If you’re keeping chickens on your property, you might need to deal with flies occasionally. You wouldn’t want your chickens to eat them since they can carry diseases. Luckily, you can take a few simple steps to manage this.
Here are all the ways you can keep flies away from your chicken coop:
- Use a droppings board.
- Apply disposable fly traps.
- Add sand chicken coop litter.
- Use herbs and other plants.
- Reduce moisture in the chicken coop.
- Don’t use straw in the coop.
- Remove food scraps.
- Don’t use dairy or meat.
You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the steps, so you can adequately keep flies away from the coop. If you’re unsure of where to start when dealing with coop flies, make sure to read this thorough guide, as it includes everything that you might need to know.
What Attracts Flies?
Unfortunately, chicken coops can provide the perfect conditions for flies. These insects love warm, damp environments and likely have access to all the food they need. You’ll need to make sure you remove everything wet since it can attract flies and maggots.
Chicken droppings and damp feed or bedding attract flies. So you’ll want to keep the coop as dry as possible and remove food scraps when the chickens finish eating. It also helps to add fly traps and chicken coop litter to the area.
Basically, you’ll want to make sure your coop is dry. Doing so prevents issues with flies and also keeps your chickens comfortable.
Why You Need to Keep Flies Away?
You don’t want flies near your coop! Flies can carry Salmonella and other diseases, which can pass on to you. Of course, you want to avoid this at all costs.
Plus, chickens love to eat flies and their maggots, which can contain heavy toxins, including botulism. If the chickens ingest too much of these, it could cause severe harm. Additionally, you don’t want toxins building up in your chickens. They can pass it on to you when you eat them or their eggs.
Furthermore, chickens can suffer from flystrike. This disease occurs when maggots get on the chicken. It’s hazardous when the chicken has any injury, as they can start eating the chicken. Overall, you want to make sure you keep flies far away from the coop!
Steps on Fly-Prevention for Your Chicken Coop
When you’re ready to work on fly-prevention, you’ll want to use these steps:
1. Use a Droppings Board
First, make sure that your coop has a reliable droppings board. They’re easier to clean and help reduce the droppings that cause flies to appear. Plus, you’re sure to appreciate how much nicer the coop smells.
If you enjoy DIY projects, you can also create your own droppings board at home. You need to set up a plank under the chicken roosts. It’s much easier to clean the dropping board every day instead of dealing with the roosting bars or bedding.
It would be best if you cleaned out the board each morning. Doing so prevents flies from discovering your chicken coop. Plus, it should only take you a handful of minutes each time when you clean the board this often.
2. Apply Disposable Fly Traps
If you’re starting to notice flies, make sure that you set up fly traps right away, and you’ll want to choose a disposable option for your coop. Always make sure that you hang sticky traps up high, where they’re also secure. After all, you don’t want them falling on your chickens!
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If you have a green thumb, you can always add some plants that eat flies around the coop. These include pitcher plants and the Venus flytrap. Both are great for killing flies, but you’ll need to bring them inside when the weather starts to cool off.
3. Add Sand Chicken Coop Litter
If you want to keep away flies, you’ll need to ensure that your coop is extremely dry. That means you’ll want to consider a chicken coop litter. Sand is the most popular option for many coops, as it dries droppings quickly.
That way, you won’t have any bad smells to deal with, and there should be less moisture in the coop overall. Sand is also great for controlling the temperature of your coop and helps prevent bacteria from growing inside. Plus, your chickens are sure to enjoy a dust bath!
4. Use Herbs and Other Plants
Potent-smelling herbs and plants can repel flies, so you might want to start a garden near the chicken coop. Some of these herbs include:
Catnip also works to deter flies, but you don’t want to attract cats to the chicken coop instead.
Marigolds, eucalyptus, and artemisia plants also work well to deter flies. However, if you don’t happen to have a green thumb, you can always use oils. Citronella repels various flying insects, so you’re sure to benefit from having some at home.
Overall, there are plenty of natural plants that you can use to repel flies. Keep in mind that many of these herbs have strong smells that flies may dislike. Additionally, you can also cook with many of them!
5. Reduce Moisture in the Chicken Coop
You’ll need to reduce the amount of moisture in your chicken coop, so make sure that there’s no pooling water. These puddles can attract flies quickly, so take care of them when you notice them appearing.
You can also consider using a good dehumidifier in your chicken coop. A reliable, portable dehumidifier can remove excessive moisture in the air as well. These machines also help to keep the area much more comfortable for your chickens!
6. Don’t Use Straw in the Coop
Many people don’t know this, but you actually shouldn’t keep straw in your chicken coops. Straw gets wet and starts to rot, attracting flies. Plus, damp straw smells terrible and can make your chickens very uncomfortable.
There are plenty of other materials that you can add to the coop. It’s recommended that you use sand or pine wood shavings. These materials absorb water well, reducing the amount your chickens come into contact with. Since they act fast, they also reduce the odds of flies appearing.
7. Remove Food Scraps
You’ll also want to take any food scraps out of the coop before they start to go bad. Any rotting food can easily attract flies. While your chickens might enjoy some fruit and veggie treats, you don’t want to leave behind any leftovers. Make sure to check back when they’re done eating.
8. Don’t Use Dairy or Meat
Dairy and meat can attract flies much more quickly than fruits or vegetables. These foods have a more pungent smell when they go bad. Plus, they tend to spoil much more rapidly. It’s best that you only offer your chickens non-dairy and non-meat foods.
That way, you won’t have to worry about missing any left behind scraps. In short, do your best to only provide your chickens with fruits, grains, and veggies.
How to Keep Bees Out of Chicken Feed?
Many people also have trouble with keeping bees out of their chicken feed, so you’ll be thinking of any methods that can keep them away.
- You can keep bees out of the chicken feed once the pollen is gone after a week or two at most. After all, bees usually swarm chicken feed to collect pollen.
- But you can try using a treadle feeder, which only opens for a hungry chicken.
Overall, you’ll either need to wait out the bees or switch to a different type of feeder. Whichever option you choose is entirely up to you. Some people don’t mind bees, while others intensely dislike them. However, if you have issues with bees, you can take more precautions.
List of Sources
Major Pathogens Mechanically Transmitted by Arthropods