Chickens and Gnats

cattleuponahill Posts: 18 ✭✭✭

We lost 3 young pet silkie chickens to gnats on Thursday. It was heartbreaking for my kids. Thankfully, one survived and now my daughter brings her (hopefully, too young to tell yet) into the house because she afraid the gnats are going to kill it too. I don't want chickens in my house!

What are your best remedies for protecting your flock from gnats? I have found vick's vapor rub is the best thing, but I was out of town the day the gnats got these chicks, so we hadn't treated them. We hadn't had a major problem until that day. 😪


  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,358 admin

    I found some natural ways that can help.

    On the note of no chickens in my house, I have had chicks in my house due to not being able to quite put them out due to cold (even with a heat mat). I also now have 2 pet seramas in the house (temporarily, but most likely now permanent). These are much smaller than silkies.

    If it is kept much in a carrier/whatever in the house, we found that low dust kitty litter clay (no additives of any sort...100% bentonite clay) keeps odor down well & for a long time. It is also naturally clumping. I have only used this for juvenile to mature birds, and not chicks.

    I mentioned the clay just in case your "guest" stays a little longer than planned.

  • Hassena
    Hassena Posts: 345 ✭✭✭

    great suggestions @LaurieLovesLearning

    We provide our hens with the holy trinity. Garlic, DE and ACV.

    ACV is added to their water a few days a week, then plain water the other days.

    We grow garlic, the scapes are hung in the barn and coop. sometimes added to feed/nesting boxes.

    We sprinkle DE on the earth floor of the coop. Plus we add mulch often to help balance nitrogen from their poop. We also started using wood ash instead of DE. Mostly because wood ash is free. :) It's very alkaline, but I suspect DE is too. As its a lot of calcium.

    These are the herbs we add to the nesting boxes, lavenadr, rosemary and garlic.

    Hope this helps. We've raised chicks in our house every spring. This year we had 17...never again.

  • charr80
    charr80 Posts: 15

    I actually have never heard that gnats can kill a chicken. Wow! I'm so sorry for your loss. It's really hard when your kids get attached to the animals. We placed a bowl outside with ACV, soap, & water. Within a few days we had tons of dead gnats in the bottom. You can also use a coke bottle or water jug hanging from a tree or the coop. We use a moveable coop so the gnats & flies aren't bad at all. We mainly started seeing the gnats once we got goats. I mist lavender essential oil in the goats coop. I did 30 drops to 8 oz. water. I recently added bug traps to the coop. I use the yellow glue traps made by Kensizer.