Awhile back, one of the chicken groups I'm in had a post about having the kids help with the chicken chores. Several comments were made about not letting the kids help until they become teenagers. Although I agree that it is definitely more an issue of maturity than actual age appropriateness, there are some chores that can be completed by the younger children in the home. What better way is there to teach responsibility than by helping out?
There’s nothing quite like teaching your child how to tend a flock. From cuddling chicks to cleaning the coop, there are many different chores that can be given to a child. Chickens are one of the easiest jobs around the barnyard, teaching lifelong skills and responsibility. Learning where their food comes from is a valuable lesson to learn and the feeling of contributing to the household and helping a parent is often the best part of the whole experience!
1 to 3 years: With supervision, children can place eggs in and out of baskets. They can also toss treats to the chickens.
4 to 6 years: With supervision, children can place eggs in and out of baskets, replace nesting box bedding, feed and water chickens and offer treats.
7 to 9 years: Consider individual tasks that your child can do without supervision. Start giving them the singular task of feeding and watering on their own each day. It's a good idea to monitor chores to make sure that everything you think is being done is actually getting done. Once they have mastered the feeding and watering, you can add an additional chore. I've found that if the load gets to be too overwhelming, however, there's a possibility that none of it will get done. It's much better to keep the chores manageable so that they continue to be fun!
At this age, children can help set up brooders and tend to chicks (with supervision). They can begin to explore their own egg or chicken business around this age. Having an egg or chick business teaches them discipline, responsibility, business attributes, and even shows them how rewarding it is when you do a good job and get paid for your hard work!
10+ years of age: From 10 years and older, children can completely and independently take care of chickens once they've learned the ropes.
Children can feed and water chickens, clean out waterers and feed bins, carry feed bags, administer herbs (with some supervision), do routine health checks, fix simple chicken coop and run issues, clean the coop when needed, freshen the coop each day, help tend to and set up chicks and basically all of the things that any chicken keeper would do.