Time in this case refers to the number of hours you need to spend on caretaking chores every day. Fortunately, some of the major tasks such as building a chicken coop are only done once. Make sure that you have completed building your chicken coop before you acquire the birds.
The amount of time spent on chickens housing will depend on factors such as the scope of the project, how many birds you want to rear, your building skills or ability to hire professional help, and the number of hours you can devote to the project every day.
So how much time should you spare every day for your chickens?
Plan to spend a minimum of 15 minutes every morning and evening to tend to a small flock of chickens unless you want to spend more time observing them scurry around the yard.
You should always check on your flock at least twice every day even when you have installed automatic chickens feeders and waterers. When your hens start laying eggs make sure to collect the eggs at least once a day. This is a simple task that will only take a few minutes at most.
Remember to always attend to the chickens’ needs and requirements before they sleep at night and when they wake up in the morning. Chickens require at least 14 hours of daylight and 10 hours of darkness at most. You can install and adjust artificial lighting in winter to accommodate the required schedule. Keep in mind that turning on the lights while you do other chores can be quite stressful to the chickens.
Cleaning is another time-consuming task that you must factor into your schedule. You should prepare for additional cleaning time once a week. For a few chickens, cleaning may take an hour or less.
It basically involves simple tasks such as shoveling manure, washing the water containers, adding clean litter, and of course refilling the feed bins. You can do the more intensive cleaning duties every few months depending on the number of chickens you keep and the type of housing you have built for them.
Keeping more chickens does not necessarily mean that you’ll have to spend a lot of daily time on them unless you have a really large number. For example, a chicken coop of around 25 meat chickens will only increase your caretaking time by just a few minutes compared to a chicken coop of 5 egg-laying hens.