Are you looking for ways how to keep chickens off your porch? You’re not alone, I’ve been there, and thankfully I found a way to stop my hens hanging out on my porch area.
I love seeing my chickens as much as any backyard chicken owner - but I also want my porch and decking to be clear of chicken poop!
Here are some of the most effective ways you can stop your (or someone else’s) chickens from perching and hanging out on your porch without resorting to forceful tactics:
Train Them Not to Hang Out on Your Porch
Before investing in deterrent devices (these will not be necessary anyway) and putting up defenses, your best bet is to try and train your chickens not to hang out on your porch.
Yes, you heard me right - chickens can be trained.
You won’t need to do anything special. The usual animal training techniques tend to work just fine for chickens.
This means using both positive and negative reinforcement, being consistent, and having some patience.
A couple of things you can try for starters;
- Shoo them away by making a noise such as clapping your hands or banging something. Nothing too traumatizing, but make it clear they need to flee the porch.
- Give your chickens some treats as a reward when they flee from your porch after you shoo them away. Or, if they don’t approach it.
If your chickens are anything like mine, some will take to learning - but some won’t. You’ll have to reserve some extra patience for the more stubborn members of your flock.
Find Out Why They Like Your Porch – And Change It
There is usually a reason or method behind a chicken's actions. If they keep going on your porch, there must be something there that’s more appealing than the other side of your yard.
In my case, it was a combination of some hand railings that were the perfect height for my chickens to perch on, and the fact that there was usually activity on the porch.
My bunch are very social - somewhat too social - but that’s the result of me spoiling them I guess.
Along with training them not to come onto my porch, I made their “perches” out of bounds and used some of the other techniques I’m sharing in this article.
Never, Ever Feed Them or Any Other Animals on Your Porch
If you’ve owned and raised chickens, you’ll know how motivated they are by food. Pretty much like most household pets, right?
For this reason, keeping all food sources well away from your porch is essential if you want to dissuade them from being on there.
This means placing their feeders in their coop, which I’m sure you already have. It also means never handing them scraps while you’re on there. In addition, if you have other pets, don’t feed them on your porch either.
This can be tricky if you have BBQs and dinner parties on your porch as I do. When I’m entertaining in the evening I usually lock my chooks up in their coop so they’re out of the way.
Related - Do chickens eat cat food and dog food?
Move Their Coop Further Away
Sometimes we make mistakes when building a coop. If you placed it near to your porch, or if there is a nice spot a lot further away, it might be worth moving it further away.
Chickens typically do not stray that far from their coop. If you can place it a good distance from any areas you don’t want them frequenting, it might be enough to stop them.
They are also driven by finding things for their basic needs, such as a dust bath, water, food, and some interesting terrain to forage around in.
The more all of these things surround their coop and are not found near your home, the more likely they’ll stay nearer to their coop. Simple.
Related - Tips to help keep your chickens' coop free of pests.
If Nothing Has Worked – It’s Time to Fortify Your Porch!
If all of the above just isn’t doing it or you don’t have the time and patience to keep reinforcing these things, you can use some deterrents.
I’ve heard just about everything being used to deter chickens over the years. Some of the methods, tools, and tricks I’ve heard of are:
- Using strong smelling things like citrus peels, essential oils, certain flowers, etc.
- Putting up a small fence at the perimeter. Something like wire mesh or wire cloth, a picket fence, etc.
- Installing a motion sensor device that does something to deter chickens, like a water sprinkler or a bright light.
- Installing some fake birds of prey - a little harsh really, your poor chooks might end up being scared for their lives!
Start trying a couple of things and seeing what works for you. There isn't really a solution that works every time, a little trial and error might be needed.
Related - Why I don't recommend using mothballs.
If you’re willing to go to war against your chickens to make your porch a no-go zone, you can make it happen.
Jokes aside, it doesn’t have to be that dramatic and it’s really not that difficult in most cases.
By using one or more of the above suggestions, I’m sure you’ll find your flock’s Achilles heel and set boundaries that you’re both happy with.