I don't anymore but about a year ago I 40 + checkens with my goats. I had the coup built on the side of the goat pen with a small hole in the bottom so the chickens could come and go as they please. I did have a lot less flies then. I am set up different here and keep them separate now but am pretty sure I am going to set it up the same way here.
I don't let my chickens in with my goats. They roost on the feeders and poo in them :twisted I do have one chicken that thinks she is a goat. Every time I put her in the coop she is back with the goats as soon as I look the other way. She only uses one feeder for her roost so I don't use that one for the goats. She drives me nuts, I couldn't imagine if I had any more in there.
If they don't roost in the feeders and poo on the goats, they make a nest out of the hay and peck the goats as they try to eat. Ugh. Silly chickens. I haven't noticed much of a difference with flies, they do like to jump on the goats and peck at mosquitoes though.
My chickens go in and out of my goat pen. They are free range and they don't bother the goats...they don't roost in there, they don't poo in anything the goats eat/drink out of. They peck around in the poo piles and eat spilled feed/hay the goats don't. I like the arrangement we have, except that I have halves of dog crates in my pen (the goats climb on and knock them over and nap in them) and I had one hen that was laying eggs in one, until the goats overturned it while she was laying one day!!
I love the idea of hens quietly scratching up the bedding, keeping parasites down but in reality after awhile they drove me insane. First pooping on my cement, walking in the alfalfa feeders and where they walk they poop. Trying to roost on the milkstands, knocking anything off the shelves as they tried to fly up onto them. And playing easter egg hunting to find eggs. Ducks were just barely better, fouling ever water they could rach their beak into and their poop, they are like the cows of the poultry world.
There are reasons dairies can't have pig or chickens free ranging. Vicki
I have 2 chickens running out in the Boer Doe pasture with those girls. They scratch around in the areas that they congregate and poop a lot and I believe that it has helped with parasite and fly problems. Every once in a while I will let one out with the Dairy Girls.
LeeAnn you always crack me up! There were no flies at Lynn's. So maybe flies can't lay eggs in chicken poop? I think chicken farm flies are from the dead chickens, feathers and spilled grain...of which get ground up and put into local mills feed by the way to feed cattle that we eat Course when the hens are machine plucked the feathers also are made into ecoli...oops I mean feed for livestock also! Vicki
:rofl Too funny!
But on a serious note and BIG THANK YOU to Tim!!!
After reading this thread...I started thinking (uh,oh)...this is the first year in a VERY LONG time that I have not had swarms of buzzing flies! YEAH!! And besides the fact I have 10 hens roaming the place...I started in March putting out QuickBayt! No flies in the milk bucket, no flies swarming the barn and no flies around the hay feeders.??? Only thing different is the hens and the QuickBayt! I've already purchased 3 more jars for next spring and barring a determined hungry predator(live trap set 24/7 near chicken coop) I hope to have the same results next year!
I'm Pal in Central Texas. I just joined this group and thought I would throw this out there for you'll. I use to have flies but found a way to keep them at bay. I saw a clear bag of water hanging outside a restaurant. I asked what it was for and was told to keep the flies away. I decided to hang bags of water around and found it worked very well. It's cheap to do and I don't like putting out chemicals. Anyway, I keep bags of water hanging all the time and don't have near the flies any more. Try it and let us know what you think. :/ :/
Milker of one nubian with great milk.
Have new small milk stand for sale $150.