We've been contemplating chicken-keeping for while but I've been a bit put off by a friend's garden. They have four, free-range chickens in a large garden. And despite the size of the garden, there does seem to be rather a lot of chicken poo around the place!
I know it's good fertilizer, but I don't really want to be walking around in the stuff and we definitely still want the DDs to be able to play in the majority of the garden.
Our garden is about 10m along each side, of which about half is grass. We're thinking in terms of a couple of chickens, in a defined run, rather than free range. So presumably everything would be contained in one area. But does it get smelly? And do you need to move the run around every so often - in which case do you end up with old poo everywhere anyway??
We have chickens in run out in the back garden and what we do is move the runs around every few days or however long you want.
Then just run a rake over the remaining corn/scraps/poo that is left on the floor and shovel it up and put it into compost bin. To be quite honest it's not there for long as you'll find the other birds will clear most of it up.
Thanks - I can see that working. We already have a compost-making enterprise going on in the back garden, so if it's shovel-able, that would work. I had visions of a build up of nasty-smelling goo, but I guess it also breaks down reasonably quickly?
At our old house we had 3 freerange hens and the poo was a nightmare, I had to sweep and house twice a day and was always apologising to anyone who came by. It also got trod into the house by the kids mainly but also anyone by accident.
now they are in an electric fenced enclosure and in 2 months the poo has just disappeared really! the rain and other birds do clear it up for us and its no longer a problem. THe large poo's are very easy to scoop into a dustpan or shovel and it is quite water soluble too so breaks down very quickly if you hose or if you compost.