|Running for cover.|
Buffalo gnats can kill chickens. The gnats arrive in swarms. The swarms can kill chickens and small mammals by biting and sucking their blood, much like mosquitoes. Many chickens who survive the bites have fatal allergic reactions. The flies can also block the chickens' nostrils and asphyxiate them. There have been reports of people losing whole flocks to the blood thirsty little flies in one day.
What can you do to protect your chickens if you have buffalo gnats in your area?
Make sure your chickens have shade. Dense dark shade is best. If you don't have a shady spot, you can create one simply by leaning a large board against a fence or tree.
|Our make shift lean-to. It provides dense, dark shade.|
Buffalo gnats do not like wind. You can use a fan to create wind in your run and/or coop.
Check for standing water and remove it and keep it cleared away.
Some people apply vanilla or Skin So Soft to the chickens heads, combs and wattles. You can burn citronella torches around the run. There are a few people who hang fabric softener sheets around the coop. The vanilla does work. I use it on myself and sprayed our chickens with it yesterday. It didn't last very long. You have to reapply it quite often.
EDIT: Editing in from my comments below: We did find something that provides instant relief for them but you do have to catch them to apply it. It's 'Skeeter Skidaddler, a 100% natural bug repellant. It from Gentle Breeze Farm http://tremblingleaf.com/ . We used the furry friend formula. We have applied it a minimum of twice a day to their combs, face and waddles and any exposed areas on their body. The bugs left them alone for 2 to 3 hours each time.
Pray for hot weather. Buffalo gnats do not like temperatures over eighty degrees.
|Hiding in the shade of the tree and lean-to.|
If you have any other tips on how to protect your chickens from buffalo gnats, please share.
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