chickens are hard work

artsy1

Songster
8 Years
Sep 5, 2011
298
2
101
sarasota
I really love my hens, but I am finding it is so much work.
Getting up early to let them out. Rushing home at night to make sure they are locked up. Cleaning up the poop every week. Keeping the food filled, looking out for predators, keeping the water clean and filled.

I just got an automatic door, maybe this will help.
WOndering if I made the right decision. I just had 8 babies hatch and they will have to be introduced to the other grown hens eventually, so that is another project.
It's been a year now that I have had them, I do like the eggs, just am not sure it is worth all the work.
I also have 8 parakeets that I have been so busy with, 2 of them are just weaned babies, yesturday was thier last day on the formula.
My hubby and I couldn't go awat on our 20th. anniversary, because we didn't have a bird sitter..................ridiculous..
ANY NEW IDEAS TO MY SITUATION WOULD BE GREAT.

THANKS
 

nanaluvsgps

Songster
7 Years
Apr 5, 2012
287
3
108
Australia
well, what I have is a chook tractor so I don't have to worry about cleaning up the poo, i just drag it wen it gets dirty. I use a large feeder that can hold about half a bag full of seed and the only thing i have to do daily are the waters. I don't need to worry about closing the pen doors because we live on acerage but it is preettty residentiol. i hope the automatc door makes things easier for you!
 

fried green eggs

Songster
8 Years
Mar 25, 2011
1,905
76
181
S.E. Michigan
Well the auto-door is a great start. I love mine! You could get or build a bigger feeder and waterer for your chickens. I have a feeder that is big enough - it only has to be filled once a week and I got water nipples and made a 5 gal buckets into a waterers - only needs to be filled once a week. All nesting boxes are excessible from outside of coops so, asking someone to do bird chores is easy - just collect eggs. Good luck and hope you can make a few changes so, you can enjoy your chickens and get away when you want to.
 

Achickenwrangler#1

Songster
8 Years
Aug 7, 2011
2,431
102
183
west virginia
I am looking for an automatic door, anybody know a good one? Right now the chickens wait for me to open the door whenever I feel like it, they have food and water inside, and have adapted nicely to the arrangement. I have an automatic feeder for when I'm not there.
Farming isn't for everybody, that's why alot of people pay others to do it. Frankly it doesn't seem like much work for me, they do most of it and are usually out hunting bugs instead of eating feed and pooping in the coop.
 

devora

Songster
12 Years
Apr 9, 2007
1,168
31
206
Willits, CA Gateway to the Redwoods
Getting up early to let them out. Rushing home at night to make sure they are locked up. Cleaning up the poop every week. Keeping the food filled, looking out for predators, keeping the water clean and filled.

My hubby and I couldn't go awat on our 20th. anniversary, because we didn't have a bird sitter..................ridiculous..
I sympathize and agree: if my girls were this kinda work I'd eat 'em.

Your automatic door will probably help a lot.

Poop: Deep litter.

Food: Big feeder.

Predators: Most things that wanna kill yer birds come out at night. So relax. If they have places to run to they will hide. (And yeah, you might lose a bird but it's part of having 'em. The Not Fun part.)

Water: Go auto! A friend gave me a bowl that fills up like magic.

Vacation: There's a whole other thread going on about this right now. You'll find ideas there.

Good luck! It will get better b/c you'll figure out a way to make it easier or you'll have a lot of coq au vin!
 

dainerra

Crowing
8 Years
Jun 4, 2011
3,595
555
276
as others have said, it's only as easy or as hard as you make it!

Bigger feeder and/or multiple small feeders - I top mine off every couple of days, but if necessary I could fill it up to last 5 days
Auto water or more water bowls - I use 2 just in case one gets knocked over. I take an old Hi-C bottle to refill them every night.
Door - I don't have an auto-door, no electricity. It takes less than 3 minutes for me to walk out and open the door in the morning. Maybe 5 minutes at night because that is when I fill food/water/gather eggs.
Introducing birds - I pen them where they can get used to the sight/sound of each other. After a week or so, I put the new birds into the coop at night. I make sure that there are places for the new birds to hide and let them work it out. I keep an eye out for bloodshed, otherwise leave them be.

As for going away, it just depends on knowing someone responsible who needs a couple bucks. I fill the feeders, put out extra water, and pay the neighbor's 10yr old $20 to collect the eggs and open/close the pop door. He makes sure that the water stays filled and his mom gets a dozen+ eggs.
 

highpointfarm

Songster
7 Years
Feb 29, 2012
1,237
16
131
Orange County NY
No offense (I do sympathize with you) but you sound just like my dad did 2 years ago, telling me why we couldnt get chickens... heheheh and now look at us 36 and counting lol
 

DaughterOfEve

Songster
10 Years
Sep 3, 2009
652
26
181
Montague, MI
regarding the integrating new birds: dainerra is right about putting them where they can see each other. Use fencing or dog crates in the coop while the chicks are younger. I alway wait until new birds are the same size as the older ones before removing the barrier.
 

CarolJ

Dogwood Trace Farm
8 Years
Jun 3, 2011
2,003
97
173
Middle Tennessee
When I was using the hanging feeders and waterers, I felt the same way. Then I set up a water cup system. ..and made feeders out of 4-inch PVC pipe and plastic or rubber bowls. They'll hold at least a few days worth of food and are easy to fill. I have to re-fill food and water only every 3 or 4 days. When we go out of town, either our adult children or a young man in our church come by to check on the chickens and to gather eggs. We show them how to re-fill the food/water - and that takes only 15 minutes two or three times a week.

We use the deep litter method on the floor of the coop - and that means there's basically no upkeep. Well - once or twice a year I'll shovel it all out and start fresh. We have poop boards under the roosts, and we keep a mixture of sand and Sweet PDZ on them. Each morning, I spent less than 3-4 minutes using a child's long-handle plastic rake to rake the poop into a bucket - which I take outside and dump in a composting pile. If I'm busy, I'll skip a day or two here and there - and it's no big deal. There's still no smell. I like having a no-bad-smell chicken coop!

Opening the door each morning and closing it each night is a pain sometimes - especially when I want to sleep in - or if we want to go out for the evening. We're looking into getting automatic doors. However, I enjoy going out and seeing the chickens each morning and "putting them to bed" each night. Since I'm retired, I often want to travel with my husband on his business trips. So the automatic doors would be mostly to make it easier to manage the chickens when we are out of town.

So there are ways to make the daily chicken chores easier and less time-consuming. Find out what will work best for you, and go for it! Good luck!
 

CarolJ

Dogwood Trace Farm
8 Years
Jun 3, 2011
2,003
97
173
Middle Tennessee
Integrating new birds is pretty simple. I've done it several times in recent months. Put the new birds in a pen next to the others and let them see and hear each other for a few days. Then open up the door between the two pens and let them mingle with each other for a couple more days before closing off the smaller pen for good. It has worked great for me every time. There will be some pecking and squabbling. But unless they're drawing blood, leave them alone to work it out.
 
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