Flies... thinking of re-homing our hens. Please help?!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by RebsChooks, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. RebsChooks

    RebsChooks In the Brooder

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    Aug 17, 2018
    Bishops Stortford, UK
    Last May we got our five lovely bantam girls. As summer approaches I am very heavy-heartedly thinking of re-homing them.

    The fly problem we had last year was horrendous. Not so much in the coop or the walk-in run (which has a thick layer of sand in the bottom) but around the patio outside our back doors. Our girls free range all day in our large back garden and so there is poo around the garden. Twice a day last year I would pick up big poos around the garden and on the patio, and spray down the whole thing. I hate to think of the water wastage! But even then the tiniest spot of poo brought flies in droves. I had those liquid fly traps around (which aren’t cheap) and they filled up rapidly. They were inevitably in the house too - lots of them.

    Was last year a bad year for flies or is this what we will have to deal with again this year? Is there anything I can do to prevent it being so bad? Is this just what comes with climate change?

    I love my hens so much but the thought of going through it all again all summer long makes my heart sink. We also had a horrible red mite infestation last year but I know how to control that and am not worried about all the hard work that comes with it. But the flies?!

    Any words of advice?
     
    Callender Girl likes this.
  2. Can you get fly predators there? You might look into that. We plan to use fly predators and traps but we're in the statesstates so i only know whats available here.
     
    Callender Girl likes this.
  3. Callender Girl

    Callender Girl Crowing

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    North Central Iowa
    I understand your concern. Last year, we had the normal amount of annoying flies (in addition to chickens, ducks and geese, I have miniature goats and hair sheep), but were truly overrun by buffalo gnats -- which killed countless birds across the state, including one of mine.

    Pests will always be a part of having outdoor animals and I've never had the fly predators, although I briefly considered it a couple of years ago. I use the fly paper strips (gross) and the refillable liquid traps (not at all pleasant to refill, honestly). I also used small plastic bags semi-filled with water and hung those next to the goat pen (weirdly, it seemed to work, to a degree), a suggestion from a Native American friend who said his family had done it for years.

    If it were me, I would give it one more try -- maybe it was an unusually fly-filled year in the UK. I have no idea. It just seems a shame to lose your beloved hens.

    Best of luck with whatever you do.
     
    ChooksNQuilts likes this.
  4. WthrLady

    WthrLady Crowing

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    WestOak, Nebraska
    I agree with the fly filled year. We also had horrendous buffalo flies (Nebraska) last year. I was on the verge of tears trying to control them and keep them off my livestock.

    I've heard of people adding brewers yeast to the feed. I never got to that point, but I was close!
     
    Callender Girl likes this.
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    I hang vanilla scented car fresheners at my back door. In my Coop and my Runs. Flies love poop but not vanilla..:frow
     
    Callender Girl likes this.
  6. Callender Girl

    Callender Girl Crowing

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    North Central Iowa
    Vanilla was supposed to provide protection against the buffalo gnats last year. I tried it with limited success; it was hard to convince the runner ducks, especially, to let me apply vanilla-soaked cotton pads to their faces where the gnats congregated.

    Also helpful was running big box fans since the gnats either didn't like the air movement or couldn't fly against it.

    Vanilla certainly doesn't hurt -- and it makes the place smell much better!
     
  7. Fishkeeper

    Fishkeeper Songster

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    Central Texas
    You could build them a contained run and do deep litter. That should mostly prevent flies, and if/when they do show up, at least they'll be in the run and not elsewhere.
     
    aart likes this.
  8. danceswithronin

    danceswithronin Crowing

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    Have you considered carnivorous plants? I'd probably load up on sundews, pitcher plants, and Venus fly traps. Pitcher plants can be hung in a basket from the edges of a porch and are fairly attractive too. Venus fly traps are always a good conversation piece for patio tables and whatnot.
     
  9. Fishkeeper

    Fishkeeper Songster

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    Central Texas
    I have carnivorous plants. They're great, but they aren't the best fly control, especially not the flytraps. If commercial fly traps (not the plants) aren't cutting it, carnivorous plants won't either.
     
    aart and WthrLady like this.

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