Dangerous to coop up pullets for 5 days

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by CKNNWBEE, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. CKNNWBEE

    CKNNWBEE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are going on vacation for 5 days. It is good temperatures and they will have good access to food and water. My sincere concern is that being in their small coop for 5 days straight will make them stressed. We let them free range during the day now, so they will have no human contact, free range, and change of scene for 5 days.

    Should I be keeping them locked up until we leave or resume normal activity. We are undecided if let them have excercise as much as possible or get them prepared for 5 solid days of confinement.
     
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi there. I have not done this before, so I am just going to respond with some things that I would think about...

    Since the coop is small, I would want to make sure that the ventilation was really good, so that the buildup of 5 days of poop wouldn't cause harm from ammonia.

    The other concern I would have with chickens that are used to free-ranging, is that they might become bored and start picking on each other.

    I'm wondering if perhaps you have a neighbor that might be willing to check in on them and perhaps let them out a few times?
     
  3. CKNNWBEE

    CKNNWBEE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have now found someone whom has no chicken experience to come check on them. We don't want them let out with a stranger, we feel they wouldn't be able to get them back in safely. I am extremely overly paranoid about them. Give me a human and I got it, but I am still new. Girls don't lay yet and not ready to, so no worries about eggs.

    Water and food should be fine, but this person will check. And will leave them sealed box of food toys to be put in, like the suggestions on here. What does a worried Newbie do without BYC?

    I am MOST concerned whether I should let them get their regular scheduled exercise, then when we can't be here will they go crazy if they are SUDDENLY left alone.
     
  4. Rachey62

    Rachey62 Out Of The Brooder

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    We've had to leave our 19 week olds cooped up for a few days and they were absolutely fine, if I were you I'd keep letting them out as normal and just have them shut away whilst you're away, it's not ideal but if you give them a good clean out before you go and make sure they have food and fresh water everyday they'll be fine. Could you ask the person who's watching them to let them out late in the afternoon so they get to stretch they're legs for an hour then put themselves to bed at dusk and your friend can just lock the door and not have to do any chasing?

    Chickens are extremely resiliant a few days won't hurt them I'm sure, as soon as you're back and they're roaming free all will be forgiven!
     
  5. CKNNWBEE

    CKNNWBEE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, its the reaffirmation that I needed. The first thing they do when they get out of their coop is stretch their wings and then 'play chicken' and puff out their neck feathers at each other. (That was a side note). They are coming at dusk so the girls won't be too crazy about getting out. We have too many predators and dogs around that I would go insane with worry that they didn't go back in.

    But, thank you again. I will post how they do. [​IMG]
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I don't think confining them in preperation will help. They really have quite limited reasoning capacity!

    How large an area are we talking about being confined to?
     
  7. CKNNWBEE

    CKNNWBEE Chillin' With My Peeps

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  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Yikes, that's pretty small! Probably okay short term, but be sure to have something like a flock block or heads of cabbage, something for diversion. Have the sitter toss them some scratch every day, or try the bottle with holes drilled and filled with grain to occupy them. Think road trip with small kids before there were tvs in cars......food was the great diversion!
     
  9. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmmm...remember that scratch is a high energy source. While chickens do love it, I don't know if it is a good idea to give scratch to chickens that are confined in a small space. Perhaps finding something else to keep them interested, like the cabbage or a chunk of raw pumpkin or squash (peel, seed, slimy stuff and all) might be a better idea. I have heard that too much scratch (or other high energy grains) can contribute to excessive pecking and feather pulling...the last thing you want if your chickens don't have the space to get away from another chicken who is feeling bored and cantankerous.
     
  10. dreamcatcherarabians

    dreamcatcherarabians Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, so they have appx 8 sq ft top & bottom, for a total of 16 sq ft? And they can get out of the top and go to the bottom at will? Is that right? if so, then they have 4 sq ft/bird total which isn't too bad. The food toys and having a neighbor check on them for 5 days ought to be fine. I wouldn't keep them locked up a minute longer than they absolutely have to be though, that's some pretty tight quarters.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013

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