Cleanliness Is Next to…


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High Security…

In an earlier blog (in Meet The Girls), I shared the hair raising tale of how my ruthless, bloodthirsty dogs broke into the fenced chicken area and committed an act of  terror (here I am unabashedly using  inflammatory phrases to try and obtain more blog followers…homeland security, the CIA, the FBI, HUD? and other agencies who do NOT conduct domestic surveillance…wink…wink…joking?)  I’m sure a few of these folks must raise chickens. No. I’m not desperate. Getting back to the story….

I just feel a little guilty because I may have given the impression in that blog post that the singly focused, highly intelligent dogs figured out how to break in, implying that there was a measure of sufficient security in place. In reality, the “fence” between the dogs and the chickens is a bit of green 2″ x 2″ garden wire hooked to one side of the gate by a loose bungee cord at the top,  as seen in the picture above. You’ll notice from the middle on down, any 4-legged creature can just stroll on in.

Yes. I did expect my dogs to obviously figure out NOT to go in the chicken area, but not for the primary reason that continues to be implied (chicken safety.) No. The real reason I don’t want them in the chicken area is because I don’t want doggy doo-doo everywhere. I saw what one hen did with chicken poop and it was disgusting concerning….

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I mean, I cook and eat the eggs from these very hens…sometimes right out of their little vent. Egg is still warm. Delicious. I haven’t gotten ill yet, but I don’t want to worry about canine poop and where that might end up.

Which brings me to the point of this blog post, and that is – I’m definitely doing something wrong. All my fellow tweeters and chicken bloggers show idyllic photos of  beautiful, thick, robust, house-trained, loving companion chickens taking spa baths and hanging out in the kitchen or on a lap (Mine screech, flap, and kick), immaculately clean coops,  runs and yards you could have a picnic in -AND- bring the small kids too, blooming flowers and green overflowing gardens lining every nook and cranny of perfectly pristine paths of mulch, dirt, wood, or paver. This is NOT my experience…

From dawn to dusk, I’m dealing with, not only coop poop, but with poop virtually everywhere…Yes, they do have an uncanny ability to NOT perpetually step in it, but nonetheless — it’s not all that easy and, well, it’s just alot of shit to deal with. I spend much of my time spraying it down or picking it up. If it were just those little marbly turdy things with the white cap, things would be easier, but it isn’t always so…contained. I truly thank the folks who insisted that wood shavings are spread across the floor, NOT the straw! But no-one really discusses the yard / run cleaning issue or how even just 5 chickens can turn a large green, lush yard into a sort of wasteland. If anyone has tips or insights on how to keep ALL the open chicken spaces clean and sustainable…please do leave them here. I desperately need help!