Advice needed: toddlers and backyard chicken poop

Looking for some advice!

Background: We got our chickens in 2014 as a college graduation gift when my husband and some of our friends helped turn our existing potting shed into a coop with an attached run.  Since getting our girls, we have kept the run door open day and night allowing them to free range as they please, with the exception of freezing conditions and anytime snow covers the ground (aka when they’re moving targets for hawks).  For the most part, the girls stay inside the fenced backyard.  We don’t mind having chicken poop all over outside because we keep special shoes in the mudroom to wear out in our backyard.

Dilemma: We had our son in November of 2015 and he has learned to walk really well over the pas few months.  We know this summer we’d like to spend a lot of time in our fenced backyard, but I really don’t want him exposed to chicken poop around the yard.  I don’t want him falling in it, or sitting in it, etc.  So, if you have kids or advice, I ask you, what do you do?


We are considering extending the run and keeping the door closed so that they’re always contained and we won’t need to worry about chicken poop throughout our yard.  And while I know they will have plenty of room in the run, I don’t like to idea of them not being free-range anymore.

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3 thoughts on “Advice needed: toddlers and backyard chicken poop

  1. Don’t worry about it. Backyard chickens are unlikely to carry E. coli and salmonella. I wouldn’t recommend eating the stuff but I wouldn’t worry about it either. There’s actually lots of research being done on the benefit of livestock for young children! Check out Let Them Eat Dirt!

  2. Look up “Histoplasmosis” it is very dangerous. Most people get it in their lungs. I have it in my eye. Well worth knowing the info for all people on the farm.

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