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stinky fly blown chook pen… HELP!

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    Hi all,

    I thought that might get everyone’s attention!

    Unfortunately it also happens to be true… well, it’s not very stinky, but there are heaps of flies suddenly hanging around – which they haven’t before… 🙁

    does anyone else have a similar problem?

    We only have 4 chooks and I clean out their nesting box regularly… they eat everything they can and poo everywhere, but isn’t that normal?

    At the moment we have just a dirt floor in the pen… Dr Harry said put pavers in the bottom of the chook pen on BHG… do you think that would make a difference to the fly problem?




    I wondered too – I hate summers… 😆

    Cheers! :hug:


    I use fly traps to keep them under control. What was the reasoning behind the pavers? Can’t think what good they would do.



    I have one pen that has a concrete floor the other 3 have dirt. I use wood shavings on top of the concrete & 2 dirt floors & the other one is straight dirt. Occasionally there is a lot of flies about but they don’t seem to stay.. I don’t have any problems with them really.


    well if they start laying eggs somewhere they will be providing great protein 🙂

    Maybe you could look at planting some herb and such around the chook area.. can’t think of the ones that flies don’t like off the top of my head but I know they exists 🙂


    Yeah good idea Dan, don’t know why I didn’t mention that before. I have wormwood, southernwood, nasturtium & a few other herbs growing around my pens, maybe that helps deter them. Wormwood is the only herb that the chooks don’t trash.

    Although, the herbs aren’t growing around all the pens atm, that is going to change soon though.


    I don’t know how much help this will be (and I haven’t tested the info), but in the free book that comes with the ABC Gardening magazine this month … the lady commented that a spray of lavender oil killed flys.

    Seems like she was surprised, and tested it a few times over and it worked for her.

    So maybe a bit of lavender to fill the gaps in the mix of the artimisia’s and nasturtiums. :tup:


    Hey, possibly a silly question, but do you have perches for the chooks? Because well, mine anyway, do most poohing at nighttime and then it’s nearly all under the perches and so easy to clean up.


    I have pavers on the bottom of mine – not for flies, but for foxes and snakes. I also put a deep layer of hysorb (or even grass clippings sometimes) over the pavers. They do make cleaning the coop a quick job.

    I understand that if you rub your perches down with eucalyptus oil it would keep mosquitoes down – I wonder if lavender on them would do anything for flies. Mine are only in the coop for 6 – 6 as they free range all day.


    I’ve noticed an increase in the flies too, even though I clean up their poo every day. I have just been putting up with it, but now I wonder if tansy will help – I’ve got some growing in the garden, so I’ll give it a go.


    Hello Kalex, For what its worth I found flies to be a problem when I hosed their night coup out (cement floor) but now I collect the

    “fertiliser” dry first its o.k.

    as murphyslaw said they produce an unreal amount of “fertiliser” at night.

    I remember as a kid an uncle telling me that chooks on sawdust get eye worm what ever that might be..

    regards flicker.


    yeah, and I only have a dirt floor too, the (Julia de Baraclay book ..titled something like the gyspy way of livestock or something says they need to be on dirt) I put dried leaves and twigs on the floor, quite a lot, and once a week I take out a bucket full, mostly from under the perch, and just rake the remaining mulch around a bit. Once every 3 months I give them another barrow load of mulch. It doesn’t smell, and there’s few flies.


    sometimes its not the poo they are after but the shade and lower temp- our wood shed is a magnet for flies trying to escape the sun cause is flytrapsand heat – only solution if this is the cause is fly traps –




    Hey everyone,

    thanks for all your feedback – really helpful!

    Kookaburra Dreaming, the reasoning behind pavers I think is so that you can hose them down, or sweep them, and maybe because the chooks have proven to be excellent excavators and if left unchecked my scratch their way to China!

    A couple of things I have gotten from all of what you said is maybe the fact that it’s RAINED HEAPS down here lately… and there is a fair bit of mud in the pen, due to only a half roof and thanks to their foraging in the pen when we leave them in all day (I’ve recently returned to work after maternity leave, so they don’t get to free range quite as much as previously – which does mess up their pen more). So perhaps the mud is creating more fly friendly environment. Also mixed with all the poo they do in a day.

    Murphy’s Law – We do have a perch, but since this was our first attempt at chook – keeping, we didn’t know how high it should be, so they don’t use it much, it’s only about 25 cm off the ground. The pen is fairly open (only wall is the wall of the shed that we built it off the side of) the rest is just chook wire and we put in a nesting box… and because so far it’s been winter while we’ve had them, they sleep in the nesting box… which I clean out regularly…

    So maybe if we raise the perch a bit higher they may sleep on it in summer, and we can keep the pen a bit cleaner…

    I will also be trying the herbs around the pen… and the oils!

    thanks all! Any other suggestion, please keep them coming!

    cheers, Kalex

    The other thing I neglected to mention is that I was a bit slack at separating anything from the kitchen scraps they don’t eat – like citrus and onion peel… so perhaps these have rotted (even though you can’t see them now due to the mud!) and attracted the flies ??


    Try the deep litter method in the coop… thick layer of wood shavings (I get the clean, low dust ones from my local livestock store) that you fluff up and turn over regularly. You can also top it up whenever it looks like it is getting low. You only completely change the shavings every six months or so. However, you need a pretty dry coop for this to work. Definitely keeps smells and flies to a minimum as all poop and/or liquid gets absorbed by the shavings and it all stays very dry.

    I use cheap hay in the run… keeps it a iittle drier when it rains and the chooks out of the mud. And they love digging around in it.

    Good luck!


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