Can four chickens be left alone for two days?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by BirdNut, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. BirdNut

    BirdNut Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 13, 2010
    Suprise, Arizona
    Hey everybody,

    I've been thinking about how life has been in the past few years, and then the thought came to mind that we hardly ever go on vacation. I can recall once in the past three years, let's just say that things didn't work out well and it wasn't much of a vacation. Before then, we'd not had ANY vacations for an entire decade. We haven't gone on hikes or 'special' trips in a long while, too, because we have a toddler in the house who had naps and needs that we always needed to work around. She's older now, we have her naps figured out, and we think we can swing it, but one issue remains. The chickens. We plan on goign on trips in the near future that could range from two to three days long. We could hire a birdsitter, but I'm wierd about having other people taking care of my chickens. Do I just need to get over it and hire someone, or is there a way for them to be without a birdsitter for that period of time?
  2. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    Jul 17, 2009
    Yes, they should be fine. Make sure they have enough food and water.

    Perhaps you can get someone to collec the eggs for you?
  3. ARose4Heaven

    ARose4Heaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2009
    Flippin, AR
    Yes. I have left mine for 3 days. Food, water and plenty of space so they don't get bored. It doesn't hurt to arrange for someone to collect the eggs, but not necessary.
  4. BirdNut

    BirdNut Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 13, 2010
    Suprise, Arizona
    Thank you both!

    About the food and water, I was thinking about maybe buying another waterer and another feeder, just to be sure if they have enough. They tend to dig in the straw and knock their waterer over with their big, clumsy emu feet.

    It's been so darn cold here, I almost wonder if collecting the eggs would even be necessary. I might get someone to do that.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  5. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    No problem I have left my 40+ for three or four days with no one checking on them, just make sure they have enough water and food--top off everything just before you leave and check it as soon as you return. Anything longer than that it requires having someone come in to collect eggs and refill food and water containers. Last spring I left 12, 2-week old chicks in a brooder for a 6-day trip to WDW and they were fine--all happily laying now.
  6. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    Yep, i left mine for three days, plenty of food and water. Make sure you have more than one waterer in case it gets tipped over or empty pretty fast on a hot day. I would even put out a half gallon Fortex flat pan next to the fence that they can stick their heads into and drink, and not able to tip it over.

    My parents would come out and check on the place and check on chickens to make sure water and feed and eggs been collected. They didn't have to do it but Dad wanted fresh eggs so it is free for him for the taking!
  7. arianna

    arianna Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 8, 2010
    North Carolina
    Sure they can, if you don't need to close the coop door at night, they will be just fine. Like the other post said, make sure they have enough food and water, and if the water is outside you can get one of those warmer for water so it won't froze.
    For your piece of mind you can ask a neighbor to stop by every now and then and check on them.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  8. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Get over it and hire someone.[​IMG] I understand exactly how you feel. NOONE can care for my animals like I do: however, I have a very good animal caretaker who comes in when we go away. I provide the following phone numbers: Our destination, wife's and my cell, daughter's, best friend's and my vet's. If we return home in the middle of the night, I'm out there with a flashlight checking on everything. Getting away now and then makes the day to day bearable.
  9. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    This is exactly why we bought an automatic door opener. In spring and summer, we frequently leave for 2-3 days. I make sure they have plenty of water and food (oyster shell too). I love the auto door opener, I don't have to worry about some critter getting to them when we are gone. If it's hot outside, I just toss the eggs when we get home, but in cool weather, they'll be just fine for a few days.
  10. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2009
    Central NC
    We left for 4 days last year and I hired a sitter. Everyone was fine upon our return, but things didn't go exactly as I had hoped. Doors were shut during the day and hens laid eggs wherever they could. Took a while to get them back to laying in their nest boxes.

    After that, I bought an automatic door opener/closer and some larger feeders and waterers. The last time we left for a few days and left them on their own and all was fine. I did let my neighbor know we were leaving and he came by once just to check on them, but he didn't have to do anything. You might consider putting them on auto-pilot but still have someone come by just to check on things and collect eggs. That way, you won't be worrying about them and can enjoy your vacation.

    Good luck.

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