whta are the time commitments

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by awsomechickdude, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. awsomechickdude

    awsomechickdude Hatching

    Nov 3, 2008
    I am researching wether or not to get chickens for my house. I need to know what the time commitments are for raising chicks, and once the chicks are grown, how much time will they require.
  2. TerriLaChicks

    TerriLaChicks Crowing

    Apr 23, 2008
    Central Louisiana
    Well, like any newborn animal, they need feed and warmth and shelter & to be protected until they feather out & are bigger.

    I currently have 3 six month old hens who just started laying, 3 - three week olds in a brooder outside, and my 5 babies who just hatched out this weekend in another brooder in the house.

    They all get fresh water twice a day, feeders checked a day-I keep their feeders filled all of the time so they can eat whenever they want to, & the babies' brooders get changed bedding once a day (they are on newspaper & paper towels.

    It takes me about 10 minutes to clean & feed the brooders chicks, morning & evening.
    The older hens about the same I guess. I clean out their coop once a week.

    & I spend extra time handling them, talking to them & feeding treats so they will stay tame. To me, I enjoy the pleasure of spending time with them & watching them & listening to them-it is a nice way to wind down & de-stress for a bit.
  3. Pumpkinpup

    Pumpkinpup Poultry Princess

    Jul 16, 2008
    North-West Georgia
    If you get birds that are pretty much already grown and ready to produce then your time commitment will be very minimal. Just to feed, water and do a quick once over to see that nothing is amiss.
    I would guess it might take you around 15 to 20 minutes at most.
  4. kodiakchicken

    kodiakchicken Songster

    Apr 18, 2008
    Kodiak, Alaska
    We have five hens and three ducks that are six months old. Other than cleaning out their coops once a week or two, they don't really take that much time. They did take more time as babies, mainly because I brooded them in the house and changed their bedding a lot.

    We let them out in the morning (they free range), make sure they have food and water and just let them be. The chickens put themselves to bed at night but we have to herd the ducks in. That's about it. Except that lately they've been roaming far and wide (we don't have fence) so occassionally we have to find them and herd them back to the yard. I've gotten very good at poultry and fowl wrangling. Now if I could just find a horse small enough for the job! [​IMG]

    They don't take much time, but you have to be consistent with the time they do take. You can't just leave them be for days at a time.

    And be forwarned, you will want to spend tons of time with the babies!!!
  5. alalele

    alalele Songster

    Mar 21, 2008
    Livingston Parish, LA
    It really depends on how obsessive you are [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Whether it's baby chicks or adult birds you need to tend to them at least twice a day... morning and evenings for feedings and cleaning up waste, etc.

    With the chicks...Setting them up so that the light (heat source) is in the right place, etc. Just getting set up takes time gathering supplies.. not to mention reading up on everything. You can see why this website is so busy!!

    With older birds that can be outside.. well, I still check on them no less than twice a day (or when I hear distress calls... my rooster sees something and calls out at least once a day sometimes it's a neighbor cat I have to chase off). Check water, food, and little clean ups where needed. Occasionally spending time reinforcing the coop and run... Oh and yeah... the time and material needed to build the facilities. You can be super organized and prepare way in advance or like me.. I just have adapted and learned and figured things out as the need came up.

    Over time it becomes 2nd nature and requires less time commitment. You'll know there are message boards like this one to go and ask questions or help others.

    You'll also find them relaxing and pleasant pets to be around. I enjoy it when I'm letting them freerange and I go outside and they all come running and flapping and flying toward me. then they follow me around when I'm working in the yard. It makes yard work lots of fun. I was up on a ladder the other day and my fave EE hen flew up and perched on my shoulder for a visit.. it was sweet! They like to jump in my lap to be pet and eat out of my hand and it's really neat.

    In general, they can take a bare minimum of time once established or when you have free time you will probably find yourself outside enjoying them. It's a great way to a start of the day, and end the day... hope that helps! But you won't know how it will be for yourself unless you try.
  6. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    I bet once you get the chickens your going to want to spend more time than is actually required! They grow on you! We got them because we wanted the eggs and we knew what we were feeding them. Now I spend hours outdoors with them just talking to them and watching them. They don't require much time at all. Just enough time to give them fresh water/food daily or every other day if you get the big feeders/waterers. My water lasts longer than two days but I do refill every two days at LEAST so they have fresh water. If it's warm outdoors I change it every day. Who wants to drink old dirty water? And than I change their bedding in their 8x8 coop once a year. Change below the roost every other day and add about 1/4 to 1/2 of a bag of pine shavings every other week just to freshen it up.
  7. purr

    purr Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    east freetown, ma
    I think the biggest part of the commitment is remembering that you just can't run off and go on that weekend trip unless you have reliable chickensitters . And with my set up I make sure I'm home every single evening to close up the coop before dark so no predators can get them.And I do a head count because they free range all day.

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