Testing Fly Control Methods to Encourage Urban Poultry

Project Overview

Project Type: Youth
Funds awarded in 2009: $395.50
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: North Central
State: Indiana
Project Coordinator:


  • Animals: fish


  • Production Systems: integrated crop and livestock systems

    Proposal abstract:

    Fly Control for Urban Poultry Prior to the 1930s, it was common for a family to keep a milk cow or several chickens on their property even when they lived in town. This provided fresh milk, eggs and/or chicken for the family to eat or sell. Then zoning laws became more common, and this practice was abolished. Currently, many people are asking their city governments to allow them to raise a small number of chickens in an urban setting. In nearby Columbia, Missouri, citizens interested in locally produced foods are circulating petitions requesting the city code be changed to allow this practice. As websites and books promote raising poultry in urban areas, this practice may become more common in the future. One problem that will have to be addressed for small-scale urban agriculture to be successful is fly control. If the flies get out of hand, the new chicken owners’ neighbors may ask the community to rescind approval for urban chickens. Many people wanting to raise chickens in urban areas are likely to oppose use of chemicals to control pests, as they are seeking a “green” solution to their food supply, so biological control methods are the focus of my project. This project will allow me to compare and document non-chemical fly control methods, which I can use to try and convince city government to allow people to raise a limited number of chickens within the city. In the spring and during other warm, wet periods, flies can be a problem, as they like wet, spoiled grain and any type of manure – even in the neighbor’s dog pen. No matter where they live, chickens tend to scratch in their feed, and what ends up on the ground spoils and attracts flies. Flies help spread disease, which can negatively impact both human and animal health. So reducing the number of flies around poultry raised in urban areas is an important consideration.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.