Are You Tied Down by Your Birds? What about Vacations?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by brae09, Jun 1, 2019.

  1. brae09

    brae09 In the Brooder

    Dec 29, 2018
    Ducks and geese are a lot of fun. We take good care of them. It is gratifying to see them happy. But we found ourselves pretty much homebound. It is hard to leave for a few days for a camping trip. Typical daily chores: letting them out in the morning, feeding, changing water, and closing them up at night. We can probably set something up to provide feed and water for a few days. Perhaps add an automated door to the coop. Don't know if they can be trained to get back in the coop by themselves at night.

    How do you handle this aspect of poultry keeping? Hire someone when you are gone? Automation? What if we have only geese? Would it be easier because geese are bigger and less prone to predation?
  2. Alina28

    Alina28 Songster

    Dec 28, 2017
    I am planning to go on a week long vacation so i was thinking of hiring someone to do the job for some pay. I too feel a lot home bound because of my animals but in the end when i see them hapoy i feel like it is worth it :) . I have ducks, chickens , quails and a few types of birds and parrots and they constantly require someone to take care of them due to which i rarely go anywhere. And if i do i usually instruct my mom to do the work but she will be with me on this family vacation so i would need to hire someone. My chickens and ducks are very obedient and go in their coop on their own as soon as the sun sets.
  3. noregerts

    noregerts Songster

    Feb 24, 2019
    Seymour TN
    I agree, it's a worry. If we are just going to be gone for the weekend we make sure they have food and water, and we have an automatic coop door opener we can operate from our phones. My husband is techy so actually I have a live camera in the coop too.
    If we are gone longer than that though we have a local teenager who has chickens come over and check on things. We pay her $20/day. I want goats but haven't gotten them for this very reason, I don't feel like I could leave town and leave them.
  4. IamRainey

    IamRainey Songster

    I've gone away as long as 2 weeks.

    I leave a couple 7 gallon water reservoirs for my small flock and 3 full feeders (2 of them will hold 20# of feed each). I have someone stop by every few days to gather eggs and check on the feed and water.

    I wouldn't do it in the heat of Summer. If we had rough Winters I wouldn't do it then either. But for just a weekend, I wouldn't bat an eye.
  5. DuckyBabies

    DuckyBabies Songster

    Oct 15, 2018
    We leave for a week for our vacation in the fall. Luckily, my dad lives next door so we get him to let the ducks and dogs out and in. If we didn’t have him next door, it would be a lot harder to manage. As you know with ducks, they love their water. It’s impossible to keep it clean for even a day, let alone a few days! I would suggest finding someone you really trust to get the job done and make sure everyone is taken care of. I totally get the tied down feeling as well!
  6. The goose girl

    The goose girl Songster

    Jul 7, 2010
    I too feel tied down by my two geese - but I wouldn't trade my daily fun with them for anything! Suffice to say my health and finances do not allow much traveling anyway, so it's not that big a sacrifice.

    Right now we are two people sharing the geese, but as the other one just turned 79, this arrangement will not last forever. I have another friend who will help me in case of emergencies. So far I've been lucky: the only time I was alone with the care-taking for a longer period, there was only the one goose, and she started sitting on her nest within two days.

    The long term plan is to get them a large grazing area that's fenced off and totally predator-proof, with a big filtered pond and some kind of automatic feeder. That way it wouldn't be necessary to let them in and out every day - the most troubling aspect of letting someone else take care of them.
    Willowspirit and Callender Girl like this.
  7. ocap

    ocap Crowing

    Jan 1, 2013
    Smithville, Missouri
    try and have a system that allows you to only look at them for the number of days you expect to be gone. Try out the food and water several times before you leave to make sure they do not run out of either for that length of time. now go and try not to worry.
    BYC910 and Callender Girl like this.
  8. brae09

    brae09 In the Brooder

    Dec 29, 2018
    Glad to hear we are not alone with this issue. Maybe someday a farmhand robot will be available. How hard can it be to build a robot that dishes out feed three times a day, changes the water, and close the birds in at night? We've got cars that drive themselves. It might be easier than hiring a local teenager since the last family with kids in our small neighborhood has just moved away. But before a robot can be ordered online, finding a caretaker sounds like the only practical option. I will look into live cameras and automated doors which will help and will be fun. The water need of ducks and geese probably have to be taken care of by a person.

    We also have a squirrel problem. They come to raid our feeders. Leaving feed out has been a problem. I just built a live trap which allows trapping multiple at a time. We noticed they live in couples, so we want to relocate each couple together. So far, it has been very successful. Then we will need to find a caretaker or build a DYI robot.
  9. SueT

    SueT Crossing the Road

    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    Feeling tied down by chickens is the worst aspect, in my opinion. We have a neighbor who will help out in a pinch, but she's too busy to ask to take on the birds for more than a day. Other than that, we live too far from town to hire anyone. So hubby and I take turns going out of town. I am actually considering phasing out of chickens because of this. We are down to 7 from 10 chickens, and may sell more this month.
  10. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    I hire a licensed 'pet sitter' to come in and take care of the dogs and birds. It's cheaper than boarding the dogs, and she does a great job. Some folks have good luck with hiring recommended 4 H kids.
    WilmaP, blackdog043, CSAchook and 4 others like this.

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