A Day in the Life…Would You Share?


In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 27, 2011
Waco, TX
Hi all! I am looking to add about 6 chicks (hopefully all ladies) to our family in the coming months. Would you mind sharing what an average day looks like for you caring for your chicks and/or chickens and what changes you might make depending on climate? I want to make sure I have a good picture of what I am getting myself into

Thanks so much!

My days are all different because I work retail and my schedule changes daily/weekly.

On days I have to open the store: I fill the outdoor waterer in my laundry room, and have that ready to go out with me. I am out at the coop by around 6:15-6:30 depending on the time due in at work. I put the waterer in it's spot, and by gosh don't change the location from the original one, or you will get looks

I open the pop door, and some run out, some are later sleepers,and will wait a bit. I clean off the poop board, check the food, to make sure there is enough. Take the indoor waterer and take it back up to the hose at the house, and clean it, and refill it. By now most are out.
That's it. May stand and enjoy and wish I could stay home and watch them, but drag my "you know what" back in, to get ready to leave. This takes about 20 minutes, unles I forget the key to the coop,and have to walk back up to the house, yet again! Feel real stupid when I do this!

On days I have to close the store, and go in at noon:

I usually get out to the coop with outdoor waterer already filled, and in hand, closer to about 7:30-8:00. The ladies are already up, and not happy they have had to wait on me. !!!

I open the pop door, and they literally see how many hens can fit through the pop door at the same time. It is always the same....1.

At night:

Mine go in when their clock tells them too. I wait until the last 2 on the pecking order are in, but need to give them a few, to get up on the roost, because if they hear the slider door, and haven't gotten up, they come running back out, to see what I might have for them.

Once they are in and somewhat settled, I close the pop door, and lock it from the outside first, then go into the coop. Lock it up from the inside. Check again on the food/water levels. Make a head count, and say goodnight, and thank them all for laying me some wonderful eggs.

Again, this takes 15-20 minutes.

EAsy to care for....

With all that said, I have not had an easy 6 months. I had one hen, that was so mean and I tried everything to try to make her civil with the others, and it just didn't work. She attacked them, and they were terrified to enter the coop. They couldn't eat if she was near. It was horrible for them, and I was so stressed for them. Now she was so sweet to me. Miss her. Good egg layer too.

I get through rehoming her, and I get a hen that had some sort of leg injury, bound egg, something?? Have been dealing with this for the last month it seems. She is getting better, and I am trying to get her back into the flock, but the 1st time I tried this, it was a disaster for her. She ended up bloody. This is my last ditch effort, and am trying the very slow, snail pace reintorduction way this time.

So...have I enjoyed them.....never in my wildest dreams did I EVER think I would enjoy chickens so darn much. They each have a personality, they are stress relievers, and they create stress sometimes. Many folks have no stress, I guess I just got lucky.

I have weighed the issues I have had to deal with, against not having them, and no way would I ever choose to not have them. I feel I am new, need to learn, This site is a God send. I read, I study, I look up, I ask. I enjoy, I love having them.

I had to plan for critter issues. That is a big concern.

Suggestion, do it right the first time. Better to be safe then sorry, that you didn't spend that extra money. Or make the run critter proof, or didn't plan on this or that happening. If it may be a situation, plan on it being one, and do it right.

I know you cannot predict what may or may not happen, but what I mean is, IF you know you have hawks, plan on it. IF you know you have dogs that run loose, then plan on it. IF, you are aware of something, plan accordingly.

I hope this helps. May have went over the top abit, LOL
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Way less work than a dog, cat, or horse. That said, mine are a fair amount of elective work because in the a.m. I move their tractor, set up feed, water and nest boxes in it, and then move the chickens from the coop to the tractor. In pm. the reverse. It feels like an effort but still takes not too much more than 5 minutes each transition.

Without the "moving around" daily care would still be 5-10 minutes of changing water, filling feeder, scraping poop boards into compost, and collecting eggs, opening and closing coop. I invested a large amount of time handling my baby chicks because I wanted super tame birds that could be caught promptly. Periodic chores like cleaning coop & run, refreshing bedding, dusting for mites/lice, wing clipping need to be added in.

Hanging out enjoying watching them do their thing is the big time eater. Oh, and they also have a social life, and I have to book visits from the neighbors.
I am up rather early. 4 am. I go out and open the coops at 5. I take the waterers up to the house and clean/refill inside. I put them in the runs and spread some scratch mixed with grit in the runs. I pet each sleepy chicken and wish I could stay home. I scrape the poo boards into a bucket as quietly as I can so they don't get to upset. Takes maybe 15 minutes including the quick pet.
I refill feeders and waterer about every 3 or 4 days. We don't get eggs yet (at that point we'll add daily egg collection to the routine) and our chickens learned on their own (after having to put 2 or 3 in one time) to go in at night and get on the roost. DH lets them out in the morning (maybe 30 seconds worth of time) and I shut them up at night. In between that I go out once or twice a day and throw them some treats and just spend some time with them.
My chickens free range. Every morning about 8-9:00 I go out with a bucket of feed, a loaf of bread/fruit/leftovers/cooked pasta, whatever I have. I open the door, they all barrel out like they haven't been fed in weeks, weaving in between my legs and tripping me lol. Sometimes I sit on the ground and just chill with them for a little bit.

Put down feed, check waterer, refill if needed. I also have ducks so dumping and refilling the kiddie pool takes an extra 15 min every other day. Then I feed the dogs and the cats lol.

So the chicken part might take 15 minutes, tops. At night, I go in the coop with a flashlight to make sure everybody's in, take the opportunity to pet the wilder ones that I can't usually catch. Then shut the door.

They are low maintenance, but you do get some drama if some don't get along or whatever. But they are really easy to care for, even as babies I love having them in the kitchen in a box. I have been known to hold baby chicks in a towel while watching tv, or even put them in the bed with me for a nap (on a towel of course). I even still will go out and bring my little d'uccle rooster in for a nap with me, he loves it.
Chickens are as easy or hard as you make it. I have a 3 year old and 11 year old. Some days I feel like I just can't deal with chickens too. Other days, no problem. If their coop/run/free-range area is secure (from predators) then feeding and watering really isn't a bid deal. Ours are more like pets. So then add play time and sitting with them...the same way you treat a cat or dog. Pets with benefits!
This is SO helpful! Thanks so much, everyone!!! I have taken care of several horses before, and I was hoping it wasn't as much work as that was, but I just wanted to be sure
I really think I can make this work and I know my son would love them too. I really, really appreciate your time and help!!

THANK YOU!!!!!!!
Up at 6:00 fill their water and food, carry it out to the run. We don't feed or water in the coop, trying to give rodents least incentive to break into alkatraz. I go into the coop to remove my hardware screen pop door insert, they head out when they're ready. If I'm off work I come out a few times a day just because I like them, if I'm at work that day they have to stay inside the coop with food and water on a platform since my run does not have a roof yet. After dinner my kids and I head out to feed them leftover dinner. The kids pet them and I watch them for any issues, making sure I see each one poop. I rake the bedding and go about my evening. After everyone ticks themselves in for the night I put the screen in, head count and say goodnight. If its cold pop door and window both get closed. Take the food trough and waterer back to the house and wash them out (rinse really). Mandatory 30 minutes daily, but I drag it out to a few hours just being back there. They bring me joy.

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