As a backyard chicken enthusiast, you know that maintaining a clean and hygienic environment around the chicken coop is crucial for the health and well-being of your feathered friends. One common nuisance that chicken keepers often face is the presence of flies around the coop. Flies can be more than just bothersome; they can transmit diseases and compromise the overall cleanliness of the area. In this blog post, we’ll explore some effective and eco-friendly strategies of fly control to keep flies at bay, ensuring a healthier and happier environment for your chickens.
1. Regular Cleaning:
The first step in fly control around the chicken coop is maintaining a regular cleaning schedule. Remove droppings, uneaten feed, and any decaying organic matter daily. These are breeding grounds for flies and, by eliminating them, you disrupt the fly life cycle, reducing their population significantly.
2. Composting System:
Establishing a proper composting system away from the chicken coop can help manage organic waste effectively. Compost piles can help break down the waste, reducing its attractiveness to flies. Additionally, composting provides a valuable source of nutrient-rich material for your garden. To learn more about composting chicken manure, Backyard Poultry Magazine breaks down the process (no pun intended) in an easy to follow guide.
3. Deep Litter Method:
Consider using the deep litter method in your coop. This involves regularly adding fresh bedding material, such as hemp, which helps to absorb moisture and ammonia from droppings. The decomposing bedding generates heat, minimizing fly larvae development. For additional odor control, natural DooKashi deodorizer has been proven to neutralize ammonia very effectively.
4. Fly-Repellent Plants:
Nature offers some fantastic solutions for fly control. Planting fly-repellent herbs like basil, mint, lavender, and rosemary around the coop can deter flies with their strong scents. These plants not only add beauty to your surroundings but also contribute to a more fly-resistant environment. If gardening around the coop isn’t possible, we offer an organic dried nest herb blend with many of these herbs in our Organic Nest Box Herbs 6oz.
5. Diatomaceous Earth (DE):
Diatomaceous Earth, a natural powder made from fossilized algae, is a powerful tool in the fight against flies. Sprinkle DE around the coop and areas prone to fly activity. It works by dehydrating and ultimately killing the pests without causing harm to chickens or humans. Some people feel uneasy about using DE, so as a substitution try First Saturday Lime. It is not silica-based and provides the same results.
6. Fly Traps:
Strategically placed fly traps can be highly effective in capturing and reducing the fly population. Consider using sticky fly traps or traps containing attractants that lure flies away from the coop. We love the Flybuster fly trap system. Place it a good distance from the coop and home as it does have a strong odor. Refills are also available which makes it very cost effective.
7. Proper Waste Disposal:
Dispose of waste in a way that discourages fly breeding. If you compost, ensure it’s adequately covered and maintained to limit fly access. For other waste, use sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
8. Screened Ventilation:
Ensure your coop has proper ventilation, but consider adding screens or mesh to prevent flies from entering. This allows fresh air to circulate while keeping unwanted pests out.
9. Regular Health Checks:
Monitor your chickens’ health regularly and address any signs of illness promptly. Healthy chickens are better equipped to fend off flies and other potential health risks.
10. Hygiene and Maintenance:
Finally, maintaining good personal hygiene while tending to your chickens is essential. Wash your hands after handling birds or cleaning the coop, as well as before handling food or eating.
Keeping flies at bay around the chicken coop is a critical aspect of responsible chicken keeping. By adopting these practical and eco-friendly strategies, you can create a cleaner, healthier, and more pleasant environment for your feathered companions. Embrace a regular cleaning routine, incorporate natural repellents, and implement smart waste management practices to achieve a fly-free coop that will benefit both your chickens and you. Remember, a little effort in fly control goes a long way in ensuring the overall well-being of your flock.