Rain, muck, and flies...Help!i

PattersonBYC

In the Brooder
Jan 11, 2017
4
2
14
Naples, FL
First, let me say that we are beginners. We have only had chickens since January. I have 3 Rhode Island Reds, 3 Black Australorps, and 2 Leghorns, Mr. Mowhawk Rooster and Little Miss Daisy. As of now, Miss Daisy is my only layer, but the others should start in a few weeks. I also have 2 polish girls in the brooder. So anyway, we live in Southwest Florida and it is now rainy season. It is going to rain almost every single day until about September. I have a 4x4 coop my husband built (it's solid, weather treated, easy to clean, and built to withstand a hurricane) our run is attached and is currently about 8'x12' (we have plans to expand it soon). We didn't roof the run, we just put shade cloth and only covered over where the water bucket is. So it has been raining for about a week or so and my coop is now infested with flies, covered in muck, and stinks like ... well, you get it. We have (or had) sand in the run and I was putting down a thin layer of hay, but have stopped that now that the rain has started. We put out 2 captivator fly things and some sticky thing, but although the two captivator jugs appear to be working (3in of nasty flies and counting) there seem to be more flies now than ever! I clean the coop and the run once a week and we add more sand as needed, but everything is just turning into a wasteland! Are my chickens suffering? Can we wait until this weekend to put on a roof or am I going to go out there one morning to find all my chickens dead or dying? Ugh! So frustrated!
 

Loudawg11

Chirping
Apr 29, 2017
68
19
51
Andover MA
My Coop
My Coop
Ok you probably should of put the roof on before the situation got this bad but what you can do is see if you can put a temporary waterproof tarp over the coop and put a pole in the middle to prevent water build up. Your chickens are probably hating the rain just as much as you are but they are probably not in danger of dying unless they can't find a cozy space to sit down and cuddle up to produce body heat to stay warm. The flies should be a nice source of food for the chickens but if there are to many flies the chickens will get overwhelmed which it sounds like they have. Anyway try to get a temporary roof set up and I hope my feedback was helpful!
 

Percheron chick

Crowing
8 Years
Apr 12, 2013
4,659
3,161
391
Hudson, Colorado
Your chickens will fine in the rain and mud. Not their favorite but it won't kill them.
Before you spend anytime expanding your run, you need to first expand the coop. You have 10 birds in 16 square feet. That's only about 5 square feet above and beyond what space their bodies take up. I would take your current run and make a 3 sided coop with tons of air flow for your miserable summers . A tiny 4x4 coop is going to be too hot and stuffy and they won't use it.
 

PattersonBYC

In the Brooder
Jan 11, 2017
4
2
14
Naples, FL
Your chickens will fine in the rain and mud. Not their favorite but it won't kill them.
Before you spend anytime expanding your run, you need to first expand the coop. You have 10 birds in 16 square feet. That's only about 5 square feet above and beyond what space their bodies take up. I would take your current run and make a 3 sided coop with tons of air flow for your miserable summers . A tiny 4x4 coop is going to be too hot and stuffy and they won't use it.
Thanks. We only have 8 in the coop right now and we have plans to add another 4x4 coop and expand the run to be more than 2x what it is now before the baby polish are ready to be introduced. We're going to avoid adding any additional chickens after this until maybe next spring.
 

Doc Schoepp

Chirping
Apr 18, 2017
65
29
51
Colorado Springs
We got hit with rains sooner than we were ready for this year. We usually leave most of the run uncovered and they have the coop and some other things to hide under for light rain and we have a removable tarp for heavier rain. One thing that helped is we got some pallets to put down in a few areas to give them some cleaner walking areas as well as help prevent us from slipping all over. Was a cheap and easy short term solution.
 

Percheron chick

Crowing
8 Years
Apr 12, 2013
4,659
3,161
391
Hudson, Colorado
One 8x4 coop is 1000x more workable than 2 4x4s. Your chickens will try to cram into one coop and not use the other or just refuse to use the coops and roost in the run for the night. Small coops don't have the airflow of larger ones so they get too hot in the summer. Chickens won't return to the coop if it's stifling hot. A hot stressed hen is a non laying hen. I would use your current coop for the polish and build a separate run for them. Build a second structure large enough to house all large fowl you own and those you intend to own. You do not need a 4 walled structure. Think more aviary.
 

CatNtheRoost

In the Brooder
May 8, 2017
10
7
24
I am dealing with this same exact issue right now, I'm so glad you brought it up! Of course mine was from someone leaving the water for the duck pool running overnight. But yes millions of flies. I just put up the captivator today so I'm hoping to see some kind of improvement tomorrow. I had no idea this was a common thing. It's pretty disgusting.
 

Doc Schoepp

Chirping
Apr 18, 2017
65
29
51
Colorado Springs
Something to remember with those fly jars, you want them away from your house and run or else it will attract the flies towards those places. I wasnt thinking last summer when I put one out and instead of reducing the fly population I doubled it....
 

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