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*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Got Flies?

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Why, yes. Yes, we do. We have so many flies that it makes us want to get chickens to help control the insect population around here.

Oh, wait. Yeah, that.

I had a weird thought about devising a way to put a predator poison around a chicken’s neck in such a way that it wouldn’t bother the chicken but would either take out the predator or teach them that these chickens are no longer desirable prey.

In the meantime, our horses are donning fly masks and leg boots in an attempt to give them a break from the incessant insect harassment.

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Yesterday afternoon I spotted Mix having a little tantrum, running and gyrating to and fro. I suspect something got inside her mask and the poor girl couldn’t just reach up with a hand and remedy the situation. I felt so sorry for her.

I’m not as strong as a horse and nor do I have their keen sense but I do have hands with opposable thumbs.

When we were serving up their afternoon feed, I took the opportunity to use my hands to give Mix a thorough rub down and massage. I imagine after being pestered all day long by little pokes, bites, and tickles, a deep rub with heavy pressure must be a welcome change.

I know I would love that.

I would sure love it if we could have free-ranging chickens and not have them decimated by predators. I suppose it’s time for us to go back to adding fly predators to our property management like we did back when we first got horses and didn’t know a thing about keeping chickens.

We are behind the optimal control by that method as the fly predators feed on the pupa, killing flies before they emerge. They don’t do anything to stop adult flies.

One thing going for us this summer is the drought has reduced conditions that make for more flies, so I guess it could be worse.

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Written by johnwhays

July 24, 2021 at 9:58 am

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