localized chicken deterrent?

Perris

Still learning
Jan 28, 2018
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Gower, Wales
My flock like to sit on the porch or on and around the back door step, especially when it's raining, as they are under cover and protected from the prevailing wind in either location. And I like to see them there. However, this comes with the inevitable pooh deposits left behind, especially on the doormats, thereby subverting the latter's purpose, and even making it likely that anyone using them (especially in the dark, which means from 5pm now) will walk chicken shit straight into the house :th :barnie.
Does anybody have any good tips to deter the girls at least from the doormats? Or other tactic for dealing with this issue? It's a minor problem in summer, but the rain and wind of autumn have already turned it into a real pain :sick and the worst is yet to come ...
 

oldhenlikesdogs

I love September
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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Unfortunately you can only fence them off. I have tried other things like shagging them off, sending the dog to shag them off, throwing water, owl and hawk decoys, they always come back. You either put up with it or you don't allow it.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
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Good luck making chickens stay away from their favorite hangout.

Try to recall all the stuff you did to make the porch so inviting. It's where their humans appear, usually bearing treats. That's usually the biggest reinforcement. If you distributed treats from the back door step, it's an even stronger reinforcement. Now it's all become a habit. Chickens and their habits are not separated easily.

You can try to counter the positive reinforcement with negative reinforcement, but it requires more effort and follow-through than most people can find the time for. Other than barricading the porch, you will need to make the porch a place where they aren't keen on being.

Some things that may work are spraying them with a squirt gun or garden hose (not a great thing in below freezing weather), a Murf gun to make them associate the porch with getting hit by a sponge dart, and an old fashioned fly swatter. The latter is actually quite effective. After a chicken has received a swat on the butt with a fly swatter, they only need to see you brandish it to go the other way.

It might even work to position a couple of fly swatters at the bottom step of the porch like crossed swords. If any of this works, please share it because practically every flock keeper has places they wish the chickens couldn't access.
 

Perris

Still learning
Jan 28, 2018
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Gower, Wales
If any of this works, please share it because practically every flock keeper has places they wish the chickens couldn't access.
:gig
Spot on analysis @azygous - it's my own fault. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I'm sure you're right @oldhenlikesdogs but I suspect my DH would regard fencing round the door as worse than chicken shit round the door. I'll try the fly swatter for the back door. Another idea occurs to me for the front where there's more space; shift the doormats to the sides. If they poop on them and leave the central path clear, that would be OK.
 

123RedBeard

Crowing
6 Years
Oct 20, 2014
1,423
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Arizona
Seems like you have figured out why they are there ... make them a substitute ...

Give them what they want, on your terms ... make them a place out of the wind, under cover, and where they receive treats ... :)

Or ... fence and gate ... or ... live with it the way it is ... which could mean a place next to to door to change your footwear ...
 

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