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Children and chicken chores? :o)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickylou, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. chickylou

    chickylou Songster

    Jan 29, 2009

    Any mothers with smaller children out there with chickens who do chicken chores? What do you allow them to do? What is safe for them to do in regards to feeding, handling, cleaning, etc.??

    I really want them to have a large part in helping to manage the chickens and even collect eggs and maybe sell them, give them as gifts to others (eating eggs, not baby chick eggs), etc...

    Any guidelines, rules, training tips?

    Greatly appreciated! [​IMG]

  2. chickylou

    chickylou Songster

    Jan 29, 2009
    OH! I forgot...

    I have a 13 year old, 11 year old, 10 year old, 6 year old, 3 year old and one that will get really excited in my arms! [​IMG]
  3. Keep your roosters and children away from each other !!!!
  4. EllyMae

    EllyMae Songster

    My six year old son LOVES to gather the eggs...he will say, Don't look Mommy, I want to be first to see. (meaning, he wants to find the eggs first, I'm not allowed to look at the nests before he does, lol)
    As far as my 14year old, well, she is either riding one of the horses or texting her friends...not much interest in my chickens except for when they are babies.
    I'm not a total germ-a-phobe when it comes to my animals...and I'm even a nurse.But I do keep the hand sanitizer handy for him and we do routine handwashing after chores.
  5. PamsPride

    PamsPride Songster

    Nov 19, 2008
    I have a 13, 11, 9, 6, 4 year old, and 2 week old. My 11 year old is 90% responsible for the chickens. 9 year old helps him out once in a while. My 6 and 4 year olds like to go out to the coop to help collect eggs too but, only once in a while. They are responsible to change the water and give them feed everyday and then he gets to go out and collect eggs at least 3 times a day. If it is really cold then I send them out more. I always make 13 yo or 9 yo go out with 11 yo if it is dark. My kids are near entirely responsible for the chickens.
    I have only had a problem with a RIR rooster attacking my 6 yo a couple years ago. But, my Black Jersey Giants have never gone after the kids. I have two BJG roos out there now.
  6. willowcol

    willowcol Songster

    Oct 10, 2008
    Macclesfield NC
    I also let my 14 and 11 year old handle alot of the chicken chores. They both feed water and collect eggs daily. I clean the coops and runs, just so I know I do it good.
  7. SpunkyChicken

    SpunkyChicken Songster

    Feb 1, 2009
    New Hampshire
    I started raising ducks on my own from the age of 7 (don't think chickens came into the picture until around 10 years but I actually found them easier to take care of!), so your 6 year old onwards should be able to handle most chicken chores. Then again I may have been more careful and responsible than other kids my age (I remember bringing some ducklings to my fifth grade class and letting a girl hold one, and she DROPPED him after 5 seconds...), so it really depends on what you believe your children as individuals are capable of. I have a LOT of little cousins and can safely say that while I would trust some of them with taking care of pet, that would certainly not hold true for others, even if they are the same age.

  8. B. Saffles Farms

    B. Saffles Farms Mr. Yappy Chickenizer

    Nov 23, 2008
    Madisonville, TN
    Im not a Mom but I am a Dad. I have a 9y/o son and a 3y/o daughter, she loves to pour feed into the chickens feeders, and fill the water bowls and collect the eggs. My son feeds and waters and checks for the eggs. They both really enjoy helping. My son will go out to check for eggs several times a day from his chickens, he has his own. The RIRs are my daughters so she gathers thier eggs. Its great to see them so interested in them.
  9. FrenchHen

    FrenchHen Chicken Ambassador

    Jan 26, 2009
    Bagshot Row
    My three year old harasses the pullets when we gather eggs, and he likes to feed scratch and pet the chickens. There's no rooster in the pen yet, so that will change when quarantine is over.
  10. RuffledFeathers

    RuffledFeathers In the Brooder

    Jan 30, 2009
    Issaquah, WA
    My 3 1/2 year old collects eggs with supervision, otherwise she heads off with them to "cook" in her play kitchen.
    She also tosses out scratch that is measured out for her, and she is in charge of shooing out the errant chickens that decide to come in the house.
    I think she is too young to do cleaning chores but really shows pride in feeding them, and we are teaching her which weeds/ flowers/ fruits are ok to give them, too. Portion control is not a 3-year-old's strong point, so never leave them with a full bag of feed; just portion out and let the kids decide distribution.
    The older hens are pretty clean and just get gentle pats on the back so I never worry about dirty hands, but we do more sanitizing when we have chicks.
    Take lots of pictures!

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