Hens - Maintenance
It takes less than five minutes a day to collect the eggs, water, and feed feathered friends. Once a week—yes, be fastidious—spend ten minutes raking the dirty pellets in the coop and scraping up waste that may be thrown directly on to the compost pile. Once every two months, it is time to visit an agricultural supply store for grit (mostly ground up oyster shells), organic feed, and compostable bedding pellets.
In the winter, add hay bales inside the pen to ensure the hens do not end up with frostbite on their toes when they wander outside. Add an organic corn supplement to their feed because they will be unable to forage for insects when the ground is frozen. The corn also keeps the hens plump when temperatures drop so that the eggs remain large.
When traveling, leave the hens up to a week at a time safe inside their pen and coop. A neighbor, or their children, are generally happy to check their food and water levels every couple of days, usually in exchange for little more than the eggs the hens lay.