ONE of the big complaints about backyard chicken-keeping in the suburbs is not over the sound of chooks, but in fact their smell and hygiene.
You would expect the cockadoodaloo of roosters would be the major complaint; yet most owners comply with council bylaws that forbid keeping roosters in suburban areas. However, the maintenance of coops and chicken runs is another matter and this is where many chook owners seem to slacken off.
The stench of chicken poo is stronger in the warmer months, and becomes a particular problem if chooks are not able to free range. If they confined, the chook poo is more concentrated in an area like the chook coop or attached run. Do you know that chooks, on average, poo about 50 times a day. Now that’s a lot of shit!
Consider planting shrubs, trees and flowers that have pleasant aromas, like lavender and rosemary, to counterbalance the chicken smells.
If the confined chook area is close to the neighbour’s dwelling then the smell is going to be a greater annoyance. That is why it is so important to consider your neighbours when you initially set up your chooks. Build your chook house away from living areas.
Also, the buildup of poo is a potential health threat to the chooks themselves. The stench of ammonia inside a chook house can be overpowering.
So please, clean out the chicken droppings on a weekly basis; keeping your chook area as clean as possible, and this will make your backyard and neighbourhood a more pleasant place to live.