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Fly predators? opinions wanted

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RockyToggRanch, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. RockyToggRanch

    RockyToggRanch Songster

    May 22, 2008
    Upstate NY
    I have had horses for 2 yrs in April. This will be my 3rd summer with flies. I had 7 chickens last summer. This year...who knows how many... Any way, I started using fly predators the first year we got the horses. I didn't notice a difference until the end of the season when my shipments stopped. We had a warm fall and OMG the flies were awful, and they had not been bad at all until then.

    So I swear by these for the horses, but I'm wondering now with the chickens..does anyone have an opinion of how well they work?
    They say that the chickens will eat them (of course) and to hang them out of reach. Just wanted expert opinions from real people. thanks
  2. tim_TX

    tim_TX Songster

    Jun 4, 2008
    I'v never had a problem with flies, so long as I don't keep the cattle penned up. I would say keep doing what you are doing for the horses and the chickens will take care of themselves. I took care of purebred horses for a bit while in college and the larger creatures are fly magnets, even when the stalls are cleaned weekly. I've heard that there are natural parasites in a good deep litter that will keep flies down by devouring their eggs. I tend to believe it since I did notice flies after cleaning out the coop and replacing the litter (and good critters), but these subsided in a couple of weeks. Not 100% sure if this is true or not, but I do know that the "good deep litter" approach would not work for horses [​IMG]
  3. FunnyFarmer

    FunnyFarmer Songster

    Jul 20, 2008
    Efland, NC
    I have horses & free-ranging chickens and I definitely think they help. I hide mine under things where the chickens can't get to them. Actually, I concentrate the fly predators more around the chicken house--the chickens seem to do a pretty darn good job of picking through the horse manure.
  4. I'm thinking of adding Muscovies to our farm next year, good with slugs, too...
  5. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    They are hit or miss. It depends on your area. The fly predators don't travel as far as the flies so if your neighbors have livestock and flies you'll likely still have just as many flies. Also fly traps work just as well if not better and are much cheaper. Downside is emptying them. Best fly control is a flock of barn swallows. We have no pests at the stable because of them. They wipe out all mosquitos, flies, gnats, etc... You won't get bit by a single mosquito on the property. Compared to the other farm across town which you can't step outside without a thick coating of bug spray or you'll be eaten alive. Only difference is the barn swallows. I plan on putting up some barn swallow nest areas this spring to encourage them and there are other birds you can attract. I also have several bat houses on my coop and an area set aside at the top of the barn just for bats to roost. Bats and birds can't be beat for pest control.

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