun :)
    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
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016
  3. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    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.
  4. veganurbanfarm

    veganurbanfarm In the Brooder

    Jan 28, 2012
    Ferndale MI
    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.
  5. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Songster

    Dec 15, 2014
    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.
  6. lowrypt

    lowrypt In the Brooder

    Jun 4, 2016
    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.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2016

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


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


    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.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2016

  8. veganurbanfarm

    veganurbanfarm In the Brooder

    Jan 28, 2012
    Ferndale MI
    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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