Poop on the front steps/can you train a chicken not to hang out there?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by GermanChick, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. GermanChick

    GermanChick Songster 8 Years

    Apr 12, 2010
    NW Missouri
    We live on 10 acres and I let my chickens free range all day. There is PLENTY of room for them to roam but they just hang out around the house in my flower beds, which I don't mind that much. But in the afternoon when there is shade in front of the house they like to hang out on the front steps and there is poop all over the place which I don't think as very appealing:( . There are shrubs left and right of the entry and they like to sit there in the mulch too and that doesn't bother me, even when they ate all my nice plants that I had in pots next to the entry it didn't bother me that much. Just the poop drives me crazy. There is soooooo much room, 10 acres, for them to roam but they just hang out around the house ???? Is there a way I can "teach" them not to go on the front steps ????? Obviously I can't fence it in so I don't know what to do. Since it is very hot and in the afternoon they pretty much do nothing than lay around in the shade I sometimes lock them in in their run, which is 20x20, and only let them out in the morning for 2 or 3 hours and then in the evening for 3 hours. But I feel bad to confine them to their run when we have all that space and I would really love to free range them all day.
    So is there a way I can keep my front steps poop and chicken free ?????? [​IMG]
  2. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Songster

    Dec 28, 2009
    They hang around the house because that is where you are and they know it....they know you come through that door each day to feed and water them...they just want to be social birds...keep chasing them off the steps is the only thing I can suggest, but then you might risk a chance of them being skiddish when they do see you...unless it's feeding time.
  3. Mizzy

    Mizzy In the Brooder

    Jul 15, 2010
    My chickens do that too! We don't have 10 acres, but plenty of room for them. They prefer to hang out under our carport which is also our backdoor and the door we use the most to go in and out. lol my one bird even jumps on the ledge by my kitchen window and watches me doing dishes or cooking. I go outside several times during the day to spray off the porch and carport area. Mine sit right next to the door, because they know I like to come out and give them treats. Well, I got myself into the mess and they can't help pooping everywhere lol so I just gotta deal with it. [​IMG]
  4. Annabella

    Annabella Songster

    Apr 17, 2010
    I don't think there is a way to train them - I think they are just bird brains. [​IMG]
    Mine come into the house all the time - you can imagine facing that poop when you come into the kitchen- [​IMG]
    But we trained the dog to chase them out of the house - across the deck but he must stop at the top of the stairs. He's almost pretty good at that, though I am scared he will squash them one day, as he sort of tackles them if they are not fast enough to get out of his way. He's 15 kilos compared to their 2!! [​IMG]
    Despite all that treatment from them - they STILL try and sneak into the house. [​IMG]
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    You could place a nice decorative picket fence around your front yard with nice pointy tops to discourage hops and drops. Other than that, there is no way to keep them out of your flowers and off the stoop.
  6. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Songster 10 Years

    May 25, 2008
    You could try making other nearby areas more attractive.

    If your porch is concrete, they probably like the coolness. If you run a sprinkler near the shade of the bushes a little while, or pour a bucket of water on the ground under them to create damp, cool spots, the chickens might hang out there more. On hot afternoons, my chickens liked to hang out places I prepped for them like that. They'd wait a little while for water to seep in before burrowing into the coolness. Sometimes, I had to kind of herd them toward the damp spots so they'd notice and use them.

    Besides coolness, some things chickens tend to seek out during resting times:
    * Shade for hiding
    * Shelter to block attackers
    * View from which to spot approaching predators (I think)
    * Elevation for staying out of predators' reach (at least in the evening)
    * Places with enough room for multiple chickens to hang out together, but with enough spots and space or obstacles that less-dominant chickens aren't immediately vulnerable to more bossy chickens

    Some things chickens seek out during active times of the day:
    * Places with loose material (leaves, sand, dirt, hay, etc) they can scratch around in seeking food--You can toss a few handfuls of scratch feed in those areas to give the cchickens some enjoyable activity time.
    * Greens to graze
    * Bugs

    If you can add some of these characteristics to nearby areas, the chickens might adopt those places as some alternate favorite hang-outs. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  7. Jeeper1540

    Jeeper1540 Songster

    do you know how many times ive kicked them off the porch? Heck, do you know how many times ive kicked them out of the doorway!?!?! and they still keep trying! lol

    the only way i can think of is layer your porch with electric fence and wear thick shoes! lol
  8. BWSY

    BWSY In the Brooder

    Mar 16, 2010
    I have the same problem with my hens. I used a decorative short wire fence across the front of the porch at the top step. Kinda on the lines of a dog or child gate that keeps them out of area inside the house. It's not attached permanently. I can take it down if I expecting guests or just step over it.

    As far as the flowers beds. My two hens only scratch around in three beds. I have 12 other raised beds that I never let them go in from the beginning . I use a wire cage (see photo) for my strawberries and other short veggies. Others are open and they don't go in them.

  9. tegg

    tegg In the Brooder

    Nov 11, 2007
    we have a fence that is a quick put up. this has keped them out well. its been a month so i took it down.
    no chooks. weird. when a chook aproched, it was cautious but it had stopped beffore the concreet. so now we have no fence...
    their is always one who likes to mess with you. usualy its your favorit chook who knows you love it no matter what it does. but at least its not a flock of 15 at once.
  10. 500592

    500592 In the Brooder

    Sep 23, 2009
    try puting one of those fake owls i have and minie wont go near i[​IMG]t
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010

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