New chicken keeper - routine critique?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by megchickens, Mar 29, 2017.

  1. megchickens

    megchickens New Egg

    Mar 23, 2017

    We will be taking over a small flock of 4 laying hens from downsizing relatives. I am new to chicken keeping, so could I get a critique of my planned care routine.

    Let chickens out of coop into run
    Check food and water levels
    Clean poop off dropping boards
    Check for any issues/injuries with flock

    Let out of run and free range in backyard

    Back in coop for night
    Check water (using external water with chicken nipples into run)and feed levels

    Change bedding in coop and nest boxes
    Rake up soil in run
    Clean any poop
    Clean waterer and feeder

    Deep clean coop, run and feeder/waterer

  2. KingOfTheCoop02

    KingOfTheCoop02 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 7, 2017
    Sounds excellent, but I like to give the coop a sweep for droppings every day just to keep things nice! Also, sometime in the afternoon or after, I like to give my ladies a treat such as oats, but don't treat them in the morning so they eat layers' pellets and get a balanced diet before supplemental feed.
  3. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    Looks good to me, that's twice as much cleaning and food/water checking than I do. [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I don't keep food out 24/7. I think you wind up feeding a lot of rodents. So when I close up for the night, I check the feed bowl, I want it mostly empty, but not really bare. If there is a lot of feed, I feed less the next day, if it is empty, I feed a bit more. The amount of feed changes as the seasons change.

    Wasted food, is wasted money, keeping the feed edible and not feeding it to the rodents can make a big difference over time.

    Mrs K
    1 person likes this.
  5. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    You're very organized and that should serve you well. Your hens will have a good home and they will provide you with lots of fresh eggs, making the effort well worth it.

    The only suggestion I have is to recommend you consider fermenting your feed. This is an efficient way to maximize feed with practically zero waste, and there will be no food left at the end of the day to tempt rodents to move in.

    Fermented feed also has natural probiotics and will help to boost the health of your hens, prolonging their laying years. I currently have hens seven and eight years old still laying. Go over to the Feed and Watering your Flock forum to find the thread on how to ferment feed. It's very easy to do. Each chicken will consume approximately half a cup of fermented feed per day. My chickens get fed twice a day, first thing in the morning and then again in mid afternoon so their crops are full at bedtime.

    You will also need to provide oyster shell separate from their feed to meet their calcium needs if you haven't thought of it already.
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Random night checks with flashlite. Live trap(s) set in location you can see each time you go out.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!!

    Sounds like a great start!

    How you handle the poop, cleaning, and feed/water may depend on your coop setup and some personal preferences.
    You'll find some of the routine might need to change as you get some experience, so just stay flexible and have fun.

    Best of cLuck!!
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    You missed a very important part.....

    Collect eggs [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  9. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop

    Very good point.'s great to have a plan to start, but it's important not to get so focused on the plan that you become blind to changes that may make things better. This is certainly a jumping off point, and as you get into the first weeks/months you can adjust as you figure out what is or isn't working out

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