How do I get used to chicken poop all over the yard?


8 Years
Sep 11, 2013
OK so we got our chickens at the end of May and have had a great time and lots of fun watching them grow. My issue is the chicken poo! We used to pick them up and now I am afraid of the smelly crap getting on me. I went to wrap up a hose and got a horrible blob on my hands and the stuff smells, really bad. I love a lot about the chickens but after this time, expense, worry about predators and no eggs yet, I am having some chicken regret. The lawn guy came and I have to keep them cooped up (sorry for the pun!). If we go away, we need someone to lock them in at night and let them out in the morning. I joke that we were crazy to get chickens being "empty nesters". Perhaps the regret will pass?
Everyone reacts in different ways. My wife no longer allows this. I've built large runs and added some flexible pasturing options and no more poop on the yard where she walks to the clothes lines, or on the walk ways, deck, driveway pad, etc, No more.

If it doesn't bother you? Do nothing. If it does begin to bother you and you find you're tracking poop indoors or you aren't comfortable with kids, grandkids and guests walking in it? There will have to be something done differently. Your call.
That's why I used to free range. No longer. Too much chicken poop on the porch--and let me tell you, if you think it smells bad, that stuff is slicker than snot and imaging falling in it going out to work.....that was the start of the run! Now the flock has a nice large area they're confined to, they can poop and dust bathe and I don't have to worry about poop or breaking my ankle in a dust bath. Plus, didn't have to stress when we got a new dog cause the birds were contained.
I have a stationary coop and a "tractor cage" that I can move around the yard. After I move it I just rake up the poop and any left behind scraps. At least then you have some control over it.:)
Not sure of your set-up but ideally you want a coop and enclosed run so that they have a shelter and the ability to get out for fresh air. If you free range then ideally you want a perimeter fence to confine the birds to areas just for the birds beyond the coop/run. You will quickly be frustrated if you let your birds free range on lawn areas that you want to keep nice grass and clean of poop. They will poop on sidewalks, porches and degrass the areas that you let them roam. Keep a pair of shoes/boots that you use specifically in the coop/run/free range area so that you are not tracking poop outside their area. Once you get a system down then you will love and enjoy your birds without regrets!

Fences are your friends. I have never understood folks who put up with chickens pooping on the porch, etc. True free range always seems gross and bad for the landscaping to me.

A nice fence will be attractive and functional.
Thanks for all of the replies so far! I have shared them with my husband. I love the squirt gun idea! We have a tractor so can move the coop but the area for them to roam outside of the coop is small for 6 chickens and they love to free range. That said, yes we have the poop issue. One of the reasons we DO let them free range is to eat bugs, ticks and poop which is good fertilizer (nitrogen) for the lawn. So we need to rethink that I guess if the cons outweigh the pros....
Oh, I feel your pain! We also have a tractor type coop, but the chickens only have a small grassy area at the bottom to run around in, and I can't stand the thought of keeping them inside all the time, so I let them free range during the day, or at least for a few hours a day depending on what we are doing. We move the coop once a week. I just cannot understand why the chickens want to get on the porches and sidewalks when they have plenty of grass to run around on. With a tractor coop, we are not set up to build a run or pen since the tractor moves around. I like the idea of the squirt gun. I already have a squirt bottle for the grill on the back porch, so that's what I'll use. Also, I'm going to try to teach my dog to run them off the porches. This still won't help with the poop on the sidewalks or driveway, but I guess I'll have to live with that. I don't remember my grandma having chicken poop on her porch, and I don't ever remember stepping in chicken poop, even though there were always chickens in her yard. Wonder why?
My girls have been free range the last couple months. Until a week or so ago they never left the grass, guess they realized that's where all the good stuff is. Then monsoon came and the storms knocked tons of palm tree seeds all over the patio which enticed them to wander onto the patio. They got a few globs of cecal poop on it and I was having a fit. I was chasing them back into the grass several times a day. The breeds I have are poor fliers and so I built a little baby gate out of old trellises. Yesterday was their first full day with the gate and I only had to chase them back to the yard twice. Today they haven't even attempted to go through or over the gate. When they forage they seem to be nose to the ground and when they see something in their way they pinball another direction. Not sure how long they'll continue to obey the gate but it's working for now. As for in the grass I keep flip flops by the door and just deal with it. Having a sprinkler system helps a lot as when the poop gets wet it seems to fall apart into the grass and kind of wash away.

Here's my little gate that I built with trellises and zip ties, it opens and closes. If they decide to start hopping it I'll have to come up with something taller.


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