Chicken poop can contain bacteria and micro-organisms that would be harmful to ingest, so washing eggs and hands is recommended.
There are egg washes that can help prevent the spread of bacteria that may be on the surface of eggs to be used as food. (Washing eggs to be hatched is not recommended).
Some chicken diseases and bacteria may be spread through chicken droppings. Isolating sick chickens is a good idea, since contact with their droppings may make other chickens sick. Other animals may be infected including mammals and other birds and poultry.
Chicken poop is considered a “hot” fertilizer, high in nitrogen, that may damage some plants, if not fully composted, especially if touching roots.
The mixture of wood shavings and chicken manure can be spread on the ground above roots and allowed to leach its nutrients with gentle watering and rains. Many plants can benefit from this application. Creating a compost pile for droppings mixed with shavings can make for very rich compost for gardening.
In a chicken coop, chicken droppings can collect to an unhealthy state. In cooler months, when chickens spend more time inside, there will be less evaporation of moisture and ammonia fumes, causing them to concentrate in the coop.
This creates an environment where chickens may develop irritated breathing passages, leaving them open to disease.
Chicken poop should be cleaned up frequently. If the chicken coop smells bad to you, it’s time to clean it out. In hot weather accumulated droppings will attract flies which may be unpleasant. Chicken droppings allowed to build up on grasses will burn and kill the grass. Many
chicken pens are built on a nice patch of grass which quickly becomes a matted mess of droppings and dead grass, then dirt. This can be a sign of over-crowding, but may be remedied by watering the grass daily and diluting the chicken manure sitting on top.
Allowing four square feet of yard area for each chicken can help. Chicken poop diluted with water can fertilize the grass as long as there is plenty of area for the size flock you have. Chickens love to eat grass and need fresh greens in their diet.
I love having free range chickens. The only draw-back is that they leave droppings everywhere they go. I love the dark orange yolks from free range hens that are eating plenty of fresh vegetation every day, but chicken poop on my front porch and steps get old, fast.
I hoped and prayed for a solution because I also hated finding hidden clutches of eggs with no hen sitting on them that had become too old to eat. Having these hidden eggs around attracts predators that might go after the chickens.
I haven’t completely solved the problem, but reduced it a bunch. I let my chickens out to free range nearly every day and they usually come up to the house. But I finally built a very large chicken yard around the coop.
The yard is divided in to two main parts and I can rotate the chickens back and forth allowing each side of the yard to rest and regrow its grass.
To cut down on chicken poop around the house, I keep the chickens in one of their yards until the afternoon, after most eggs are laid, then let them out to free range until they decide it’s time to go in and roost.
If you have questions that you would like to ask a vet, use the service below. Ask a Vet has qualified doctors that can answer questions about chicken health.
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