Join Backyard Poultry magazine in our video series, Chickens in a Minute, as we answer frequently asked questions about how to raise a healthy backyard chicken flock. This video answers: what do chickens need? This is important to know, especially if you’re just thinking about starting a flock. Chickens are hardy creatures that are lower maintenance than many house pets, but they do need some basic care that requires a time commitment.
So, what do chickens need? Each morning your chickens need to be let out. At that time, it’s a good idea to give them a once over, or a comb to toe checkup, to make sure they’re healthy and active.
At night, your chickens should return to roost, but you’ll need to close the coop to keep out chicken predators.
Daily food and water are a must have. For food, large feeders are convenient and should be refilled as needed. Clean, fresh water needs to be available all day, every day.
Also on the list of daily chores is egg collecting, and you should know, that not all your chickens will lay in the morning, so it’s a good idea to check on those nesting boxes whenever you’re at the coop. Once you’ve got those eggs, remember to store them properly.
Monthly, give the coop a light cleaning to change the soiled bedding, clean the nest boxes and in general get rid of any accumulated poop.
Last but not least, twice yearly, you’ll need to thoroughly clean and disinfect the coop by removing the old bedding for chickens and scrubbing everything clean. Kind of like a spring cleaning for the chicken coop to shoo away chicken parasites and pests!
That’s it; all in all not too bad!
Originally published in 2015 and regularly vetted for accuracy.