Are Chickens Really That Messy?

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Chickens are interesting creatures. They are social animals that have a pecking order, unique vocalizations, and interesting sleeping habits. Chickens also have a reputation for being messy. But are they really? Let’s explore.

Chickens and Their Digging Habits

One of the reasons chickens are often seen as messy is because of their digging habits. Chickens will scratch the ground with their feet to find bugs and other morsels of food. This can uproot plants and kick up soil onto paths and into flower beds. While this may be seen as messy, it’s really just the chickens being chickens. And if you provide your chickens with a designated space to scratch, they will be less likely to dig up your flower beds.

Chickens and Their Sleeping Habits

Another reason chickens may be seen as messy is because of their sleeping habits. Chickens like to sleep in groups on high perches. This often results in them pooping on the perch, which can then fall to the ground below. While this may not be the most aesthetically pleasing sight, it’s really not that big of a deal. Plus, it’s just another example of chickens being chickens.

Are Chickens Really That Messy?

So, are chickens really that messy? It depends on your perspective. Yes, they can make a bit of a mess due to their digging and sleeping habits. But ultimately, they’re just being chickens. And if you provide them with a designated space to scratch and sleep, they will be much less likely to make a mess of your backyard chicken coop.

Why Do Chickens Make a Mess?

Chickens are interesting creatures. They are social animals that form close bonds with their flock mates and have distinct personalities. They are also quite messy! If you’ve ever kept chickens, you know that they can make quite a mess of things. But why do they do it?

Chickens Really Don’t Mean to be Messy

As backyard chicken enthusiasts, we love our chickens. They provide us with fresh eggs and they are fun to watch as they strut around the yard. But there is no denying that they can be messy creatures. Why do they make such a mess?

It all has to do with their natural foraging instincts. Chickens love to scratch at the ground in search of tasty morsels such as bugs, worms, and seeds. This behavior results in piles of dirt and small stones being scattered about the yard. Chickens also enjoy taking dust baths. This helps them keep their feathers clean and free of parasites. Again, this results in piles of dirt being scattered about.

There is really no way to prevent chickens from making a mess. It’s just part of their nature. The best thing you can do is to provide them with a designated area where they can scratch and dust bath to their hearts’ content. This will help to minimize the amount of mess they make in other areas of your yard.

Do Chickens Make a Mess in the Coop?

Chickens are interesting creatures. They provide us with tasty eggs and can be fun to watch as they go about their business in the backyard. But one thing that’s less fun? Cleaning up after them. Do chickens make a mess in the coop?

In short, yes they will make a mess in the coop because they spend all night there and during that time there will be some poo, this will become more of a problem in winter when the nights are longer. Let’s take a closer look at why chickens make a mess and what you can do to manage it.

Chickens and Poop

There’s no denying that chickens poop…a lot. In fact, a chicken can produce up to 150 pounds of manure each year! That poop has to go somewhere, and unfortunately, it often ends up in the coop. Chickens will typically sleep in the coop at night, so any poop they produce will be in there come morning. This can make cleaning the coop quite a chore, especially in winter when the nights are longer and there’s more time for the chickens to make a mess.

There are a few things you can do to help manage the mess chickens make. First, consider adding more roosts to your coop. The more roosts you have, the less likely it is that your chickens will sleep in their own feces. Second, clean out the coop regularly.

The frequency of cleanings will depend on how many chickens you have and how big your coop is, but generally speaking, you should aim to clean it out once every week or two. Finally, think about adding some sort of bedding material to the bottom of the coop. This will help absorb any moisture and minimize the amount of time your chickens spend standing in their own feces.

Dealing With a Messy Chicken Run

Anyone who has ever kept chickens knows that they can make quite a mess! Their constant scratching and digging can turn even the sturdiest run into a muddy, dirty mess in no time at all. But never fear, there are several things you can do to keep your chicken run clean and tidy all year round.

One of the best ways to deal with a messy chicken run is to cover the ground with something that will help to absorb the mud and keep the chickens from getting too dirty. Sawdust, wood shavings, straw, or hay are all good options.

You can also use woodchippings, but make sure they are from deciduous trees only as bark could contain harmful fungi. Another option is to cover the ground with fine gravel. This will not only help to keep the area clean but also deter predators as they will not be able to dig through it to get to your chickens.

However, you also need to make sure that your chickens have enough access to dirt so that they can dust-bathe and fulfill their natural urge to dig. Otherwise, they may start trying to dig under the fence to get out! So, while covering the ground with something absorbing is a good idea, make sure you leave some areas uncovered or only lightly covered.

Reducing Chicken Mess in a Small Yard or Garden

Although chickens do like space to roam and forage, it is possible to keep them in a small area. Whether you have limited space or just want to contain the mess, here are some tips for keeping your chickens contained in a small yard.


Chickens can’t fly well, but they can fly a bit and can jump fairly high, so they will get into areas with low fences if they really want to. Make sure the fence around their area is at least 4 feet high. If you have a garden, you might also want to put chicken wire around it to keep them out.


Another way to keep your chickens contained is by using gates. You can either make your own gates or buy them pre-made. If you make your own, make sure the hinges are strong and the latch is secure. You don’t want your chickens getting out and getting into places they shouldn’t be!

Supervise Them

When letting your chickens out of their coop, make sure to supervise them. They will likely stay close to you if you are there with them. If you have other animals, such as dogs or cats, make sure they are not around when the chickens are out as they might chase or hurt them.

The Best Way to Clean up Chicken Mess

Ask anyone who has backyard chickens and they’ll tell you that, while they make great pets, they can also be a bit of a chore to keep clean. One of the most common issues chicken owners face is how to deal with the ubiquitous chicken poop. While it may not be the most pleasant subject, cleaning up the chicken mess is a necessary part of owning these beloved birds.

The first thing to do when cleaning up the chicken mess is to equip yourself with the right tools. A hosepipe and a stiff brush should do the trick. Be sure to keep the hosepipe away from areas where you sit or children play, as chicken manure can contain bacteria that can make you ill if it comes into contact with food or bare skin.

A good way to make use of chicken manure and used straw is by putting it on a compost heap. Chicken manure is nitrogen-rich and can be great as manure for growing plants and flowers in your garden. Used straw can also be added to the compost heap, where it will break down and provide valuable nutrients for your plants.

Another useful tip for dealing with chicken mess is to let nature take its course. If you have cats, they will likely be more than happy to help you out by eating any insects that are attracted to the manure. This will not only help keep your chickens healthy, but it will also reduce the amount of work you have to do when cleaning up their mess!

Do Chickens Make a Mess in a Large Garden

The answer to this really depends on how many chickens you have. If you have a small flock that is less than ten, and if you have a large garden or some land that chickens can graze on, the mess will be minimal.

The reason why a small flock of chickens won’t make much of a mess is that they will mostly be eating insects, seeds, and other things that they find while foraging. Chickens love to scratch around in the dirt to look for food, and this is actually good for your garden as it aerates the soil. So, if you have a problem with insects or some other pests in your garden, getting chickens might be a solution!

Of course, chickens do also eat plants and vegetables – so if you don’t want them eating your prize-winning zucchini, you will need to put up a chicken-proof fence around your garden. Chickens also like to dust-bathe, so if you have an area of your yard that gets dusty, you might find that they create a little “chicken spa” there!

In Conclusion

Overall, backyard chicken enthusiasts should not worry too much about their chickens being messy. Yes, they may make a bit of a mess but it is nothing that cannot be easily cleaned up or prevented altogether by providing them with a designated scratching and sleeping area.


Shanna is the 2nd half of Top Outdoor Survival. Like Forest, she has a passion for guns and knives. They love to go on a survival trip at least once a year. They love to go camping, hiking, and traveling.

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