Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Flystrike - What to Watch Out For

In the last week we had a phone call from a lady who had gone to pick up her hen only to discover she was carrying a disgusting handful of maggots. Obviously horrified she quickly gave us a call to find out what had befouled her prize hen.

Over the last year and a bit the Flyte so Fancy Blog has tried to cover all aspects, joys and tribulations of keeping chickens. From the hatching of new team members in the poultry paddock through to dealing with issues like red mite and poultry worms. However, I must admit when it comes to our Blog topic this week I find myself feeling somewhat squeamish.

Flystrike is a particularly nasty, however I will stress fairly rare, affliction that sees a fly laying it's eggs within a hen, with the result that the hen is eaten by maggots from the inside out. Yuck! It's scientific name is Myiasis, however flystrike or flyblown is how it is more commonly known. Flies are attracted to exposed tissue, but it can also be through strong odours like a messy chicken coop that reeks of droppings, open wounds or sores and even cuts and scrapes.

How do i cure flystrike in a hen?
Copyright BackYardChickens.com
One of the problems of flystrike is that it can happen very quickly. Within twelve hours of a fly laying its eggs, maggots can emerge and start eating your bird. This is obviously not a nice experience for your hens and can be fatal if not dealt with.

To help prevent flystrike

  • Keep your hens bottoms clean. If they are messy give them a bath. Pasty vent in particular can be a great attraction to flies.
  • Keep your coop clean. Poultry disinfectants and Diatomaceous Earth liberally used will keep the hen house fresh. While Flyte Coop and Run Sanitiser or Stalosan will soak up any moisture within your coop. 
  • Hang Red Top Fly Traps around your chicken coop. The Red Top Fly Trap effectively catch and contains flies using a non-chemical lure. Lasting up to twelve weeks it drastically reduces the problems caused by flies. They should ideally be placed roughly 15m from your hen house to keep flies well away from the vicinity and you will also wish to place it away from your home as it really does smell quite horrid when it begins to fill with flies.
  • Some fresh herbs, like lavender and basil can help deter hens. 
If your hens are already suffering 
  • Remove all of the maggots as quickly as possible.
  • Clean the wound using Iodine from the chemist and if the attack is particularly bad a trip to the vets might be necessary. Equally for cleaning the wound an antibacterial spray or wound powder will help and always something handy to have on the shelf. 
Poultry Paddock - Free Ranging Hens
One of the Flyte so Fancy Flock
A nasty affliction to befall any chicken, whilst rare, it is equally easy to avoid by keeping your hen house in a clean and sanitary condition. As with most chicken related infliction's prevention is better than cure.  If you have any questions why not leave a comment below or give us a ring on 01300 345229. 

Thanks for Reading

No comments:

Post a Comment