Chickens are very easy to care for, but they will still require your daily attention and care. Like all animals, your chickens will need to be fed and watered and their housing will need to be regularly cleaned. You may also need to get up early in the morning to let them out of their coop and shut them away again each evening.
Fortunately, you can greatly reduce the amount of time you spend on chores by utilising certain pieces of equipment.
The electric coop door opener is, perhaps, the most popular example of this. There are many different brands of electric door openers available, and they each have different features and benefits. Our favourites include those which are light sensitive. This is because a chicken’s day famously begins with the rising of the sun. During the summer months, they will want to be up and about far earlier than you! A coop door opener that is triggered by sunlight will ensure that your hens are let out at times which are natural.
However, electric coop door openers should come with warnings which the manufacturers often fail to mention. In our experience, some chickens will fail to take themselves to bed before the door closes for the night: locking them outside in the cold and with Mr Fox! Also, door openers triggered by sunlight might not work on very dark and stormy days. So, if you choose to buy an electric coop door opener, we recommend that you still check that your hens have been let outside for the day and that they have been locked safely away again each evening.
You can also reduce the time that you need to spend cleaning equipment, such as feeders, drinkers and coops.
If you wish to save time cleaning your coop, think about purchasing plastic housing. There are many, many benefits to owning a plastic coop and easier cleaning is one of them. Experience has taught us that it is much easier to scrap muck from plastic than it is from wood! Also, wood can never be fully cleaned and disinfected because it is a natural fibre.
You might also decide to buy or build a hanging drinker, instead of a floor drinker. This will prevent your hens from pooing in the drinker and reduce the number of times that you need to clean it. For the same reason, we also recommend that you raise feeders from the ground.