sand as chicken coop litter and run ground cover. Sand coats droppings and dries them out, reducing odors and moisture simultaneously.
3. Plant Warfare:
- Plant herbs around your coop and yard. Basil, lavender, mint and rosemary are all natural fly repellents.
- Grow some carniverous plants that eat flies.
4. Spice it Up: Herb it up is closer to the point: add herbs to your chicken coop- fresh or dried. I make Spruce the Coop Herbal Fusion comprised of many insect-repellent herbs and sprinkle it in the nest boxes and coop.
|I put fresh stalks of rosemary inside my chicken coop during the growing season.|
5. Clean Up After Snack Time: When giving chickens sweet treats, especially when trying to help them beat the summer heat, don't leave sticky, sweet remnants behind that will attract flies. Clean up the rinds & compost them.
6. Keep it Dry: Eliminate stagnant, warm, pooling water, which serves as breeding grounds for flies. Install drainage where necessary.
7. Employ Insects: Fly Predators are tiny, non-stinging wasps that eat fly larva so they have no chance of hatching & becoming adult pests. The challenge with Fly Predators is that chickens love eating them, so they must be strategically placed.
|Photo via Hill Gardens of Maine, Composting basics|
8. Compost manure vertically instead of in a wide pile. This increases the compost temperature, expedites decomposition and minimizes the amount of surface area exposed and odors.
9. Dial up Compost Temperature: Cover compost with black plastic sheeting to increase the temperature inside the pile. Flies like it warm, not hot. Turning the pile also keeps the pile cooking because the process requires oxygen.
10. Fans: Install fans to promote air flow inside the coop. It's tough to fly with a lot of air turbulence.
11. Move Compost Pile: Locate compost pile as far away from the chicken coop and yard as practical.
12. Eliminate Dirty, Wet Hay: Either compost soiled hay or spread it out on the ground on a sunny day to dry it out (moisture+ smell=fly attractant).
13. Vanilla scented air fresheners. Some chicken-keepers swear by them.
14. Fly traps. Each type of physical fly trap has its drawbacks: some are stinky, nasty to look at and some are costly, but most are effective to varying degrees.
- The type of disposable trap shown below should be hung no higher than four feet from the ground. They're stinky, but they work.
- The Epps Biting Fly Trap attracts flies that bonk into the unit, fall into soapy water and drown. My neighbor has been using hers for years and can't say enough good things about it. A visit to her chickens and horses is remarkably fly-free. You can see my neighbor's Epps unit in this photo behind Scooby, the white horse enjoying a dust bath.
15. Biological Warfare: Use an all-natural, organic, live enzyme purifying/cleaning solution such as Farm 360 to expedite the decomposition of organic waste. By breaking down organic waste, odor-causing compounds are eliminated, ammonia is neutralized and the coop and yard are healthier for chickens to live in without those pesky flies around