Nobody wants flies on their property. Especially if they are keeping chickens, but do these birds naturally draw these pests in? Is it just an aspect of owning them? Here is what you need to know.
So, do chickens attract flies? Chickens do not attract flies, although keeping them can. They are typically drawn to the coop due to the smell of spoilt food and poop. Equally, moist conditions enable flies to lay eggs, and coops can provide such conditions.
Flies are definitely something to control and manage.
And you are going to want to.
Flies can not only carry and transmit disease, but they can transmit organisms that cause diseases two.
And worse yet.
They proliferate rapidly.
So, if flies are attracted and welcomed to the coop – they’re a significant challenge to remove.
And as they say – prevention is better than cure.
This could not be more true for flies and the coop.
With this in mind, let us now delve a bit deeper to see exactly what could be causing them to pay a visit and how to remove and prevent their arrival for good.
Are Flies Attracted To Chickens?
Flies are not attracted to chickens, but they are attracted to what they consume and expel; food and poop (manure).
Odors signal a source for food and breeding for flies. They, therefore, actively seek it out in their environment.
And flies have highly developed cells that enable them to identify the source.
They can effectively distinguish between smells, and they can pick up on decaying organic matter from a significant distance away.
And as any chicken keeper knows, if they are not well taken after and the coop regularly cleaned, the coop will begin to smell.
Imagine a smelling coop like a beacon; come here, we have the conditions to support you and your offspring.
Why Are There So Many Flies In My Chicken Coop?
If you have a significant infestation of flies, it means that flies have managed to lay eggs in your coop’s moist and damp areas, such as the bedding. And as they are swift to multiply, colonies have been able to develop.
Rotting material, which provides moisture and heat as it decomposes, are ideal conditions to lay eggs.
And flies do not wait to get started.
Flies have been known to lay around 50-100 eggs per batch, and they can hatch in as little as 12 hours.
The newly born larvae will then nest in the soiled bedding for several days, transforming into pupae, and then adult flies within a matter of days.
An egg can develop into a fly in just 10 days.
So proliferation happens fast.
You are more likely to notice a significant amount of flies in the coop the first time you identify them.
How Do You Get Rid Of Flies Around Chickens?
Once flies have taken hold in the coop, they need to be removed quickly. We’ve already touched upon how quickly they can multiply so that they will get worse in time.
So, here are the best ways to get rid of existing flies in the coop:
Clean Your Coop
First and foremost, you will need to do a deep clean of your coop.
Chances are, flies have laid their eggs in deep, damp, and dark areas that a light clean will not manage to clear.
You need to be particularly thorough and ensure you remove all litter and bedding; in its entirety.
That includes the nesting boxes too.
Take out any feed, scraps, and any eggs that may have broken or been displaced (and concealed from collection).
From there, you are going to want to wash and cleanse the inside of the coop.
Using a veterinary-approved powerful yet safe coop cleaner and deodorizer here is advised.
This can be easily sprayed and works in as little as 3 minutes.
It will remove the strong odors that attract flies to the coop, to begin with.
While this product is safe around chickens, it’s a good idea to keep them away during the cleaning process.
You can either put them in their run or let them free range during this time.
Once the coop is bone dry, put down fresh, clean bedding into the coop.
Inspect The Coop For Weakness
It is a good idea to inspect your coop and see if there are any weaknesses where water could be getting in or pooling.
For instance, ensure that the roof is fully secure so that it does not allow rainfall in.
Equally, it’s a good idea to inspect and water sources for your birds, or founts, to ensure they are not dispersing water.
Remember, flies are attracted to wet, moist conditions. Water sources can exacerbate or even cause this all together.
You need to keep your coop dry!
At the same time, you can install various traps to start collecting and removing any pre-existing flies in the environment.
These can work fast.
And we can use a fly’s strong sense of smell against them here.
It is used by many different chicken keepers, all of whom report it being very effective. And it is reusable.
All you need to do is fill the canister according to the manufacturer’s instructions and then hang it up at a short distance from the coop – to divert the flies elsewhere.
Other traps that keepers report having great success with is Fly Roll. This is the one to get on Amazon.
Flies, along with other insects, literally get stuck on it. And they are drawn to it too.
The fly roll can be strategically placed, but be sure not to leave this hanging around near your flock, or they will peck at the flies for food!
How To Keep Flies Away From Chickens
Removing flies is one thing; keeping flies away more permanently is another.
It requires a more consistent and cautionary approach.
Here are some practical ways to do so:
- Coop maintenance; be sure to keep dry litter inside the coop.
- Remove potential breeding sites; on the rest of your property. This could be compost, or it could be bushes, weeds, or any other areas that water can pool together,
- Add coop ventilation, such as a ceiling fan. This will help poop and litter dry. The movement of air in and outside of the coop is also a deterrent for chickens.
- Replace soiled litter more frequently, not leaving it to be deep clean, but proactively removing manure as it develops day by day.
- Be careful where you dispose of litter; be sure it is far away from the coop.
One thing you should never do is use any harsh chemicals or insecticides around your flock!
Not only can these endanger your birds, but they can also kill a number of fly predators that may even be working with you.
Keeping chickens can attract flies. But it is not your birds your flies are being drawn to.
It is their food, droppings, and an environment that is ideal for their proliferation.
Good chicken husbandry is essential.
Regular cleaning, removal of soiled litter, food, and other odor sources are some of the best preventive measures to take.
From there, preventing water from pooling either in the coop or nearby is a must.
In doing so, flies should never become a problem.
But if they do, thankfully, there are some useful and safe solutions.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.