If you didn’t already know, chickens poop…A LOT. So, where do chickens poop in their coop? In short, the answer is: EVERYWHERE.
Chickens poop everywhere. They poop in their nesting boxes, beneath their roosts, on the floor of the coop, in the pine shavings laid out for their comfort…EVERYWHERE.
Here’s the thing: it really depends on your coop’s setup. Let’s dig deeper into the poop in the coop.
The Scoop on Poop: Just How Much & Where Do Chickens Poop in Their Coop?
It is estimated that one chicken produces 45 pounds of poop per year! If you free range them, this means that the poop is spread out.
However, if they are primarily in their coop or chicken run, you can expect poop in their water, food, on their perches, and practically everywhere. A healthy chicken poops about 12-15 times per day.
Controlling Where Chickens Poop in Their Coop
So, we know that chickens are bound to poop in the coop. Are there ways to control where?
The biggest problem is where your chickens sleep. When chickens are on the move during the day, they spread out their poop. However, when a chicken rests, the poop will build up in the same spot. Making matters worse, chickens typically all sleep together in the same area.
Hands down, poop in the nesting boxes is the worst! Your hens know to lay their eggs in the nesting boxes, which are kept nice and dimly lit throughout the day and are usually lined with pine shavings, hay, or some soft material. Nobody wants to go to collect eggs that are covered in chicken poop! Gross!
Cleaning poop out of water and food bowls five times a day can become frustrating, not to mention it is not sanitary for your chickens! Nobody wants to step in piles of poop every time they set foot inside their coops either.
Does Breed Change Things?
The poop’s size may change from breed to breed if you are talking about a Bantam chicken or a full-sized chicken.
However, a bantam chicken or an enormous chicken will still poop roughly the same number of times throughout the day, month, and year. Chickens will be chickens.
Like silkies, some breeds prefer to sleep on the ground, not up in the coop or on a roost. They are said not to be the brightest of the bunch in the chicken world, and although it is not sanitary or ideal, they still choose the floor over a roost. This is just a silkie thing!
Broody Hens in the Nesting Boxes vs. Chickens Sleeping in the Nesting Boxes
When a hen is broody, she does not leave the nesting box often. So, when and where does she do her business?
A broody poop is distinctive. When your hen goes broody, she will usually hold it as long as she can, because she will usually leave the nest a few times a day to eat, drink, stretch her legs, and poop.
However, sometimes she will do her business right in the nesting box. These broody poops are enormous and super smelly. You will know it when you see and smell it. It sure makes up for holding in a bunch of smaller ones.
Broody hens will sleep in the nesting box. Therefore, there may be one or two large broody poops a day in the nesting box. However, if chickens who are not broody are sleeping in the nesting boxes, these chickens, all night long, will regularly poop.
Before bed, chickens instinctually fill their crops up with food. They do this, primarily so that their bodies are always working all night long, producing heat, to keep them warm throughout the night.
This means, however, that your chickens will poop throughout the night. If chickens are sleeping in the nesting boxes, which many like to do, poop will be present.
How to Control Poop In The Chicken Coop
So, now we know that chickens are going to poop, it’s inevitable. This doesn’t mean that you can’t train your chickens to
Sometimes, it will not be in ideal locations either. However, there are solutions. Let’s take a gander.
- Coop Redesign
Your first step in moving things around is to determine what an ideal setup for you is? Where do you want your chickens to poop?
If keeping chickens out of the nesting boxes while they are not laying an egg is your biggest concern, you can consider installing a door or divider to close that area of the coop off at night, if your coop setup allows for this.
However, if this is not a feasible option, you can look into creating an area in your coop that is even more enticing than the nesting box to sleep in.
Another option to look into is installing a grated area for the poop to fall into a tray that pulls out for easy cleanup. There will be no more poopy chicken feet if you go this route!
If you have no broody hens at the time and your nesting boxes are removable, take out the nesting boxes for a few days to redirect them elsewhere!
You can also look into installing more roosting areas and perches around the inside of the coop. Try working with your chickens to get them used to the perches and when dusk strikes, place each chicken on a roost to give them the right idea.
- Chicken Training
Believe it or not, training your chickens is doable. You can even train them to follow you around. So, with persistence and a bunch of treats, you should be able to train them to avoid sleeping in areas where you do not want them to. Disclaimer: this will take patience.
Essentially, you will want to try to catch them right at dusk, when they all start putting themselves away for the night. If you go in each night and move them to where you want them to be when it is already dark, they cannot see and will not catch on.
When they go into the nesting box, or area where you do not want them sleeping, move them out, place them in the area where they should be and follow this up with a treat. Chicken scratch and mealworms work great.
You can also coax them out of the no-no area and into the correct location by luring them with a treat. Chickens are animals of routine. Hopefully, after being moved enough, they will catch on and go where they should on their own.
- Bump Up Your Cleaning Game
Cleanliness is vital in the chicken world. Chicken poop is inevitable, and chickens will poop when they want and where they want.
We have a little control over this, but not much. Therefore, maintaining the cleanliness of the chicken coop is our job. Do right by your chickens.
Be sure to clean out pine shavings, sand, hay, or whatever material you put down inside your coop, nesting box, and floor of your run every few days.
Poop will pile up, and this is how parasites, diseases, and sicknesses spread from one chicken to another! Staying on top of the poop will help to maintain the health and longevity of your chickens.
Within your coop, chickens are going to poop. If they are in there for five minutes or twelve hours, they will poop.
Wherever they go, poop follows. It is just a natural thing for chickens. They poop while they eat. Not even dogs do this!
There are a few tricks and tactics you can try to gain some control over where your chickens decide to do their business, but ultimately, poop happens!