My wife and I try to pass along good values and positive work ethics to our son. At the time of this writing, he is only six years old; but he loves to lend a helping hand to our flock. I can assure you your kids will too! Not only that, what else beats free labor (I’m kidding).
When assigning chicken chores to your children, make sure you pick age-appropriate tasks. Assigning simple duties is a great way to get your kid’s feet wet, and your chickens beak wet with getting along and understanding each other.
In this article, we are going to go over some simple chores you can assign your kids that will have them egg-cited and ready to take on the day, happy kids, happy chickens create a happy life.
|1 to 3 Years Old||Collecting Eggs||Yes|
|4 to 6 Years Old||Replace Bedding, Feed, Water, |
Help Make Chicken Treats
|7 to 9 Years Old||Coop Cleaning, Watch the Flock,|
|10 years and older||Clean feeders and waters, Paint the coop, |
set eggs in the incubator, Rake the Run
A simple daily routine you can establish with your children is egg collection. Our son loves collecting eggs, and I can guarantee your kids will love it too. This chore is perfect for kids of all ages, heck I love collecting them myself.
Depending on how old your children are, you can make collecting eggs into a fun game, teaching math and life skills all at the same time.
While your kids are tending to their chicken chores, teach them how to handle eggs with care, and how to store them. I recommend having an egg basket for your little ones so no accidents happen.
If your kid(s) are old enough, you can even teach them how to prepare delicious meals with them, cooking skills is a task all on its own. I’m not ready for it yet with my son, but your kiddos might be ready to learn! Supervision in this is definitely recommended.
Collecting eggs will instill positive and caring values into your children. Don’t take these moments for granted, often they won’t last long.
Feeding and Watering
Teaching your children animal caretaking responsibility can start at the coop, and will serve them well later in life. Allowing your children to feed and water your flock is a great start and is the primary chore of all caretaking.
Show your children how not to be wasteful by being careful in providing your flock with their meals, teaching patience, and not hurting to throw down the meals and properly place it will make their food last longer.
Letting your kids feed your flock is a great way to build up responsibility in making sure they know how to take care of animals properly. This is a value you want to instill early. Especially if later down the road, you want to introduce them to a pet like a puppy later on down the road that they will take care of on their own.
If you are curious about what can feed your chickens. This is a great list of what you should and shouldn’t let your chickens eat.
Don’t waste any food you can feed your flock. You should even consider saving your old egg shells to crush up and reintroduce back to your chickens for strong eggs in the future.
Watch the Flock
There is no better way to teach your kids about flock responsibility more than giving them the chore of watching over your flock of chickens.
In the beginning, guide them to what to look out for, and how to handle situations that may arise.
If you have other animals besides your chickens in the yard, such as cats or dogs, teach your children how to shoo them away from the flock, and learn not to intervene if a dog is aggressively attacking your flock and to seek out and tell an adult.
Have your children watch out for and know how to break up excess fighting and bullying. Teach them that specific actions that might seem like fighting aren’t, and that chickens establish a pecking order, and that it’s a natural part of their lives.
Have your kids look out for them while they roam free, and to make sure they aren’t wandering off too far.
Cleaning the Chicken Coop
Out of all the chores, cleaning the coop is definitely the one that feels the most like a chore.
I recommend assigning big cleaning jobs to pre-teens and teenagers. If you do decide to give this chore to your children, make sure they have some protective gear. Mask, gloves at a minimum. Chickens while they are amazing, they can be dirty creatures.
Remember, younger kids, less than five, have very new immune systems that are easily compromised. Be careful with how you assign this chore, and avoid them being near truly dirty coops and runs.
Sweep The Coop
Teaching your children good habits can start at the coop. Showing how to sweep the coop then and allowing your kids to do the same to make it tidy for its residents is a great way to build positive working habits that will translate well later in life.
While this chore is easy, I recommend your kid be at least 6 years old. Remember sweeping can stir up dust, and other things that can upset a respotory system, so a mask is highly recommended for your child’s protection.
If your kids are a bit older, having them do the general cleanup is an excellent way for them to help out with your chicken raising efforts. General clean up is rather simple, having them pick up sticks that might have fell into the run, removing the trash or other objects that might cause later problems.
Just make sure you are giving them the proper protection if they are handling the nasty stuff. Gloves and boots are highly recommended, even a face mask if you can. You don’t want your kiddos to be breathing in that type of dust. It can cause problems, avoid string up dust around them if they have asthma or similar conditions.
Lay Down New Bedding
A fresh place clean place for your chickens to lay down will keep your chickens happy and healthy. Delegating this chore to your kids is a simple and easy task for them to complete.
This chore isn’t an everyday chore, maybe once or twice a month, if you’re able to keep their coop dry it’ll last a lot longer.
I highly recommend to keep your old chicken bedding in a compost pile it will make great fertilizer for a garden.
Washing Feeders and Waterers
Teaching your kids the importance of providing clean drinking water and a clean place to eat from is essential, not just for your birds, but for your whole family.
Most diseases are transmitted through food and water, so keeping these things clean will go along in helping promote a happy healthy flock.
Show your older children proper sanitation methods, like washing and drying surfaces that your chickens will be eating off of.
Making and Giving Treats
A fun activity that the whole family can participate in is making treats for your birds.
I wouldn’t put an age limit on this one, you can make oatmeal treats, corn treats, whatever it is that you see fit, and want to feed your flock.
Creativity is key here and will go along way with making your chickens happy and your children engaged with helping with your backyard chickens.
Making treats is a fun chore when it comes to helping raise chickens; it inspires creativity, silly times, and creates beautiful memories. It’s just an easy thing to do with your kids to get them to help you with raising your chickens.
Painting the Coop
Allowing your kids to paint the chicken coop is one of the more fun chores you can let them help with.
Painting the coop is not an everyday occurrence and only should be done when needed, but oh man is fun to see the creativity come out of your children as they paint how they see fit.
The great thing about this chore is that it doesn’t have to be perfect, it’s just a chicken coop.
Encourage your kid’s creativity with this awesome chicken chore. You’ll be happy, your kids will be excited to help, and most importantly, your chickens will be pleased with their new beautiful artful crafted chicken coop paint job.
Cuddles and Taming
We gotta love on our chickens, and this is my so-called favorite chore, and for my son as well!
This chore will allow you to teach your kids the proper way to handle birds and allow them to bond with them at the same time.
You’ll notice that conversations start to be inspired by them and provide a great bonding experience together as a family.
Who doesn’t love holding a baby chick. You’ll discover that the more you hold your little baby birds together the more you will fall in love with them. They are truly amazing, and I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world.
Helping Catch Escaped Chickens
If your kid has speed and agility you can help burn some of that energy by allowing them to catch your escaped chickens.
This is fun for all ages, but only the fastest and most cunning kids can catch the ever-elusive escaped chicken.
I would however avoid children from catching roosters that have escaped, roosters tend to be a little bit more aggressive and may peck at your kiddos. Albeit, this does depend on the rooster, not saying all roosters are bad but just be careful, you should know your flock better than anyone else.
No matter the chore, including your kids in your daily caretaking activities will allow them to connect not just with you but with your birds as well.
Keep the chores that you assign your children age-appropriate. Some tasks are easier than others and may require help. Make sure you are giving your children proper protective material, such as gloves and masks if they are doing more dirty work.
Remember it’s all about maturity, if you feel your child is old enough to handle a certain task by all means go ahead and let them do it. You can’t know until you try. But it’s best to make sure you observe them while they are learning the ropes.
Always enjoy the little things, these moments want last forever.
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