Daily routine with your flock

Kaesi2020

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Hi all, I am interested in hearing about the routines other people have with their chickens, like times and events for caring for them on a daily basis.

For example:

A typical day for me involves waking my 6 chickens up around 7:30. This involves opening the bottom coop door to let the hens out into the run. When I do this I pet them a bit and check them over quickly for any issues. I also use this time to freshen their water and food and put them down in the run with them.
During the week, I have work on and off throughout the day (I am a second grade teacher teaching remotely due to the virus so I have availability of and off until around 3) so depending on my schedule, I basically let them out to free range whenever I can supervise (may be 9 to 10, may be 12 to 2, etc). During their free range time, I do coop and run cleaning. I am using the deep litter method in the run so I may sprinkle some grass clippings or pine shavings over the larger poops. I basically just spend a few minutes freshening up the run for them. I am using the deep bedding method in the coop so I scoop out the poops in there and add a fresh layer of bedding in certain areas. This cleaning takes about 15 minutes. I like to do it each day since I have the time currently to do so. After that, I spend some time with the chickens in the yard and then they usually go back in the run for a few hours so I can do more chores and school work inside the house.
I let them free range again from about 5 to 7. They tend to sit with me at this time on my chair which is very cute (my two buff orpingtons sit in my lap like lap dogs and the others perch on the chair arms). Between 7 and 730 they know to go in the run, relax, and slowly move up to their coop. During that time, I am in the house, making dinner, etc.
I'll come back out at around 8 to make sure they are all in the coop, they have their waterer refreshed and back in the coop with them, and I lock everything down for the night. I am still leaving food for them in the coop at night but I'm thinking of stopping this to prevent pests.

What does a typical day look like for you???
 

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Acre4Me

Crossing the Road
Nov 12, 2017
6,065
17,509
817
Western Ohio
Summer: we let them out around 630am. Large run area. 5 gallon waterer checked and refreshed if needed. Smaller bell waterer always needs refreshed. We open the nest box area. We have it blocked off due to younger chicks that want to sleep there before they fully get accepted, and two currently broody hens. They do not free range outside their large run bc my garden is right out side their run and I preferentially want to enjoy the garden vs the chickens, who will obliterate it in short order. Although, when the garden winds down they are allowed back out.

winter: similar except their waterer is on a heated base in the coop, they get let out later, and get the chaMcD to explore the empty garden.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,323
20,227
907
Southeast Louisiana
I feed and water inside and outside. I have a flock with a rooster, some hens, and usually juveniles of some age. I go down around 9:00 to feed, water, and open the pop door. This may or may not include a separate grow-out coop or chicks in a brooder in my coop. That part varies.

Around 4:30 I again feed and water and collect eggs, checking under a brood for new eggs if I have a broody hen.

After dark I go down and shut the pop door and check that they are all where they are supposed to be. I check for late eggs. That's a typical day.

I scrape my droppings boards as needed. Depending in how many chickens I have and how humid the weather is that might be once a week or once every 6 weeks.

There are special days or times. When I think they are ready I put zip ties on their legs so I can identify them. When I'm trying to determine which pullet is laying which egg so I can decide which to keep and which to eat I'm often down there three or four times a day extra. I occasionally check that the zip ties are not too tight check and for mites and lice. I'm down there 8 or 9 days a year when I butcher some. Broodies and their chicks or eggs in my incubator or chicks in my brooder in the coop require some special time. Many days in summer I take stuff from the garden down to them during the day. When the algae starts growing in the waterers I wash them with a bleach solution, maybe three or four times a year. When the grass and weeds need it I mow in their area surrounded with electric netting so the good stuff can grow, again three or four times a year. When I catch a predator in my trap I have to deal with that, maybe 8 to 10 raccoons a year.

But your question was my typical routine. My typical routine is three trips down there a day probably a little less than a half hour a day in total. Most of this other stuff has to do with my goals and how I manage them.
 

Kaesi2020

Songster
Premium Feather Member
I feed and water inside and outside. I have a flock with a rooster, some hens, and usually juveniles of some age. I go down around 9:00 to feed, water, and open the pop door. This may or may not include a separate grow-out coop or chicks in a brooder in my coop. That part varies.

Around 4:30 I again feed and water and collect eggs, checking under a brood for new eggs if I have a broody hen.

After dark I go down and shut the pop door and check that they are all where they are supposed to be. I check for late eggs. That's a typical day.

I scrape my droppings boards as needed. Depending in how many chickens I have and how humid the weather is that might be once a week or once every 6 weeks.

There are special days or times. When I think they are ready I put zip ties on their legs so I can identify them. When I'm trying to determine which pullet is laying which egg so I can decide which to keep and which to eat I'm often down there three or four times a day extra. I occasionally check that the zip ties are not too tight check and for mites and lice. I'm down there 8 or 9 days a year when I butcher some. Broodies and their chicks or eggs in my incubator or chicks in my brooder in the coop require some special time. Many days in summer I take stuff from the garden down to them during the day. When the algae starts growing in the waterers I wash them with a bleach solution, maybe three or four times a year. When the grass and weeds need it I mow in their area surrounded with electric netting so the good stuff can grow, again three or four times a year. When I catch a predator in my trap I have to deal with that, maybe 8 to 10 raccoons a year.

But your question was my typical routine. My typical routine is three trips down there a day probably a little less than a half hour a day in total. Most of this other stuff has to do with my goals and how I manage them.
Thanks! I have not heard of that zip tie technique before but that makes a lot of sense! I hope as time goes on (I'm a first time chicken owner and I have six 8 week old hens) I learn ways to streamline the cleaning process!
 

Kaesi2020

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Summer: we let them out around 630am. Large run area. 5 gallon waterer checked and refreshed if needed. Smaller bell waterer always needs refreshed. We open the nest box area. We have it blocked off due to younger chicks that want to sleep there before they fully get accepted, and two currently broody hens. They do not free range outside their large run bc my garden is right out side their run and I preferentially want to enjoy the garden vs the chickens, who will obliterate it in short order. Although, when the garden winds down they are allowed back out.

winter: similar except their waterer is on a heated base in the coop, they get let out later, and get the chaMcD to explore the empty garden.
We are still making our nesting boxes for our 8 week old hens and look forward to fresh eggs in the next few months!
 

texsuze

Songster
8 Years
Dec 17, 2012
239
369
174
Texas Hill Country
I try to get to the barn around 8am each morning. Open Bertha's run door (coop is inside my barn) and let out those 3 hens. Open the Big Girls' run door (coop is outside underneath the roof overhang) and let out my other 3 hens.
Set out "plates" (plastic yogurt, etc. lids) of seeds and soldier fly dried larvae as treats. I might also have chopped grapes, yogurt, baby food, watermelon, depending.
Feed my oldster retired horse. Clean Bertha's coop; leave door open to her run. Clean the Big Girls' coop and close the main door to run. Open the Little Red Door which exits out into a turnout pen and pasture.
Clean the horse stall and turnout pen. Dump manure into spreader.
Replace/refresh/clean any chicken water/horse water buckets as needed (I have 6 chicken waters throughout the barn/pasture/chicken runs/free range area).
Prepare my horse's p.m. meal. Tell my girls where I'll be today;) Hens will free-range during the day, with access to the barn, barnyard, and barn pasture.
Summer: walk my oldster horse out to one of the summer pastures. Winter: he stays in the barn pasture.
Around 5 pm (4 pm in winter), get to the barn. More treats for girls, collect eggs.
Summer: walk out to summer pasture to collect my horse; walk him back to barn; feed/hay/soaked hay cubes. Visit with hens, wet down the dirt under bushes for them to get cool, make daily journal entry for horse and hens. Hens go to bed around 7:15 p.m. Ice packs in coops/fans on.
Winter: let horse back into his turnout/stall; feed/hay/soaked hay cubes. Girls go to bed around 4:30 or 5 p.m. Daily journal entries. Barn/coops secured for weather.
All seasons: 9:30 p.m. Nite Check at the barn for my oldster horse; feed soaked hay cubes, check hay & water. Check for uninvited critters. All fans off at nite check.
Next day, rinse and repeat!
 

U_Stormcrow

Crowing
Jun 7, 2020
2,137
4,837
326
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
Wander down past the barn after my second cup of coffee (usually a bit after 7am) to where the hen house and fenced enclosure are attached. Open the enclosure door to allow them to rush out and free-range. (The house has its own full sized door, which I've generally left open, except for weather.) Watch the rush for any signs of unusual behavior.

Use the opportunity to swish and dump dirty water from the automatic dog feeder the ducks use as watering bowl, check the chicken cups for contaminates or leaks, clean/tighten as need. Glance at the 275gal tote collecting rainwater for the birds to drink, and the duck pond. Start filling either from the well, if needed.

Wander back to the front of the barn, unlock and slide open the doors. Check on the littles in the brooder. Replace their food, empty and refill he three water containers - vinegar in one, nutrient/supplement in the other two when I have birds that require it, like the Cornish. Put off cleaning out the bedding until the second and fourth weekend if I can, do it immediately if the little hellions have managed to spill both food and water into the same location. Adjust the height of the heat lamp as needed for the day.

Grab a small bowl of bird seed and another of cracked corn from the barrels, toss them out wherever I'd prefer my bigger birds free range that day.

Go about the rest of the morning.

If its warm enough, dry enough, and the air still enough, I'll bring some of the larger "littles" out to spend time with the older flock around mid day, while I take a break and clean up.

Go about the rest of my afternoon.

Return any "littles" to their brooder, if they are out. Consider the weather - if its turning ugly I'll shoo the bigger birds back into their enclosure and shut the gate, but leave the hen house door open. If needed, I'll adjust the heat lamp for the "littles", though we've not been seeing big temperature swings this month.

Go about my evening.

Around dusk, I'll make a final heat lamp adjustment for the "littles", add feed to the gravity system in the hen house if the bigger birds didn't get enough range time, and take a head count to ensure no one has gone rogue. Close the hen house door if the we are expecting rough weather overnight, otherwise, it remains open.

I don't expect to be looking for eggs until mid October at the earliest, this is my first time and I'm learning as I go, but the nesting boxes (7) are built onto the side of the hen house at my eye level - I plan to twist the lock, open the wide swing down door,and check for eggs after I've let the flock out and checked on their water. I have ducks, too, and they will apparently drop eggs anywhere, so I'm still debating where to hang the egg basket - I just know I'll be bringing it to the front of the barn when I go to see to the littles, and to the house (RV presently) thereafter, then back again in the evening when I bring out the day's scraps for composting and begin the process of rounding up the birds.

Learning a lot, reading the other responses, thank you.
 

Kaesi2020

Songster
Premium Feather Member
I try to get to the barn around 8am each morning. Open Bertha's run door (coop is inside my barn) and let out those 3 hens. Open the Big Girls' run door (coop is outside underneath the roof overhang) and let out my other 3 hens.
Set out "plates" (plastic yogurt, etc. lids) of seeds and soldier fly dried larvae as treats. I might also have chopped grapes, yogurt, baby food, watermelon, depending.
Feed my oldster retired horse. Clean Bertha's coop; leave door open to her run. Clean the Big Girls' coop and close the main door to run. Open the Little Red Door which exits out into a turnout pen and pasture.
Clean the horse stall and turnout pen. Dump manure into spreader.
Replace/refresh/clean any chicken water/horse water buckets as needed (I have 6 chicken waters throughout the barn/pasture/chicken runs/free range area).
Prepare my horse's p.m. meal. Tell my girls where I'll be today;) Hens will free-range during the day, with access to the barn, barnyard, and barn pasture.
Summer: walk my oldster horse out to one of the summer pastures. Winter: he stays in the barn pasture.
Around 5 pm (4 pm in winter), get to the barn. More treats for girls, collect eggs.
Summer: walk out to summer pasture to collect my horse; walk him back to barn; feed/hay/soaked hay cubes. Visit with hens, wet down the dirt under bushes for them to get cool, make daily journal entry for horse and hens. Hens go to bed around 7:15 p.m. Ice packs in coops/fans on.
Winter: let horse back into his turnout/stall; feed/hay/soaked hay cubes. Girls go to bed around 4:30 or 5 p.m. Daily journal entries. Barn/coops secured for weather.
All seasons: 9:30 p.m. Nite Check at the barn for my oldster horse; feed soaked hay cubes, check hay & water. Check for uninvited critters. All fans off at nite check.
Next day, rinse and repeat!
Your animals sound so well cared for! What a thorough job you do for them all. Really appreciate hearing the break down of your day. Is checking for eggs in the afternoon the best time? Mine don't lay yet but they will in another month or so I think so any info is helpful.
 

Kaesi2020

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Wander down past the barn after my second cup of coffee (usually a bit after 7am) to where the hen house and fenced enclosure are attached. Open the enclosure door to allow them to rush out and free-range. (The house has its own full sized door, which I've generally left open, except for weather.) Watch the rush for any signs of unusual behavior.

Use the opportunity to swish and dump dirty water from the automatic dog feeder the ducks use as watering bowl, check the chicken cups for contaminates or leaks, clean/tighten as need. Glance at the 275gal tote collecting rainwater for the birds to drink, and the duck pond. Start filling either from the well, if needed.

Wander back to the front of the barn, unlock and slide open the doors. Check on the littles in the brooder. Replace their food, empty and refill he three water containers - vinegar in one, nutrient/supplement in the other two when I have birds that require it, like the Cornish. Put off cleaning out the bedding until the second and fourth weekend if I can, do it immediately if the little hellions have managed to spill both food and water into the same location. Adjust the height of the heat lamp as needed for the day.

Grab a small bowl of bird seed and another of cracked corn from the barrels, toss them out wherever I'd prefer my bigger birds free range that day.

Go about the rest of the morning.

If its warm enough, dry enough, and the air still enough, I'll bring some of the larger "littles" out to spend time with the older flock around mid day, while I take a break and clean up.

Go about the rest of my afternoon.

Return any "littles" to their brooder, if they are out. Consider the weather - if its turning ugly I'll shoo the bigger birds back into their enclosure and shut the gate, but leave the hen house door open. If needed, I'll adjust the heat lamp for the "littles", though we've not been seeing big temperature swings this month.

Go about my evening.

Around dusk, I'll make a final heat lamp adjustment for the "littles", add feed to the gravity system in the hen house if the bigger birds didn't get enough range time, and take a head count to ensure no one has gone rogue. Close the hen house door if the we are expecting rough weather overnight, otherwise, it remains open.

I don't expect to be looking for eggs until mid October at the earliest, this is my first time and I'm learning as I go, but the nesting boxes (7) are built onto the side of the hen house at my eye level - I plan to twist the lock, open the wide swing down door,and check for eggs after I've let the flock out and checked on their water. I have ducks, too, and they will apparently drop eggs anywhere, so I'm still debating where to hang the egg basket - I just know I'll be bringing it to the front of the barn when I go to see to the littles, and to the house (RV presently) thereafter, then back again in the evening when I bring out the day's scraps for composting and begin the process of rounding up the birds.

Learning a lot, reading the other responses, thank you.
You sound like a seasoned professional! Very organized. I like your idea of throwing seeds out where you want the hens to scratch when free ranging, I am going to try that!
 

Kaesi2020

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Summer: we let them out around 630am. Large run area. 5 gallon waterer checked and refreshed if needed. Smaller bell waterer always needs refreshed. We open the nest box area. We have it blocked off due to younger chicks that want to sleep there before they fully get accepted, and two currently broody hens. They do not free range outside their large run bc my garden is right out side their run and I preferentially want to enjoy the garden vs the chickens, who will obliterate it in short order. Although, when the garden winds down they are allowed back out.

winter: similar except their waterer is on a heated base in the coop, they get let out later, and get the chaMcD to explore the empty garden.
Thanks! I will have to look into a heated base for waterer too as the winters here in upstate NY can be brutal and long.
 

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