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sanctuary
Feb. 28, 2012, 11:00 PM
I am looking into getting some fly predators this year to help with bug control. However, I also have chickens on property. Will the chickens eat the fly predators?

If so, seems pretty stupid to spend that money!

candysgirl
Feb. 29, 2012, 12:07 AM
I'd be worried about them eating them before they hatch. After they hatch, I can't see the chickens eating them. They're essentially tiny bees.

If you could keep the chickens out of the area where you'd release them for at least a few days, you'd be okay.

chism
Feb. 29, 2012, 07:21 AM
I attended a talk with a Spalding Labs rep, one of the companies that sell Fly Predators. The rep told us if you have chickens or guineas you need to release the predators in an area they can't get to or they will eat them all. One of the suggestions was a hanging plant container, though you'd have to be careful it was somewhere you wouldn't bump it with your head and knock manure and fly predators all over you. ;)

RedmondDressage
Feb. 29, 2012, 12:56 PM
I was thinking of doing fly predators this year too. My chickens are confined to a run though so I figured I'd release the fly predators on the other side of the barn in the manure pile area.

Chickens eat anything they can fit in their beaks (including mice and small snakes... Seen 'em do it :o) so will definitely eat them... If you can keep them out of the manure pile area that would be your best bet.

JSwan
Feb. 29, 2012, 03:03 PM
I have seen a hanging dispenser for them. I thought it was on the Spalding site. Thought about getting one for the chicken coop. It looked almost like a thistle feeder. You put the package contents into the tube and the predators made their way out after hatching.

ETA: found it! Fly predator release station. http://www.rinconvitova.com/fly_control.htm#FlyParasiteReleaseStations

Watermark Farm
Mar. 2, 2012, 02:08 PM
I use fly predators and have free range chickens. When I release the bag, I make sure to put it where the chickens can't get to it because they will (and I've seen this) EAT the unhatched predators like candy.

I sprinkle them along tall grass in fencelines where the chickens can't see them.

BabyGoose
Mar. 2, 2012, 03:33 PM
Can defintely see the chickens eating them before they hatch, but after they hatch they are TINY. Doubt the chickens would eat them after hatching. The dispensers already posted or something similar should keep them safe from chickens.

casper324
Mar. 2, 2012, 05:48 PM
Fly predators are chicken crack...........I learned that my first year of chickens when they ate 37.00 worth of Fly predators and actually searched them out in corners of stalls.

On the other hand I haven't needed fly predators since I got the chickens but my chickens are free roaming and they have easy access to the barn.

Benson
Mar. 2, 2012, 08:20 PM
Yes, they will. I have put the bag of predators under an overturned bucket in an area the chickens don't do much scratching around.

sanctuary
Mar. 3, 2012, 09:39 AM
Thanks for the replies. I have about 50 free range chickens around the barn at the moment. I also had to move my manure pile right next to the barn due to drainage issues. I'm not concerned about the flies in the barn, as a previous poster mentioned, the chickens do a great job in the barn with fly control. I'm more worried about the manure pile. Which is where I would be spreading them. Eventually most of the chickens will be moving. But we'll keep a few in the barn for bug control. I was mostly concerned about after the predators hatch

JSwan
Mar. 3, 2012, 09:43 AM
Is your manure pile covered? If not, keep it covered with a tarp, and every once in a while turn it. It will get so hot inside (as it is composting) that it will cook down and no parasites or fly eggs will survive. The only area that would host fly larvae is exposed areas or at the foot of the pile where stuff might spill or leak.

If it is left uncovered, it just provides a huge organic mass for flies to deposit eggs on.

sanctuary
Mar. 3, 2012, 12:55 PM
No, the pile is not covered. But is picked up monthly by the mushroom compost people. So they want it as uncomposted as possible

TBROCKS
Mar. 4, 2012, 09:22 PM
Is your manure pile covered? If not, keep it covered with a tarp, and every once in a while turn it. It will get so hot inside (as it is composting) that it will cook down and no parasites or fly eggs will survive. The only area that would host fly larvae is exposed areas or at the foot of the pile where stuff might spill or leak.

If it is left uncovered, it just provides a huge organic mass for flies to deposit eggs on.

I did not know this. And I've been growing more alarmed at the amount of flies I'm seeing, this early in the season. Going to get a tarp ASAP. Good tip, thank you.

JSwan
Mar. 4, 2012, 09:27 PM
You're welcome. Just remember to turn/churn the pile every once in while so that everything composts properly. It will be hottest in the center of the pile, cooling as you get to the outer part. By turning it, the outer shell will end up in the middle of the pile to cook. Killing eggs and whatnot.