Monday, December 27, 2010

CLUCK Report: Six Chickens vs. One Dog: What's the Scoop on Poop?

CLUCK concedes that large quantities of chicken manure can have a distinctive unpleasant odor. But the same can be said for most animal waste.

Whether dog feces smell worse than chicken manure is no doubt subjective, but according to one website an English Springer Spaniel would produce over 10,000 lbs of feces in its (average 12 year) lifetime. Yet, odds are we are unlikely to notice the smell of such a neighbor dog’s lifetime 5 tons of waste.

The daily output of manure from a hen is from .2 to .34 pounds per day. So six hens might produce somewhere between 1.2 and two pounds a day. Six average-sized hens (weighing about 7 lbs each) would cumulatively weigh about 42 pounds, as much as that one English Springer Spaniel, a popular mid-sized dog.

Those six hens, by contrast, would produce between 438 and 745 pounds of manure a year or 5,256 to 8,940 pounds total for all six hens over a 12 year period -- half to five sixths as much waste as a comparable weight dog. So, quantitatively at least, in terms of waste produced, six chickens would be generating considerably less than an average dog.

And bear in mind the chicken manure would be confined to the backyard, while dog waste is sometimes found along the sidewalks and streets throughout the neighborhood. Most dog owners are responsible, but we have all forgotten a bag at times, and when your dog's digestive system is not working properly there isn't always something that can be picked up.

No comments: