Poop accumulates on chicken feet in the coop and run space. The fecal matter will dry and stick to the feet to point of requiring manual removal. In some cases, it will develop into a ball shape on the feet, legs or lower body of the chicken. Removing the poop is a simple process that requires catching and cleaning the chicken. Remove poop immediately to maintain a sanitary chicken run without bacteria buildup and disease.
Clean the Coop
Before cleaning the chicken, clean your coop and run. Rake feces off the ground and replace the bedding and ground material. Cleaning the chicken is pointless if she returns to a soiled environment.
Clean your coop and run on a regular schedule to prevent the buildup of feces. Weekly cleaning is the minimum required to maintain a healthy coop.
Capture the Chicken
Do a visual inspection of your chickens and determine which ones require cleaning. Capture an individual by herding her into a corner and calmly grabbing her. Hold the chicken with her head between your armpit and your forearm under the body. Your forearm will support the body and keep her calm. Hold the legs in your hand to prevent kicking. Keep the chicken in this position until she is docile.
Keep a tub of warm water on site while you capture the chicken. Hold the feet in the warm water and gently massage the poop until it breaks free. Water combined with pressure is enough to remove dry, hard manure from the feet. Wear rubber gloves or use a soft kitchen sponge to protect your hands during the process.
After you remove manure from the feet, inspect the butt and legs. Use the sponge and warm water to remove any additional manure from the chicken. Release the bird back into your coop and collect the next bird requiring a cleaning. Clean all of your birds in one sitting to make the process efficient.
Removing poop from chicken feet is important for the health of the bird. Poop accumulation attracts flies and encourages the growth of fungus and bacterial infections. Hardened balls of feces also restrict foot growth and have the potential to cause defects in the foot. Cleaning the feet of young birds is critical to their growth and development.
Zach Lazzari is a Montana based freelance outdoor writer and photographer. You can follow his work at bustedoarlock.com.