Keeping chickens is a lot of fun. I enjoy watching the girls run around. I enjoy them searching for bugs. And one of my favorites is when one of the girls finds a big juicy bug, and the others chase her around the pen. After providing all this entertainment, they still provide eggs, pest control and fertilizer. What a wonderful animal.
So what do I do on a daily basis to keep the coop running? Quite frankly, not much.
- I check their food and water daily. If I know I’m going somewhere for an entire day, I make sure everything is topped off before I go. If it is really hot out, I go out several times throughout the day to add ice cubes to their water. If it is super cold, we add hot water to prevent freezing, so they have water to drink.
- I use a deep-bedding method. So every day (or every other day) I add some fresh straw to the coop. The straw (wood chips work even better, but I have more access to straw) soaks of the nitrogen of the chicken poop. This become very yummy worm food, and gives you super healthy soil. I clean this out every 3 to 6 months (this takes an hour or more) As this composts down gives you girls some heat in the winter.
- I collect yummy eggs.
- In the winter, I shut the coop up at night to keep the heat in, and in the morning I open it back up.
These are the only things I do. So maybe 15 minutes a day, at most. But it is every day. This is also after everything is built (which took a lot of time). I also really enjoy my girls, so I will go out just to spend time with them and watch them be chickens. When they see me coming they actually run to the fence to greet me (or maybe they are looking for some kitchen scraps I usually bring).
I have plans to move them to a shifting paddock system in the future. (I will write more about this in the future). This will take a bit of time every week, but not much.
If you want to take a step toward simplicity, and you want to get closer to providing more for yourself, I recommend chickens.