Topic of the Week - Fly Strike

sumi

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1000.jpg

Pic by @theoldchick*
This week, as suggested by member @casportpony, I would like to hear you all's thoughts and practices when it comes to preventing and treating fly strike in poultry. This condition occurs when flies lay eggs on chickens, most often around their vents, and resulting maggots live in and feed on the tissue, which results in an infection and if untreated, death of the affected bird.

- How can poultry keepers prevent fly strike in their flocks?
- Once affected, how can birds be treated for this?



For a complete list of our Topic of the Week threads, see here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/topic-of-the-week-thread-archive

* Bird pictured above is perfectly healthy and the image was used for illustration and promotion of this thread only, instead of the more graphic images usually associated with this condition.
 

JanetMarie

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Oct 23, 2014
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If you have a bird that continually has droppings that adhere to the feathers around the vent (especially runny poo), there's a problem with the bird's internal microbe balance, or a parasitic infection, or another problem.

Give avian specific probiotics, and take a stool sample to a veterinarian. If there is a parasitic infection give a wormer, either Safeguard or Valbazen. Until the problem is remedied, keep the vent area clean.
 
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Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
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Some very fluffy chickens Cochins/Orpingtons being 2 of them can get poo stuck on their feathers so I trim to keep it from getting stuck and causing problems.
I agree using a probiotic weekly may help also. I had an EE get fly strike and I do not ever want to have that happen again.
 

adrikeen

Whooo let the chicks ooout? Peep...peep...peep
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Sep 10, 2012
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I had no idea this was an issue either! Blah! :sick I noticed flies were excessively bad this year. I have two fly paper rolls up in the coop (run) near the chicken houses to catch stray flies and I have one of those Rescue fly catchers outside of the coop and near my composters. Despite the nauseating smell of the thing...it does work extremely well. After a day or two I noticed a significant drop in the amount of flies around. My issue is the girls try to catch the trapped flies on the fly paper so I have to be careful to hang it out of their reach - to my surprise many of them were able to jump or flap/fly higher than I anticipated. I also practice the deep litter method in the coop and frequently rake that to turn over waste. I have occasionally added Chic Flic to some areas that the rain hits and I noticed that seems to deter the flies as well....but not as well as the fly paper or Rescue trap.
 

brucifer

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As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. With that in mind, the best practice is to stay ahead of the game. However, sometimes conditions and circumstances are such that major fly hatches will occur. For example, we've had a particularly wet Spring here in Georgia, and moisture plus chicken poop equals FLIES! (How's that for chicken math?!)

When my best efforts fall short, and when I have a huge fly hatch, I mix a 5-gram scoop of Bayer Tempo Ultra WP into a 1-gallon pump sprayer and spray for a quick knockdown because I don't want adult flies hanging around, laying eggs, and compounding the problem. On the good side, Tempo is relatively safe to use around chickens and inside coops and pens, and it is biodegradable and quickly degrades. For example, I always mix it fresh when I use it because it loses half its strength within a few days. In other words, it's safe to use indoors and outdoors. On the downside, Tempo will take out some beneficial insects including honeybees, and it can harm fish if used around a pond or fish tank. If you do decide to use this product, please READ THE DIRECTIONS first before using. It's a great product for me, but it may not be the best for you.

A longer-term preventative is to use garden lime (NOT hydrated lime) in the coops, runs and bedding areas. Just about any feed store will carry garden lime, and it's very inexpensive (For example, a 50# sack runs about $3). Fly larvae need an acidic soil or medium in order to thrive. Garden lime will change the pH of the medium to more alkali on the pH scale, and thus, a less hospitable environment for fly larvae to develop. BTW, garden lime is harmless to chickens, and many of your plants will love it.
 
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drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
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I never knew what a serious problem the maggots were till I started on BYC. I was horrified of the damage it caused and that when the maggots ran out of decaying flesh, they would destroy healthy as well. Also they can migrate through the body and reach the brain. Sounded like an alien from space. I have tried warning people that are treating wounded birds NOT to put them outside till the areas are healed. They think I am a blabbering fool. :confused::confused:
 

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
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Aug 26, 2009
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Out to pasture
Sumi & Kathy so glad you are bringing this to BYC members. PS silkies can be in very bad shape before someone notices what is going on - all that fluffiness covers alot of damage. I didn't realize till recently that FLY STRIKE is what it is called. I know it's a big deal with horses etc.
 

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