HELP! Fly Problem - Deep Litter Method

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by austintxchick, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. austintxchick

    austintxchick Chirping

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    I just started the deep litter method in my run using pine shavings and turning/raking them around every day or so. I've recently noticed a huge fly problem. I also have noticed alot of food spillage in the run. The feeder is on the ground right now and I plan on hanging it. Is hundreds of flies a normal thing? I haven't yet added diatomaceous earth so maybe that will help?

    Any suggestions?

    [​IMG]
     

  2. Firekin1

    Firekin1 Songster

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    I have never started deep litter until at least fall where it's used as a heat source...it produces a LOT of heat and of course there would be a problem with flies.
     
  3. TheEggCollecter

    TheEggCollecter Songster

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    I wouldn't start DLM until mid fall and end mid spring.
     
  4. blondiebee181

    blondiebee181 Songster

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    Firstly, where do you live? If you live in a moist area, deep litter with any type of wood, straw or other absorbent material is not recommended because it will trap moisture and heat and stink and rot and attract every insect from the 7th circle of hell. Also how many birds do you have in there? More birds=more mess=more poopy and more bugs, etc...so if the area is too confined for the number of birds in there deep litter may not be the best idea....I deep litter my duck house because I live in Idaho where it is pretty dry most of the year and I only have 2 ducks living in it....thirdly, I use sand in my run. I buy a couple fresh bags of traction type sand from the hardware store a couple times a year and it works GREAT. Like a giant litter box. Everything will be 100% drier. FOURTHLY and FINALLY, I would buy a bag of FOOD GRADE diatomaceous earth from your local tractor supply and start with that. It's great at killing small insects. I just used it to help get rid of mites on a couple of my girls and it is really good for the chickens to dust-bathe in. Make sure though that it is food grade, not garden grade. Use it in the nest boxes, in the run...good stuff. Good luck [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  5. austintxchick

    austintxchick Chirping

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    Well crap, my goal is not to attract every insect from the 7th circle of hell! I live in Austin, TX and it's hotter than the 7th circle of hell right now. Our backyard has no grass and is pretty sandy soil. I heard that the sand method was stinky so I didn't want to do that. Maybe I should clean it out and start over. Are you saying to add DE to the shavings or just use DE with sand?

    I have three chickens, probably soon to be 2 because I just found out one might be a roo. The run is about 8 feet long.

    I fail as a chicken mama.
     
  6. blondiebee181

    blondiebee181 Songster

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    Hahaha! No ya don't, we all just have to learn! We all figure out what works best. If it were me, I would probably clean it all out and start again...especially if the flies decide it's a good spot to lay eggs? Ew. Then more will hatch...chickens may like maggots, but I wouldn't want them pecking at their own poo...I have had good luck with sand, and that also ensures that the birds get plenty of grit too. If it were me, I would clean it out and let the floor dry for a day or so, and then throw down a bag of sand. You may only need one bag, my run is quite a bit larger than yours....then I would monitor how things go...see where the girls bathe and monitor if you still have a fly problem, then I would put DE in their dust bath pits and I always keep some in the nest boxes personally...If you feel the problem gets solved with sand you may decide to wait on the DE which is fine...I would definitely try to get some of the soiled, fly-ridden bedding out for starters though...
     
  7. austintxchick

    austintxchick Chirping

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    That sounds like a good plan, blondiebee! Thank you!
     

  8. austintxchick

    austintxchick Chirping

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    And double eww on the maggots. I think I'd think about that everytime I ate one of their eggs. You are what you eat!
     
  9. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    (If they're allowed to free range, they're going to find some sort of insects)
     
  10. austintxchick

    austintxchick Chirping

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    Oh I know, I don't mind the other bugs, it's just maggots that make me cringe.
     

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