Feeding while you're away

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by canalcolt, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. canalcolt

    canalcolt Songster

    Jun 16, 2016
    We have 2 coops and 2 goat pens. And also we have security cameras. It has also been very hot . we had to leave home unexpectedly and asked a family member to feed and water animals. The family member watered and fed animals first day .. second day their friend did. I reviewed camera since one coop had absolutely no water. I found Their friend did not feed or give water to one rooster and his flock. They sprayed some water in the other flock and tossed food in there. One goat pen they sprayed until the goat water was filled but didn't feed them. The second set of goats they sprayed water in the pen and then turned the sprayer onto the goats in the pen that were standing opposite of where their water was... spraying the goats and making them run off. These goats were not fed either. They also left our water hose running. Luckily we got back the day after and were able to feed and water everyone. I did have one chicken that seemed lathergic but is ok this morning...
    We are mad about the incident and wonder if we can just put extra feed.. hay and large troughs of water?
    What does everyone do when they go on vacation or have to leave unexpectedly and be gone for a few days? Thanks!!
  2. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

    Mar 11, 2017
    South Park, Colorado, USA
    I usually have 2 people set up for my time away, a morning person and an evening person. I feel bad having someone come to my house twice a day, but I feel better knowing someone has checked on everything twice a day. Also if one of them is not available one day or misses a day for some reason, the other will catch it and top off food/water. I also give them each other's phone numbers so they can coordinate any changes while I'm away.
  3. tripletfeb

    tripletfeb Songster

    I would be talking to your family member whos friend did the "watering" the second day. They might not even know what their friend did and should be made aware of it. Then I would make sure you had someone trust worthy to take care of them in the future. Then send the friend your water bill for the hose they left on
  4. christwodog

    christwodog Songster

    Jan 16, 2017
    I do the same as the above poster and also have 5 gallon buckets with horizontal nipples, so I know they will not run out of water unless a week has gone by. Also my feeders are the gravity fed pvc pipes which will hold enough food for 4-5 days. I too would be very mad that the person who agreed to care for the animals did not hold up their end of the deal. I have a teenage girl in the neighborhood who takes care of my chickens and I pay her for doing so. But I also have my neighbor next door double check usually every other day, just to make sure things are fine. But I still worry about them while I'm away!
    blackdog043, snow5164 and canalcolt like this.
  5. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    The last time I had to be away I pre-tested our feeder and waterer to make sure it could hold more than enough food and water for the number of days we'd be gone. We had our neighbors chicken-sit but they didn't have to feed or water, just open the coop, pick up eggs, close up at night. Now we have an autodoor so in the future we'll only need someone to come and get eggs.
    canalcolt and jreardon1918 like this.
  6. snow5164

    snow5164 Crowing

    May 16, 2015
    I double all feeders and wateres, daughter does her best but is not emotionally attached as we are
    Cindy in PA and canalcolt like this.
  7. blackdog043

    blackdog043 Crowing

    Feb 19, 2017
    Charlotte, NC
    I can't help you with the goats.
    My coop and run are open 24/7, I have 2 no waste feeders and 2 horizontal nipple waterers. I can go away for 8 days and they do fine. Once I make a 30 gal nipple waterer, I could go away for 2 weeks and not worry. People are unreliable, I've read to many stories about chickens not being cared for properly, while the owner is on vac. If someone wants to get the eggs, they can.
    canalcolt likes this.
  8. Aerliss

    Aerliss Songster

    Apr 21, 2018
    If it's a planned trip I arrange for a friend to stay at my house. I write EVERYTHING down, and run through it all with them.

    In an emergency this friend could come over and take care of things for me. Same as if I was in an accident or something. Between the BF and my friend they'd cope in such an emergency.

    If my rabbits didn't need meds twice a day I could probably leave everyone alone for a day or two. Fill feeders and waterers to the brim and add a couple of extras in the form of bowls for feed and the hot weather "paddling pool" (litter tray) for water. Not ideal, but you do what you can until you can invest in redundant equipment. The girls would wake the neighbours up sqwaking for free ranging time and scratch, but hey ho...

    About "redundancy"; this is something people don't think about often enough. Always have more than you need "just in case". If you're not going to be there and no one else can check in, have more than the normal number of feeders. Have additional waterers. You don't want to come back to find something happened to your waterer, no matter how well constructed it is and how it's never failed before, and have lost half your chickens to dehydration. Would be best for me to have two or more people who could look after my animals, but I can only trust the one of them, tbh.

    It's good to think about and be prepared for these things, and have a plan in place. Maybe have one or two designated "emergency relief" people, who you can call on, and you've shown the basics of your care routine to. That way even if you can wing it with extra feeders and such, you know you have someone who knows what to do taking care of things. You can even write all down, so they don't have to go off memory.

    Most people don't like to mix money and friendship, but I do pay my friend when it's a holiday. Never had an emergency come up like that. Money has a way of galvanising a person's efforts. It's not just a friend doing you a favour, but a business contract. There's less room for "well, they're my friend, so they won't mind if I don't do this bit." Doesn't work for everyone, but works for us.
    canalcolt likes this.
  9. MuddyHillFarm

    MuddyHillFarm Chirping

    Jan 15, 2012
    Rincon, GA
    We have developed a system and have it down to a few steps. First we use the MuddyHillFarm feeder and know about how many days of feed a full feeder will last. The second is water. We use the MuddyHillFarm horizontal nipple WITH the CoolerAdapter installed in old insulated coolers. Water temps fluctuate less, no algae issues and the water stays clean. Our coops have automated doors to allow them to go in and out without someone having to do that. Cameras are the next big ticket item to be installed
    canalcolt likes this.
  10. proudmommie31

    proudmommie31 Songster

    Mar 2, 2016
    Northern Lower MI
    I dont have goats, but the chickens (and the cats!) we double the feeders, for us this means leaving a giant bowl of FF out and another self feeder of dry, we also have a 5 gallon waterer that I know will last over a week. (Incidentally we double feeders and waterers for the cats inside and 4x the litter boxes). I do have family that will stop by and love on the 2 cats and look at the chickens for me, but like someone up there said, they aren't emotionally attached (my sister is terrified of chickens) and you never know when something might come up and make them a day late. This way I know they have what they need to survive. I haven't had any issues this way and only go for 5-6 days a time.
    canalcolt and blackdog043 like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: