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Going on vacation- help with sitter

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by California Girls, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. California Girls

    California Girls In the Brooder

    Jul 20, 2009
    Southern California
    I wanted to go away for the weekend, my birthday coming up. My chickens are 14 weeks old. I need to leave them with a sitter. [​IMG] Any tips?

  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Make sure whoever sits for you is responsible. And write out the instructions for care.

  3. technodoll

    technodoll Songster

    Aug 25, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    I agree with Imp.

    Write out the instructions very clearly, and go through the tasks & routines with your sitter at least once before you leave so that she has on-hands experience. Have her clean the water, refill the food, clean the bedding, close the coop up for the night or whatever it is you do with your flock. Ask for a written daily report, leave an emergency phone number and then enjoy your vacation!
  4. Schroeder

    Schroeder Songster

    Nov 9, 2008
    Central Indiana
    My Coop
    If you had an automatic chicken door you could leave for the weekend and not have to get a sitter. They are expensive but man are they convenient.
  5. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Songster

    Feb 6, 2009
    I found last winter that my chicken sitter benefited from the "local contact" number that I gave her. Inexplicably, she had my house keys in her hand, when she walked into the coop. My roo attacked her, knocking the keys from her hand and into 6 inches of "deep litter." Luckily, she was able to call our friend who has a set of house keys. The sitter's set of keys materialized a couple days later... [​IMG]
    I also created a check list for her, based on an article in Backyard Poultry.
    My feeling is that I would rather HIRE someone & have them take on my birds as a bonified job.
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Quote:I'm getting an auto. door for Christmas. But I'm a worrier, and power outtages, etc. happen. So I will still find someone to stop by and check on my chickens...

    But what everyone else has said already, type it ALL out step by step w/what you want done, especially if the person is not use to chickens.
  7. gkeesling

    gkeesling Songster

    Nov 24, 2008
    Hagerstown, IN
    We go away for short get aways from time to time. So that my "chicken sitter" doesn't have to much problem I set out extra water so that they don't have to mess with that and only have to put in feed, get the eggs and check on the chickens to be sure they are ok.

  8. A check list is a must, and in case of emergency, a hopper feeder and a large waterer.
    If there are outstanding repair or maintenance issues, be sure they are done before you go.
    I'd also give the coop and extra-special cleanup and treat the bedding with the stable product of your choice.
    In addition to pay, offer eggs.
    If you get an excellent sitter, you'll want to use this person again! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009
  9. Puck-Puck

    Puck-Puck Songster

    As someone who often looks after other people's critters, I appreciate:

    -knowing where feed is kept
    -enough feed etc. to actually last for the amount of time the person will be away!
    -written instructions if medications are to be given, or if everyone's feeding schedule is different
    -knowing where clean-up supplies are (this applies more with puppies) [​IMG]
    -the cell number of the person gone away, or a local contact, if things go screwy (like a water main bursting, who would expect it? But it happens.)
    -if you're not issuing a shed key, don't lock the shed where the feed is kept!!!
    -going through everything step by step, so that between owner and sitter, someone is more likely to catch something that hasn't been explained, in a timely fashion
    -having pen and paper available, for notes of any occurrences while you're away. This is both a courtesy to your sitter and a favour to yourself.

    The animals themselves are usually easy to deal with. It's the human error factor that can throw a real monkey-wrench in the works!
  10. Jess N Jeff

    Jess N Jeff Songster

    Oct 25, 2009
    South San Diego, Cali
    Quote:Where in Southern Cali are you? Near San Diego? I've been looking for someone to trade for chicken sitting. I have a good sitter out here, but sometimes she is overwhelmed.

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