Slave to a chicken?


In the Brooder
11 Years
Sep 26, 2008
We are looking to raise 2-4 chickens. I noticed some threads that say they rake out the coop/run 5 times a week. WOW. I can barely pick up my dogs poop once a week.

Will we be cleaning slaves to our chickens or does it not require that much cleaning?


Picky Chicky

11 Years
Sep 22, 2008
Holly Grove, VA
I plan to attempt to go the route of the deep litter method so that I don't become a slave to my chickens.

Of course I'll have to go out to the coop twice a day at minimum to open and close it up... water/feed if necessary... give the girls a treat or two and grab their eggs...

At least that's what I'm thinking - I could be totally wrong.

Poulets De Cajun

11 Years
Jun 14, 2008
Houston MetroMess, Texas
5 times a week is a little much in my opinion. Most people will clean out a run once every week to two weeks. The scratching from the birds will keep things turned up. You just dont want an over abundance of feces and soured feed in there for a long period of time.

For reference, my birds are cooped the majority of the time and on shavings. I only change shavings once ever two weeks, and will stretch it to three if I can. Its a circumstantial decision depending on how dirty it is at the time. If it rains and things get wet, I've been known to change shavings twice in a week.
Last edited by a moderator:

Buff Hooligans

12 Years
Jun 11, 2007
Let there be no doubt in your mind. You will become their slave, but not in the way you mentioned.

Our run is made of sand, and I rake it out once every two weeks, and that's just to get rid of moulted feathers, leftover piles of weeds and tomato branches they've not eaten, etc.


Rhymes with 'henn'
11 Years
Jun 14, 2008
South Puget Sound
I clean out the coop weekly. It takes about 5 minutes and we have 4 chickens (3 standard size & one wee little bantam). I just put on a latex glove to pick out the wet poop, throw it in the compost, add more shavings and rake to fluff up the mix a bit.

I haven't had to clean up the run yet because my girls spent so much time free-ranging. Now that I'm at work a lot more, they're confined to the run 5 days/week. I'll probably put down some sand pretty soon, since it's starting to get muddy in there. We also plan to put up a clear cover of some type, probably a shower curtain, to keep the run dry for them. Their only dry spaces are the coop & under it.

Here are pics of my set-up:


11 Years
Apr 9, 2008
Minneapolis, MN
My Coop
My Coop
I have 4 BOs in the city and yeah, I guess I'm sort of a slave, too. But in a good way...

That said, I haven't changed out their shavings since putting them in their 6x8 coop 2 months ago. I toss the shavings once a week to fluff it up, but it's not like I'd HAVE to do that. No smell, no moisture, but a lot of dust. Since it has been chilly at night (I'm in MN), I am giving them some cracked corn when I close up their house for the night and they scratch around looking for it, thereby turning their shavings mostly themselves.

My run is covered, so it's pretty dry for the most part. I followed Buff's lead and put sand in the run (also 6x8) and I have raked it once, but that's only because I'm a bit OCD. And I like to see their goofy footprints in the sand. I don't know why that cracks me up so much...

Go for it - You'll be so glad you did.


13 Years
Jan 17, 2007
New Jersey
Well.......I clean up all poop every day without fail. Just 2 birdies too. If I didn't, I'd invariably manage to step in it!! If there's just one poop hanging around, somehow my shoe finds it.


Queen Of Clueless
11 Years
Jul 27, 2008
I think it depends on where you are, some places the least little bit of smell would draw complaints.
(Even if all the yards around had dogs nobody cleaned up after!!)
Mine are still in brooders, but I imagine I will rake out the coop at least once a week.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom