Potty Training Chickens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by HowdyPete, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. HowdyPete

    HowdyPete Hatching

    Jul 20, 2007
    On May 1 we got three day-old chicks. This is our first experience ever with any kind of birds for any of us. We live in an LA suburb. The chicks are doing great, and my wife, little kids and dog love them. They roam the backyard during the day and are in a coop at night.

    I have fenced off a few parts of the backyard to protect vegetables, etc. Everything is great except there is poop everywhere. I'm not worried about the kids getting sick, too much natural fertilizer on the grass or the dog eating the poop. It's just a lot of poop all over the place.

    The current proposed solution is to fence the pullets in to a portion of the backyard. However, that immediately diminishes their availability as pets, which is why we got them. Having a fence means the chickens will be less happy with the reduced space, the dog will not be able to play with them, and it will be more difficult for the children to interact with them. Having the chicks follow us around the backyard is great. Limiting contact hugely reduces their status as "pets," and promotes their status as an expensive egg-laying hassle.

    My chickens need some poop control. They need to poop less, poop less in the backyard and more in their coop, poop only in certain areas of the backyard, wear a chicken poop diaper, put a stopper up their bottoms, have larger but less frequent poops or something!

    Any ideas on potty training chickens, somehow limiting their pooping or containing them in a way that allows easy interaction with the kids and the dog? Many thanks.
  2. Cheeks

    Cheeks Songster

    May 10, 2007
    wow. i cant imagine why the poop from three chickens would be that much. i have 5 and i hardly notice any in my yard.

    most of their poop is under the roosts in the coop.

    i dont know what to tell you. maybe try feeding them rice to block them up a little? no idea.
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Three and a lot of poo? Hehe, you haven't seen alot of poop... You cant really train them because they go when they need to go. You can however get diapers for them. They exist but you would need to clean them out a few times a day and if they laid an egg, you'd have to clean that too. Just google search "chicken diapers"
  4. JudyMcKinn

    JudyMcKinn Songster

    Jan 24, 2007
    SW MO
    Nope, sorry, you can't potty train a chicken. [​IMG]
    I also am surprised that 3 of them are making that much of a mess. But they will mess any time and whereever they get ready. No way to control it, except pen them up. It will probably disentigrate if you spray the lawn with the garden hose. Or rain will do the same thing, if you get much of that. Good Luck.
  5. Whatever you're gonna do better do it fast! Chicks grow so fast...and so does the amount of poop![​IMG]
  6. HowdyPete

    HowdyPete Hatching

    Jul 20, 2007
    OK, silkiechicken, thanks for the chicken diaper suggestion. I had no idea they really exist!
  7. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    How about just going out with a hose a couple times a day, on "poop patrol", and sprayinging it into the grass?
  8. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    You could do what New Yorkers do when they walk their dogs in the park, follow them with a pooper scooper.

    Not trying to be mean, but the poop is part of the overall chicken experience, you just have to make compromises accordingly.[​IMG]
  9. AZChickenlover

    AZChickenlover In the Brooder

    Jan 14, 2007
    Golden Valley, AZ
    I also feel overwhelmed by the poop our 4 hens leave for us. I usually go out every other day and scoop it up with a kitty litter scoop. It goes into one of my compost piles. The rest gets hosed into the lawn. (such as it is, but that's another story.) I plan on separating the yard with some fencing, so that I can let them onto the lawn when we want to interact with them. I'm tired of poop on our porch, on the lawn, and on the soles of my shoes. A break from the lawn will also give me a chance to reseed it without providing a buffet for the girls!
  10. Sharona

    Sharona Songster

    Jun 10, 2007
    I'm not experienced with having them roam the yard but here's a thought... could you set up a roosting/play area to encourage them to "go" in that general area and set a sprinkler system to spray late at night after the chickens are in the coop?

    I realize it won't eliminate general overall waste but maybe they could get into the habit of hanging out around the playground and it could reduce things a tad.

    Anyone think this could help?

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