Spring cleaning is real, folks… especially when you have chickens who live in a coop. 

The chickens love the days when I dig around in their home—because it gets them freedom.  They take any opportunity to spread out on the lawn and to scratch through the gardens.  I spent an hour hauling shovels full of chicken manure, scooping from their lodgings and walking it over to dump into the loader tractor bucket. 

Meanwhile, they continued on their merry way, leaving marks wherever they wished.

And that is the problem with our fine feathered friends and their penchant for having free reign in our gardens.  They look adorable when out on the lawn, scattered about in clumps of four or six in a group.  But they have no shame about what they leave behind—or who might step in it later.   

After an hour of putting their coop in order, I lured them all back with bits of bread.  Once locked in their run (which is generously sized, these are not abused birds by any stretch of the imagination), I spent the next two hours with the pressure washer, cleaning up the pavement after their last month of stomping wherever they wanted. 

I normally give them some time of wandering in the spring.  Their run is sheltered some from the sun, and the snow takes a while to melt.  I feel badly for them when the only place they can roam is mucky.  The plowed driveway and full southern exposures in the yard are always drier in late winter and early spring.

Lacrosse started later this year, and our schedules are still on COVID-time.  My hours of driving to games and practices have not yet returned to our normal levels.  So this year, I let the ladies strut around for longer.  I knew it would mean more work on my part–which means the silver lining for today goes to our hens!