Going on vacation

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by omelette'smom, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. omelette'smom

    omelette'smom Songster

    Sep 9, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I go on vacation in the dead of winter with a long uphill driveway. How long (if my chickens have non-frozen water, and food) can they go without someone checking on them. It would be asking a huge favor for even one trip up the driveway in the snow (probably have to walk up in 2 feet of snow) let alone 10! I don't want them to die or suffer! Every 3rd day seem okay? I feel abusive for some stupid reason! They have the coop and big pen but it's that water thing i guess i'm worried about and the clean roost thing! I scrape it everyday and i get a lot! They'll be sitting in 5 inches of poop if it's not done every day! Advice!! Should i just take the perches down till i come back so they're in bedding on the floor. i don't know if i can get anyone to scrape it off! If you don't have your own chickens than it probably is going to get a big fat "NO WAY I'M DOING THAT" out of whoever i get to check on them! ADVICE PLEASE! Am i worrying for nothing or should i just put them out of their misery now! I feel so bad and i don't go on vaca for 3-4 months!
  2. cub

    cub In the Brooder

    Sep 20, 2008
    Detroit, Michigan
    I wish I could do it for you.
  3. SSO202

    SSO202 Songster

    Aug 16, 2008
    Hartwood, VA 22406
    I would search locally for someone who makes animal care their business. You may be able to work out a deal for fresh eggs when you return in the spring. Good Luck!
  4. scooter147

    scooter147 Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    You will definately need to have some type of system to keep the water from freezing and sufficient water recepticles to supply unfrozen water for 3 days if the chicken sitter is only coming every 3rd day.
    As far as the roosts are concerned, I am picturing shelves as roost since you mention they will be sitting in poop if not cleaned every day, am I correct? If so, why not replace with 2x4's, in the long run this saves you this daily chore.
    I will leave for long weekends several times a year and once around Christmas each year when the weather can be below freezing (although in this part of Missouri the temps could be in the 50's or 60's)and leave my chickens unattended for 3 days. Since I do this I did buy the water heater bases you can find in catalogs and have never had a problem with frozen water. I also place three waters out instead of the usually one I generally have in the winter when I am home. Obviously this is because they need more water but at least one is always overturned when I return.
    It is nerve racking while you are gone, but my family does not live close to me so I visit them several times a year.
  5. hlroudeb

    hlroudeb In the Brooder

    Oct 1, 2008
    I use a petsitter.... she charges $12 a trip. I thought it was lot to ask her to feed the chickens.... but she said she has sat for ZEBRAS before.... so chickens were nothing!

    I found her by using www.petsitters.org put in your zip code.

    Heather - Indiana
  6. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I think leaving them for 3 days at a time could be done... I, personally, wouldn't feel safe doing it.

    Making sure their water cannot freeze is the biggest issue. What about predators? Are you absolutely, 100% positive that nothing can get into the run at night and kill them?

    I am fortunate that I have a neighbor who's willing to come in the morning and night to lock them up and let them out. Since you don't have that and you have the added struggle of the deep snow I'm wondering if you could find a teenager who would be willing to take on that challenge for some extra pocket cash?

    What this comes down to is how comfortable you are with it? If think things will be Ok for three days at a time, then go and enjoy your vacation. If you are really concerned about it then keep looking for some other solution.

    Good luck.
  7. omelette'smom

    omelette'smom Songster

    Sep 9, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Yeah-I was wondering about more than one water dish and yes-it is shelves!! Thank you for imput everyone. We have fishercats and had a bear in my yard last week-so no i don't feel my babes are 100percent safe even when i'm home! maybe i should build a makeshift coop on my husbands old pickup and drive them to civilization to my inlaws. i wonder if they would go for it. I wonder if he would go for it. he thinks i'm wacked already for babying them so much already! he's ready to send me to chicken junky detox!
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    What about making a proper roost above the shelf, then the shelf becomes a droppings board and the chooks stay up out of the poo and it is MUCh easier for you to clean and for the chickens to sleep on [​IMG]

    I would worry a lot about leaving them alone 3 days. Also you need to calculate whether you can keep a sufficient supply of waterer unfrozen for that long (how many chickens and what kind of waterer do you have?)... although, what if it got knocked over? I dunno, I really wouldn't do it, although I am sure that many times one could luck out.

    What about paying someone to plow your driveway. If it were a very short-term thing, just while you were away, it needn't be expensive -- and in rural areas there are always people doing contract plowing. That way you could have the chickens checked every day, PLUS it would make your house look more lived in which is a good thing if you're going to be away, too.

    Good luck,

  9. chickiebaby

    chickiebaby Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    western mass
    How about a housesitter? If someone is staying in your place, it won't seem a pain to them at all, but part of the lovely rural package. Any friends with young adult kids or college kids? Or anyone who's a Mom who needs a serious break?
  10. omelette'smom

    omelette'smom Songster

    Sep 9, 2008
    New Hampshire
    What about making a proper roost above the shelf, then the shelf becomes a droppings board and the chooks stay up out of the poo and it is MUCh easier for you to clean and for the chickens to

    Yes-going to do that! Great idea!​

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