How To Keep Chicken off Your Porch? | 9 Effective Ways

Written by Paul Hayes

Chickens are excellent backyard entertainment, and nothing beats fresh eggs in the morning. But when they start scratching up your flower bed, eating your garden, and pooping on your porch, raising chickens becomes a lot less fun. How can you keep them from coming onto your porch and destroying everything in sight?

How to keep chicken off your porch? To keep chickens off your porch and away from your garden, you must figure out why your chickens are there. When you meet the needs that drive your chickens to destructive behavior and work with negative and positive reinforcement, you and your chickens can coexist happily.


This article will teach you the secrets of thinking like a chicken and offer constructive solutions which will reward good chicken behavior and improve your chicken’s quality of life. You will also learn how you can use harmless but annoying negative stimuli to make your porch or other areas a chicken-free zone. 

What Attracts Chicken to the Porch?

What Attracts Chicken to the Porch

If you want to know how to keep birds from pooping on your porch, you must first figure out why they are pooping on your porch. What draws your chickens there when they have the whole backyard at their disposal?

Are they seeking shade? On a hot day, your shady porch might be the coolest spot your chickens can find. You might want to put up a shade tarp in your backyard like the ColourTree Beige Rectangle Sun Shade so that your chickens will be able to stay comfortable without coming on your porch.

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Are your chickens hiding on your porch because they saw a circling hawk? Try hanging some old CDs or the Mopet Marketplace Bird Scare Tape in your trees. The bright flickering lights intimidate hawks, and with the now-bedazzled hawk looking for new chicken-hunting opportunities, your chickens have one less reason to visit your porch. 

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To outwit a chicken, think like a chicken. Figure out why your chickens visit your porch and then come up with an outcome that leaves your chickens satisfied and your porch chicken poop-free.

9 Ways To Keep Chicken off the Porch

In this section, you will learn what scares chickens and what makes them happy. You can teach your chickens that your home has chicken no-go zones, and by meeting your chicken’s needs, you can nip problem behavior in the bud.

Relocate Your Chicken Coop

Relocate Your Chicken Coop

If your chicken coop is too close to your porch or garden, your chickens will find their way into places you don’t want them to be. While chickens are curious and like to explore, they also like to stay close to the safety of their coop.  

Move your chicken coop as far as you can from the garden and your porch. 

If your chickens are still wandering in, consider thinning your flock. While hens are not as aggressive as roosters, they will squabble over territory. The more chickens you have, the more likely you are to see conflicts that send the losers retreating to the safety of your porch or the bounty of your garden. 

Feed Your Chickens Away From the Porch

Feed Your Chickens Away From the Porch

If you step out your door and throw chicken feed into the yard, your chickens will associate the porch with food. Walk twenty or thirty feet from the porch and then start feeding. 

Soon the chickens will associate that spot with food and gather in that location. By withholding food on the porch and giving it out in a more distant spot, you condition your chickens to associate your new area with food.  

The greater the distance between your new feeding area and the porch, the sooner your chickens will forget their link between the patio and food. You do not need to punish your chickens if you offer sufficient rewards for good behavior.

This practice is based on the principle of operant conditioning that was first discovered by B.F. Skinner, and shows how people and animals can be trained to do something completely different than what their “natural programming” allows them to do. For example, animal psychologist Keller Breland trained chickens to dance and play baseball.

Use Fake Predators

Owls and hawks eat chickens, so chickens, understandably, are afraid of owls and hawks. Sticking a plastic owl on your porch will keep your chickens away for a day or two. But since chickens are no dummies, they will soon figure out that your owl is a dummy.  

Moving your owl around each day or two will keep your chickens guessing. A moving dummy like the Besmon Plastic Owl Scarecrow will deter chickens from going further. 

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And as a bonus, your plastic owl will scare off any hawks circling over your flock. Chickens are not the only bird afraid of owls, because when hawks and owls fight, the larger owl usually wins.

Chickens also dislike snakes, because they frequently break into chicken coops. 

While no North American snake is large enough to swallow an adult chicken, many American snakes will eat eggs and chicks. A rubber snake draped over your porch railing might discourage your chickens from coming closer.  

Give Your Chickens Higher Perches

Give Your Chickens Higher Perches

Chickens like to perch, and by perching on a higher object, chickens get a better view of predators. Since they are off the ground, perching gives them a chance to poop without worrying about sitting or stepping in it. 

Your porch offers lots of perching places. You might see where this is going.  

Give your chickens supplemental perches by laying 2″ x 2″ boards between sawhorses near their coop. Even a chicken with clipped wings can jump as high as 4 feet. So, give your chickens some perching space and a chance to exercise, and you will have happier healthier birds.

Use Motion-Activated Sprinklers To Keep Chickens off Your Porch

You can train a chicken to stay out of an area with negative reinforcement. When your chicken triggers the sensor on a motion-sensitive sprinkler like the Hoont Cobra Yard and Garden Water Blaster Repellent, it gets a harmless but unpleasant surprise. 

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Your chickens will eventually learn that this surprise is harmless, and it may grow increasingly less effective. If you move the sprinkler around, your chickens will take longer to draw this conclusion.  

You can do this on a lower budget by using a spray bottle to squirt your chickens with water every time you see them on the porch, which is a polite way of setting boundaries that will not harm your chicken once the initial surprise wears off.  

Use Spices or Herbs To Deter Chickens

Use Spices or Herbs To Deter Chickens

Chickens need vegetation in their diets, and your garden and flower bed are filled with greenery. To keep chickens away from your plants, add some herbs that will keep chickens out of your garden. 

Some chicken-repelling plants include:

  • Borage 
  • Catnip 
  • Lavender
  • Marjoram 
  • Marigold 
  • Rosemary
  • Yarrow

A hungry chicken will eat almost any plant, and if you provide your chickens with enough feed, they will stay away from these herbs and flowers.  

And while you can plant flowers to keep chickens away, you can also grow plants that will keep chickens healthy. An unprotected patch of alfalfa or lettuce a safe distance from your porch and garden will keep your chickens eating beneficial greenery without eating your vegetables.

Distract Your Chickens With Bare Soil

Distract Your Chickens With Bare Soil

Chickens love hunting in the bare ground for insects and using it for dust baths. If you want to keep chickens off your porch, give them a patch of bare ground at a safe distance.  

Clear a space roughly one yard long and one yard wide until only bare soil remains and leave the rest of your yard covered with vegetation. The chickens will discover the bare ground soon enough and wander over.  

Once your chickens discover this bare space, you may want to sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth, like the DiatomaceousEarth DE10 found on, over the patch every two or three months. Diatomaceous earth will kill any chicken mites that might be nesting on your birds. 

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Use Another Animal To Keep Your Hens in Check

Adding a rooster to your flock may help keep your chickens closer to their coop, as they will herd their hens toward safety. Convince your rooster the porch is dangerous, and he will discourage his hens from going near it. 

Before you buy a rooster, check your local ordinance. Roosters are noisy, and not everybody wants to hear “cock-a-doodle-doo!” at the break of dawn. Many municipalities that allow chicken flocks specifically exclude roosters. 

Dogs are another possibility. Many dogs are chicken killers, but many others will see the herd as their flock. A small herding dog like a Corgi or a Shetland Sheepdog may protect your chickens on their side of the lawn while keeping them off your porch. 

Fence Off Your Patio, Deck, or Porch

Fence Off Your Patio, Deck, or Porch

If all else fails, you may need to use fencing to keep your chickens off the porch. Several different options may help you keep chickens out of your yard. Chicken wire netting will keep your chickens from your porch, and keeping your free-ranging chickens in an enclosed space will protect them.

Many predators enjoy a chicken dinner, which includes neighborhood cats, dogs, and coyotes. Chicken wire placed around their coops can help keep your chickens safe from harm. For extra protection, lay a run of chicken netting in a shallow trench at least 12″ deep, then bury it. The netting will stop hungry dogs or coyotes from burrowing under your fencing.  

If you are dealing with persistent predators (or chickens), the Premier 1 Supplies PoultryNet Electric Fence, will serve as an electronic chicken repellent that does double duty on intruders. This electrified fence gives a shock that neither chicken, cat, nor coyote will soon forget. 

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What To Use To Keep Chicken Away From Porch?

Here are some recommendations that will help you to get rid of chickens on your porch. Read on and learn how to scare chickens away without harming them.  

Best Chicken Repellents

The best way to repel chickens is to fix the problems which inspire them to visit your porch and garden. If your chicken has an adequate supply of tasty greens and a bare spot for dust baths and bug hunting near its coop, it will be less tempted to venture into your garden. If your chicken’s coop is ventilated and cool, it will not need to seek space on your porch. 

Also, the best repellents you can use are ones that we have already mentioned above, such as motion-activated sprinklers, plastic owls, bird scare tapes, and so on.

Best Chicken Wire for Porch

The best fence for chickens is one that keeps them in and keeps chicken-loving predators out. A 150-foot roll of the Yardgard 308496B Fence will keep chickens off your porch and leave you plenty of extra netting to protect their coop from cats, coyotes, and other threats to your chicken’s well-being.

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Best Natural Chicken Repellents

Many websites recommend sprinkling red pepper or using pepper-based sprays to deter chickens, but chickens cannot taste or smell hot pepper. Garlic can prove equally ineffective against chickens, though both garlic and pepper will discourage deer and rabbits from grazing on your plants.

For a natural chicken repellent spray that will keep chickens out of your garden and off your porch, spray the area with lemon juice, as chickens dislike the smell of citrus. If you sprinkle some lemon essential oil around your patio, the area will smell great to you but foul to your chickens.  

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Chickens are great companions and egg layers, but chickens can also be messy garden-ravaging poop machines. With a bit of effort and careful thinking, you can enjoy fresh eggs and chicken companionship with a clean porch and undisturbed flower bed.

List of Sources

Frame, D. (2010). Basics for Raising Backyard Chickens. Utah State University.

Tabler, T., et al. (2013). Raising the Backyard Flock. Mississippi State University.

Fairfax County Virginia. Chickens in Your Backyard.

Paul Hayes
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