Going on vacation for a few days? Eggs?

Mar 18, 2019
101
155
111
North Carolina
Two large waterers and a 30lb feeder.(Lasts out 17 chickens a full week) with chickenguard dusk/dawn auto coop door opener. Our chickens get let out of the run one hour a day to free range and it's their favorite time.(They RUSH the gate as soon as it's open.) and most of them go back in when told, but some(like the easter eggers) do not.

Can we go on a 4-5 night vacation without having someone going into their run?(IE doing nothing but checking through the gate that they have food/water/are OK?) As we are worried if family/neighbor opens the gate, they won't be able to get all the chickens back in.

Our other worry is that while our chickens do not seem to be broody, wont at day 5 the eggs have a baby chick in them? I'm not exactly sure of chick production time line but we don't want chicks but I'd feel bad tossing eggs that have babies in them?(Yes we have a roo)

Thanks in advance.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
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Southeast Louisiana
Our other worry is that while our chickens do not seem to be broody, wont at day 5 the eggs have a baby chick in them? I'm not exactly sure of chick production time line but we don't want chicks but I'd feel bad tossing eggs that have babies in them?(Yes we have a roo)

If a hen goes broody while you are gone, yes a chick can start to develop. If you do not have a broody to incubate the eggs, a chick will not start to develop. Development timeline starts when the egg is incubated, not when the when is laid.
 
Mar 18, 2019
101
155
111
North Carolina
We do not have anyone here that can help, just e
If someone can not collect the eggs, and you are concerned, you can candle them before eating. At 5 days of incubation you’d see veins. You’d have to have a broody that starts sitting on them the day you leave though. It’s not likely if you don’t have a broody already.
Our chickens are only 5 months old. When do they usually start becoming broody?

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@ Having someone check on them.
Most of the folks around here are elderly and with the chickens bolting for the door the second it opens I would be afraid they'd never get them all back in.
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
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South Park, Colorado, USA
We do not have anyone here that can help, just e

Our chickens are only 5 months old. When do they usually start becoming broody?

--
@ Having someone check on them.
Most of the folks around here are elderly and with the chickens bolting for the door the second it opens I would be afraid they'd never get them all back in.

A few comments... it would be good (for future, for yourself and others) if you can modify your setup so that you can collect eggs without having to open the gate that potentially lets all the chickens out.

I would venture to say that most chickens at 5 months of age do not go broody, some aren't even laying yet, and since you live somewhere that is headed into fall and daylight hours are shrinking, someone going broody right now is not likely, and you would know before you even left for your trip. Some of your chickens may at some point go broody next summer, it really depends the bird. I have one that is broody almost all the time (except mid-winter), but others that have never gone broody in a few years time/their entire lives.

Honestly I do not think you have to worry about a broody while you are away, but if you are concerned, just candle an egg before cracking it into the pan to cook. If you see veins then throw it out, if not, it's safe to eat.
 

townchicks

Free Ranging
Dec 1, 2016
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Contra Costa county, Ca.
It sounds like you are doing the best you can, and it will probably be fine. I wonder, how ever, what the person checking on them will be able to do, if they come and see that there is a sick or injured chicken, or the water overturned/ran out, or the auto door didn't open/close. I always like to think of worse case scenarios before I leave. It might be a good idea to have them practice going in and out with you there, just in case.
 

townchicks

Free Ranging
Dec 1, 2016
1,999
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Contra Costa county, Ca.
I thought of something else. You could get a bit of fencing or some thing like a dog exercise pen and set it up in front of the gate, on the inside, so that the chickens can't rush the gate, the person can come inside, then move the "inner fence" aside, go get eggs, and when leaving, shoo the chickens away an set the inner gate back, to exit. Is this making sense? Like a double gated area.
 

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