how much of your time to chicks and chickens take?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by norahsmommy, May 27, 2010.

  1. norahsmommy

    norahsmommy In the Brooder

    My husband really wants to start raising chickens this year. Not a lot of them, probably 5-8. I just want to be prepared and make sure we can handle chickens. I have 3 small kids to tend to and a large garden so I don't want to get chickens and then discover they take up too much time. So how much time to you spend tending to your birds?
  2. fastpat

    fastpat Songster

    The required time, accepting that you have the equipment, brooder set up before they arrive, temp well controlled; then I'd say about 30 minutes tops, split between at least two or three visits. I did more than that, despite having a remote temp monitoring capability. I probably spent over an hour each day when they were very young, to socialize them to human contact and because they're fun to watch.
  3. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Songster

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    Once you have everything set up, 5 - 8 chickens shouldn't take much of your time. It's the setting up that takes time, energy, and money. Once, i had 6 chickens, when i was a newbie at this, and would say you could probably take care of them in 15 minutes a day. Maybe add 15 minutes once a week to do check-ups. If you have them free-ranging, maybe even less time.

    Also, if you have your chickens free ranging, protect your garden from them.

    I think you will discover that raising chickens is great fun, and you will want to spend more time with them....and your kids will be fascinated by them.


    edited to add: Fastpat is right about their taking up more time when they're babies. As they grow, they'll be less dependent on you. If you don't want to spend the time on babies, though, you might consider getting a few full grown layers from someone nearby you. Just make sure you're buying young layers, not some old biddies that the seller is unloading on you because they're not laying well anymore. [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 27, 2010
  4. NancyP

    NancyP Songster

    Mar 28, 2009
    My kids take very little time. I have 42 chickens in the coop and 8 in our toddler pen . 12 ducks in their pen and 8 turkeys in the brooder and duck and chicken eggs in the incubator. They take very little time. Each morning I let them all out to free range for the day and check food and water, this takes about 15 minutes. Then after lunch I collect eggs and check food and water again, this takes about 5-15 minutes. Then at night we put every one back in their pens for the night. This can be about 10 minutes or longer if they decide to be stubborn. So they don't take much time and our 5 yr old son loves to help out. Collecting the eggs is his favorite thing. Hope this was helpful to you.
  5. dreamwallaby

    dreamwallaby Songster

    Apr 18, 2010
    Camden County NJ
    I have 2 young kids, 5yrs and 16months and another due in Sept. I don't find the chicks to be very much work at all. Honestly, THEY are my stress relievers. My chicks are young, 2.5 wks, so I put them in the outdoor pen in the morning, give food and water and then bring them in at night give food and water. That is about 15min in am and pm. Even scoopong out the brooder only takes a few minutes. After my kids go to sleep I sit and watch the chicks or I bring one upstairs and watch tv while I pet it and swap out which chick I'm holding on commercials. It's extremly relaxing and I love them! It's a nice way to spend that last hr before bed.
  6. Sphinx

    Sphinx Songster

    May 10, 2010
    If you're "free ranging" your chickens for a bit during the day, and the chickens DON'T want to go back to their enclosed area, and you have a five and three year old "helping" you round them up at the end of the day, it can be a bit time consuming.[​IMG]
  7. greathorse

    greathorse Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    Northern Colorado
    I see no reason why 8 birds would take more than a few minutes per day. Cleaning the coop, making changes etc. are things that can be done as needed and in general are just an excuse to mess around with the chickens. I use deep litter and have not cleaned the coop in over a year.

    Time required is not the issue, time wasted is a different matter.
  8. SugarDuck

    SugarDuck Songster

    May 12, 2010
    Lamar, AR.
    I would say stick to chickens though and don't get ducks. We have 6 kids and I think brooding ducks and cleaning up after them takes more time than anything. Chickens are nothing in comparison. I agree with everyone else that when they are younger there is more involved than being older. Then comes coop maintenance, which is usually not that bad or time consuming.
  9. 3chimama

    3chimama Songster

    May 8, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    It takes me about 5 minutes in the morning to go let the girls out to free range, make sure they have enough food/water...

    I take longer in the evening to let them in and lock up, and spend time with them and observe to make sure everyone is doing well, gather the eggs and again check food/water.

    I try and scoop poop in the morning just so it is clean when they come in at night.
  10. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    It depends on whether or not the feeders are full that day. It takes longer the more pens that you have, because each one will need a feeder and waterer. Right now I've got 3 pens to take care of, takes me probably 10-15 minutes every morning.

    I have a feeder in each pen, plus one in the yard for everyone when they free range.
    I have a water bucket in each pen, plus 1 in the front yard, 1 in the house for the dogs, and 1 that is connected to an auto-supply for the free rangers. Filling up all the water buckets is my least favorite chore really, but it's also the most important. If their feeder runs out they can manage on the yard until I get home from work, but the penned birds can't get to the auto-water supply if they run out -- so can't let that happen!!! I haven't had much luck with auto water systems, that's why I have buckets everywhere.

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