Chicken poop belongs in the soil, not on the stoop! Now, there’s a righteous homestead rant! Can you relate? Are your free-range chooks making a second home on your porch? How do you stop that sort of home invasion? We can show you how. We’ve investigated several clever ways to keep chickens off your porch!
And – we’re only sharing humane and gentle methods that will keep your flock safe.
Then let’s proceed!
- How to Keep Chickens Off My Porch?
- Why Do Chickens Invade My Porch?
- How Do I Modify Chicken Behavior?
- What Chicken Repellents Work Best for a Porch?
- 1. Motion-Activated Water Sprinkler
- 2. Motion-Sensor Chicken Predator Noises
- 3. Static Chicken Predator Replicas
- 4. Screen Your Porch With Mesh
- 5. Use Bird Netting to Protect Your Porch from Chickens
- 6. PVC-Coated Wire to Create a Porch Barrier
- The Cost of Raising Chickens In the USA [Meat and Egg Chickens!]
- 7. Chicken-Repelling Plants
- 8. Removing Chicken Attractions From Your Porch
- 9. Train a Chicken Leader
- 10. Make a Mobile Free-Range Chicken Foraging Camp
- The Power of Dissuasion
How to Keep Chickens Off My Porch?
To keep chickens off your porch, fit it with passive and active repellents like fences, nets, fake predators, plants, and motion-sensor sprinklers. Mobile foraging shelters with food, water, roosts, shade, and a dust bath provide free-range chickens a comfortable alternative to a porch.
Chickens are intelligent. They go where the getting’s good. But they’re easily trained, too! With our savvy chicken behavior modification techniques, you can flip foul play into healthy fowl play – getting your chickens off your porch and back into your yard!
Why Do Chickens Invade My Porch?
A roofed porch protects chickens from predators and harsh weather, while porch railings and furniture become surveillance perches. Food crumbs, house-pet food and water, and porch pot plants are low-hanging foraging materials for free-range chickens, especially if they are petted and fed near the house.
To ensure your chickens never set foot on your porch again (unless invited or part of a BBQ) – it’s wise to diagnose the root of the problem.
What’s attracting your chooks to the porch?
- Is it the dog food?
- Is it the shade?
- Is it the perching opportunities?
- Do you feed them on the porch?
- Are the flowerpots and beds in and around the porch attractive for dust bathing?
- Are predator birds circling above?
- Does your yard lack shade, water, dirt patches, perches, or ample foraging areas?
Survey your porch and yard to determine the porch attractions and yard deficits regarding chicken comfort.
- Your porch may have railings, but will they stop an adventurous flock of chickens from landing on them and your porch?
- Preventing porch defilement by chickens demands strategic intervention where a ‘carrot and stick’ method of behavior modification is the most effective.
- Place your chicken-training emphasis on the ‘carrots’ and go bantamweight on the ‘sticks’ part.
How Do I Modify Chicken Behavior?
Chicken behavior can be modified using positive and negative reinforcement where a person ensures the chickens’ punishment (experiencing the porch’s repellent) is immediately rewarded (access to similar comforts away from the front porch). In other words – let the chickens get the scare – then lead them to their new foraging comfort zone.
Human behaviors that attract your chickens to your porch should be modified, too.
- Don’t feed or pet chickens near the house or porch.
- Keep the porch clean.
Academic research has determined what keeps free-range chickens happy when foraging in the open.
- The results show that free-range chooks are primarily foraging for food, but other creature comforts like shade and security are necessary for the foraging area to be practical.
Before we get into what’s needed to create a viable foraging alternative to your porch, we should look at the best porch barriers that stop chicken entry.
What Chicken Repellents Work Best for a Porch?
The best porch chicken repellents prevent entry without harming the chickens. Fences, screens, and nets are physical barriers, removing the risk of porch invasion by chickens. Motion-sensor sprinklers and alarms are inexpensive, harmless, and effective. Chicken predator replicas also work.
Keeping your porch free of chickens is not an exact science. You may get lucky and only need one repellent, but to be sure your patio/deck/stoop stays free of live chooks, you may need a combination of active and passive chicken repellents.
- Active repellents get activated temporarily by the presence of a chicken or chickens. A motion-sensor sprinkler or a dog, for example.
- Passive repellents permanently repel chickens. A wire fence or a plastic hawk are more examples.
Some homesteaders recommend sprinkling pungent/hot spices, herbs, and vinegar on your porch to repel chickens. We don’t advise these methods because:
- Spices and herbs are expensive (save them for cooking).
- Chickens may eat the spices/herbs/vinegar and suffer health problems.
- Spices and herbs deteriorate rapidly in the sun and rain.
- Their effects as chicken repellents are inconclusive.
- Who wants a porch that reeks of vinegar?
Let’s not dabble or quibble here! You want cost-effective, proven chicken repellents for your porch, right?
OK! Here goes.
1. Motion-Activated Water Sprinkler
If you’ve ever sprayed chickens with water, you’ll know they don’t like to get wet. But who’s got the time to stand guarding a porch, hose in hand? Your answer lies in a motion-activated sprinkler!
The ‘Critter Ridder’ from Havahart is a dedicated, stand-alone critter repellent for all sorts of creatures, chickens included. And it waters your garden, too!
- The unit spikes into the soil and plugs into your water supply with a standard hose fitting.
- An infrared sensor detects movement up to 100 feet away, 24/7.
- The spray head moves through a 120-degree arc and can jet water up to 100 feet away in 5-second spurts.
- The spray head has four distance settings.
- The sensor unit uses two AA batteries.
At under $50, the Critter Ridder is an affordable automated repellent that may be all you need to chase your chickens away from your porch without harming them!
2. Motion-Sensor Chicken Predator Noises
Chickens stay attuned to predator calls. They readily recognize raccoons and wolves to hawks and owls. You can place a motion-sensor mp3 alarm with a powerful speaker near your porch to detect chickens and sound a predator’s hunting call whenever chickens are coming close!
The PIR motion Sensor Speaker from Waytronic has an SD card and a USB port, allowing you to load your choice of predator calls.
- The speaker emits a powerful 110db.
- Load an owl screech and watch your chickens vacate the porch. In a hurry!
- The unit has a 12-volt adapter. You may need an extension cord.
Place the unit under your porch roof (it isn’t waterproof, so cover it with a plastic bag) and experiment with different chicken predator calls.
The speaker is super-loud, which should give your chickens the idea that the predator is ON THE PORCH and have them hightailing it back to their coop!
- You may prefer an outdoor motion-sensor speaker with 13 preloaded sounds, including barking dogs, gunshots, and roaring bears! It blasts out 130db – and it has strobe lights! Real scary!
3. Static Chicken Predator Replicas
Similar to how scarecrows keep birds away from crops, a solar-powered owl that screeches placed where it can catch plenty of sunshine will keep chickens off your porch!
A life-size replica of chicken predators placed strategically on your porch will make your chickens think twice before moving in for casual foraging on your chill spot.
The solar owl has a swiveling head and flashing eyes, so it’s not entirely static, but why not add a couple more predator replicas like:
- A flying hawk – hang it from the porch rafters or a nearby tree branch.
- A rubber snake – wrap it around posts, railings, and furniture legs.
Move the fake predators every week to keep the chooks guessing!
Now for the static barriers.
4. Screen Your Porch With Mesh
A surefire way to keep chickens off your porch is to screen the entire boundary with mesh. You’ll need a netted door, of course. But a floor-to-ceiling screening job will stop chickens and other annoying visitors like mosquitos, guaranteed!
- You can use fiberglass screen mesh or bug netting.
- Fiberglass screens and bug netting will not limit your view from the porch much.
Learn how to screen a porch here.
5. Use Bird Netting to Protect Your Porch from Chickens
Typically used to protect fruit trees from birds and deer, bird netting is a cost-effective way to stop chickens from getting onto your porch.
You can stretch a 7.5-foot high length of bird netting along the perimeter of your porch for less than $30!
- The soft finish of bird netting is suitably rustic. It also looks aesthetically appealing, as well as being easy to work with.
- The 7.5-foot-high non-rigid netting is high enough to prevent chickens from flying over the top.
- Non-rigid bird netting prevents perching on top of the net.
- Bird netting can be stapled to wood porch beams and posts or secured to brick porch pillars using eyehooks.
A simple, affordable, and quick solution to the chicken/porch dilemma!
6. PVC-Coated Wire to Create a Porch Barrier
If a low, rigid porch fence is more appealing, why not fit your porch perimeter with PVC-coated welded wire fencing?
- A rigid wire fence coated in black PVC looks modern.
- Thin gauge wire prevents chickens from perching on top of the backyard fence.
- The wire fencing is 3 feet high, enough to dissuade chickens from trying the high jump onto your porch!
- The wire panels you cut can clamp to the porch posts/pillars. Try using fence clips.
The fence design can accept all sorts of decorative items like reeds and hanging garden ornaments and serve as a trellis for creepers!
Let your imagination fly – while your chickens watch from afar!
7. Chicken-Repelling Plants
Add an extra dimension of chicken repellent to your porch by planting flowers and herbs that release fragrances that chickens hate!
Get your hands on a few planter boxes for chicken-repelling herbs, including:
The narrow planters will prevent dust bathing!
Line the periphery of your porch with the herb planters to create a chook line of defense. It looks elegant and gifts your gourmet palette with aroma and yummy flavors!
8. Removing Chicken Attractions From Your Porch
We mentioned earlier that keeping your porch clean and free of pet food helps stop chickens from visiting. Does your patio or porch have garden beds close by?
- Chickens may be attracted to the soil in garden beds because it makes a good dust bath.
- Once they finish dusting, they’ll no doubt investigate what’s on your porch – especially if they know you eat out there.
- Stop them by laying small stones in the flowerbeds.
9. Train a Chicken Leader
There’s a chief bird in every flock. That ‘top of the pecking order’ chook, who could get trained to be your porch policeman! Roosters and lead hens, once taught to steer clear of your porch, will ensure the flock does likewise!
- Choose the likely subjects and remove them from the flock for 30 minutes every day for five days.
- Use a chicken harness and leash.
- Expose the lead chicken to one or more repellents and walk towards the coop. The lead chicken will follow you. But more likely, you’ll be following the chicken!
- Carry a chicken treat to reward the bird when it returns to the coop.
Fruit salad sound about right?
10. Make a Mobile Free-Range Chicken Foraging Camp
Ideally, your chickens should spend ample time foraging expansively in natural surroundings to ensure optimum health and well-being. Create a mobile chicken foraging camp. It will help get your chickens away from your porch permanently. Equip your foraging camp with all the accessories that promote health and safety for the flock!
- Shade: Lash a tarp or shade cloth between poles or trees to create a shady spot in the field. Consider a freestanding garden gazebo. (You will need to stake guy lines into the ground).
- Food: Your chooks will find food in the soil, but add a feeder with pellets to the camp. Hay bales also make for great foraging.
- Water: Spending a busy day in the sun is thirsty work. Place a chicken waterer with fresh water inside a shady spot in the foraging camp.
- Perches: Make wide roosting ladders using tree branches or 1” x 2” boards. Sand the branches/boards down till they’re smooth. Round the corners on the 1x2s for the chooks’ toes to comfortably curl around. Position the ladders against trees if possible and under-shaded cloth.
- Dust bath: Chickens seek dry, loose soil to preen and disinfect their plumage. Make a mobile dust bath using 1” x 4” lumber to make a frame with a plastic base. Drag the dust bath to the foraging camp and fill it with soil transported in a bucket.
- Toys: Keep your chickens amused out on the range with a set of toys. Use your imagination and create organic playthings for chickens of all ages and sizes!
A well-equipped free-range foraging camp will give your flock more freedom than a chicken run or chicken tractor affords. They’ll be happy campers, for sure!
The Power of Dissuasion
Disciplining any creature can be a taxing exercise for all involved, and who doesn’t want their chickens to be happy?
We hope you find our chicken-repelling ideas suitably humane and proactive in the best way possible – affordable and effective!
Most importantly, we trust your porch never sees chicken poop again. May your chickens thrive merrily for years in their mobile free-range foraging camp!
Porch Chicken References, Works Cited, and Resource Guides:
- Thinking Chickens – A Review of Cognition, Emotion, and Behavior In the Domestic Chicken
- Intro to Pasture-Raised Poultry and Maximizing
- Foraging Behavior
- Keeping Garden Chickens In North Carolina
- Common Backyard Chicken Behaviors
- All About Poultry Behavior
- Hawks and Owls | University of Nebraska Lincoln
- Predator Management for Small and Backyard Poultry Flocks