I have all the horses on Solitude, and I had no flies. Then I got chickens.
Set up is a small coop (houses 6-8, we have 4), and we built a mobile pen to drag around on days that letting them free-range isn't an option. The "upstairs" of the coop gets cleaned out regularly. The "downstairs" is on dirt. I haven't seen many flies around the coop, but it has to be the source.
Is there any decent fly control protocol for chickens? Coop is too small to hang fly strips. We're enjoying the eggs, but because of the flies, I'm *this* close to giving the hens away or making stew out of them. With summer approaching, the last thing I want or need is a fly problem.
Well, this might not work for you but my chickens clean up behind themselves. I have European type broilers in a movable coop with wire floor. These birds will get up on perches to roost (unlike the Cornish Rocks who are too top heavy to walk hardly) at night so they are not bothered by the floor. their poop falls down underneath as does any spilled food. I move the coop about once a week inside a poultry netting enclosure and they run right back to where the coop was and start pecking up little nasty things like larvae and leftovers. Don't expect the Cornish Rocks to forage...they don't...you need real chickens for that. Layers usually are very good foragers.
Anyway it might work if you got some poultry netting and let them roam inside that and moved their tractor inside that area. It's not dreadfully expensive and it will protect them from any land based predator. You'd need a fencer for it to stop a predator but the birds will normally stay in it hot or not. One or two escape artists might need their wing feathers trimmed but most of my heavy hens wouldn't bother flying out.
Like DDB, over the Summer when we moved our coop weekly, the chickies were in HEAVEN to have the coop moved off a spot. They'd spend hours in the next day or 2 scratching and pecking away where it was.
______________________________ The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET
I tried to raise two batches of Cornish Rocks to save money last summer and I've never seen such flies...OMG. It was biblical the swarms. Switched back to the Red French bred broilers who are much more active foragers and no more flies. It is amazing how much difference allowing the chickens to clean up behind them will make.
My ducks make no fly problems either but Muscovies are known to be major fly eaters. They run with my chickens also.
Have 40 birds & horses are on Equitrol.
Clean chicken building 2X weekly, replace all nesting box & floor material-straw in winter, shavings in summer.
Use sevins dust in nesting boxes.
Hang bug bags both in & out of building.
Place golden marin bait stations out of reach of birds.