chicks and children

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Suziechick, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. Suziechick

    Suziechick Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 14, 2011
    I'm interested in backyard chickens but our concern is that our yard is fairly small and our kids are always running around, too. Would we have to section off the yard for a play side and a range side? How often do you need to rinse/rake up the bird mess?
  2. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    Jul 17, 2009
    I don't rake up the free-range poo, but I do have to hose off the patio---the turkeys like to be under the patio and they can lay a turd like no other. THe poo in the grass breaks down pretty fast.

    What is your concern? The mess? We have "backyard" shoes which do not come in the house. Twice a year I gather them up and run them through the washing machine.

    But when the kids are barefoot, even my 2 yo knows to go hose off before coming in the house.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    If you plan on having a rooster, then definitely fence off an area for the chickens.

    As Laree said, we have backyard shoes too and they come off at the back door. The only thing you'll want to be careful of is that the chickens will come running when someone comes outside. (for treats) They easily get underfoot which can make it hard to walk without stepping on them.
  4. GardeNerd

    GardeNerd Chillin' With My Peeps

    My yard has no chicken area vs. kid area and it is pretty small, too. I do have an enclosed run that my bantams stay in for a large part of the day. Like the other posters said, out door shoes help keep things clean. I do put out portable pet fencing when I want to keep the hens out of an area for awhile or keep them away from the back porch.
  5. laseterlass

    laseterlass Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2011
    Anchorage Alaska
    I have 5 hens on a 4000 square foot back yard of lush lawn. We veggie garden in containers and the dogs have a private potty area, but the hens run with the kids. Our hens seem to have a pretty firm stool, though it does not get hot here, and we have not had a problem. I do not allow barefeet any longer for obvious reasons. There are 6 preschoolers out there and nobody is complaining. The hens love the kids and follow them all over the place.
  6. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Susie, if you only have a few hens, like maybe three, you can get one of those cute little coops with an attached run, and keep your chickens in their most of the time, but let them out to free range around the yard a little bit each day. If you let them out about an hour or two before dark, they will automatically go back into the coop, and you won't have to try and catch them.

    You can easily use a little kitty litter scoop to pick up the droppings around the yard if you're a super neat freak, or you can spray the droppings with a hose and they'll dissolve.

    I think you can definitely have a few hens for eggs, and keep your yard nice. [​IMG]

    I have 19 chickens. A big hen house, and then a small bantam coop. I rake both runs every day. And we never have a chicken smell. Of course I've got over six acres, so there's plenty of room.

    But is is possible to keep things nice, without a poopy chicken smell.
  7. Suziechick

    Suziechick Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 14, 2011
    Thank-you for all your responses. We were gonna keep it small, maybe 2-4 hens. A rooster would upset the neighbors. Our concern would be the kids getting sick from the mess. It would be easy to teach them to take off shoes before coming in and to keep patio hosed off but what about them rolling around the grass? Are their any illnesses/diseases that I will be exposing my kids to if they are playing in the same space?

    Which chickens are the most kid friendly?
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  8. Mommy 2 Wee Ones

    Mommy 2 Wee Ones Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2011
    North Texas
    We too have chicken shoes that are only for outside use & do not come in.
    We have a acre, and the chickens have a coop & run area, but I do let them out in the late afternoon because of the Texas heat we have been having. Our friendliest hens are the Barred Rocks, they are also the first to start laying. The poop is no big issue, my girls sit in the run, amongst the poop and could care less. They know to wash their hands when they come in from seeing the chickens.
    My girls are 4 & 6, and can catch our roo easier than I can.
  9. kmitche3

    kmitche3 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 11, 2011
    A lot will depend on the ages of your children. If they are old enough not to try and ingest droppings and they know to wash their hands after playing with the chickens you should be fine. If not I would make a special chicken area and then there is nothing to worry about.
    Out of the breeds that I currently have my Cochins, Golden Comets, and Black Australorps do really well with children. The Easter Eggers seem to get a little flighty.

    Good luck and [​IMG]
  10. Suziechick

    Suziechick Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 14, 2011
    My kiddos are 4 and 6. I'm pretty sure they will be fine with remembering to wash hands and we've never had issues with them putting fingers or miscellaneous in their mouths. I really like the idea of having designated backyard shoes. I lean towards being a neat freak but I don't know if I'll have time to pooper scoop every day. Do you allow your kids to do the egg collecting? Do they all produce about the same number of eggs?

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