how much human time?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by gotpoodle, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. gotpoodle

    gotpoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2009
    Central Mass
    I haven't gotten my chickens yet, still researching, but I'm wondering how much human one-on-one time your chickens get each day?
    I've never had outdoor birds, just pet parrots that need CONSTANT attention, play time and socialization. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I'm looking to get just 3-4 hens in a suburban coop and run, with a few hours of free range in the afternoons on my one acre.
    So beyond cleaning/feeding chores, how much human interaction do they need to be happy birds??
    ie, on cold snowy days, can I stay inside with my cup of tea and a good book without feeling guilty that they're outside alone all day?!
    Still trying to wrap my head around having animals that aren't in my space ~ and my lap!~ all day.
    What's your daily chicken routine?
  2. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    I work from home, so I spend WAY more time with pets than necessary. I probably hang out in the coop, feed & haul water for 15 min. to one hour each morning and the same in the evening. In the summer, I sit in a chair in the run and let hens jump up on my lap for cuddles. In the Michigan winters? That's when 15 minutes MUST suffice! Brrr!
    Chickens are flock animals. We humans are not as important as we think. Only as important as we want to be. I have 15 two-day old chicks in with a broody hen. I am soooo happy to hang out with her. I know she appreciates the tasty tidbits that I bring her, but really, I think she'd just as soon see me leave. [​IMG]
  3. Domestic_goddess

    Domestic_goddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2009
    I think about 10 minutes each day for touching and talking to, if you want them tame, if not they don't need that much. I go out in the mornings let them out, feed and water, it takes 5 minutes max. My buff orp babies (8-9 weeeks old) seem to want my attention more then any other chickens we have, although I have one favorite barred rock named Maybell and she has to follow me every where I go and likes to sit on my lap. Good luck!

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 14, 2008
    I doubt very much that chickens experience anything like human happiness.
    They're livestock. They need adequate food, water & shelter Other than that they really don't "need" any human contact.
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Before I turn my chickens loose for the day I scatter their morning treat. I scatter it in a different location each day. They have learned to go check each of the different locations until they find it. Somedays I don't scatter it, but keep it in my pocket so after they check everywhere else they come running back to me.
    On nice days and if I'm feeling well I spend some time with them in the mornings, just picking up different ones and talking to them. I use this as a opportunity to do a quick health check on them.
    In the late afternoon I will often find where they are free ranging and sit out there watching them and enjoying nature. I do that for me, not the chickens.
    I check feed and water levels in the AM and add feed and clean waterers in the afternoon. Ten minutes max. each time. I gather my eggs at those times as well.
    Off and on during the day they will come to the kitchen door and "knock". I visit with them for a few minutes while I find something tasty for them to snack on.
  6. Eggie and Me

    Eggie and Me Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2009
    Southern California
    I've never had outdoor birds, just pet parrots that need CONSTANT attention, play time and socialization. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I did exotic rescue for 20+ yrs and baby chicks are nothing like baby and or mature parrots. Thank Goodness. We have 7 16 day old chicks. 4 Rhode Island Reds and 3 Barred Rocks. I don't work (except with all our animals) but as far as "time" it's been really easy. I then to hoover, so I go in a minimum of 3 times a day when I sit on the floor and hand feed the girls. They are really rather independent but get obviously excited when then hear my voice. They DON"T freak out when you leave the room and they start interacting with each other from just about the beginning...
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Zero [​IMG]

    That is why you have a buncha chickens, not just one or two. Assuming they have sufficient living room that their social interactions are positive rather than, say, cannibalistic, all chickens really need is chickens.

    So, go get some [​IMG]

    Have fun,

  8. thesteven

    thesteven Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 25, 2009
    yep, chickens dont need ya love,just food N water,though one of my sexlinks follows me, even after her pens been feed, she goes to the corner and walks back and forth till i come in and hand feeder her, need me no, spoiled and used to treats everyday YES. also got a white rooster thst stays close to me ever since the hawk tried to get in cage. doubt it needs me, just knows im higher than the hawk on food chart.
  9. flakey chick

    flakey chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2007
    Sometimes its hard to get used to just how much they don't need. That's why we got chickens. We work too much to have a dog or cat. As far as *needing* human contact, they really don't have a social need for it, but it is good to spend a little time with each so you will notice when something is wrong and you can notice when a bird has any changes. Handling them gives you an opportunity to check for mites, sour crop, etc. and get them used to being handled.

    That makes it sound like they don't make satisfying pets, but they do. It may be nice to have your dog run to meet you when you get home, but my chickens will come flying to meet me. That is a great feeling. [​IMG]
  10. Chicken Fruit

    Chicken Fruit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Echo Homestead
    My chicks were in the house with us in their brooder until about 3-4 weeks, then the brooder goes elsewhere as they ened a new big one by that point, and then out to the coop. They see me during the day when I come to let them out and in, feed and water them and give them treats.

    In all its probably an hour of one on one time a day. Theyre ridiculously friendly, like to be held, and follow me about the yard.

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