How do you vacation when you have chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chicken.Lytle, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    We have some great neighbors that we pay to watch the house, the dogs, the birds, fill the wood boiler, water the plants, and deal with any other livestock we have at the time. The great thing about living in a neighborhood like ours is that we can arrange for multiple neighbors to do the work, so if one family is gone on a certain day then the other neighbors can lend a hand. It works out very well. I leave a detailed list of instructions that gets amended each time I have a vacation to account for newly ill/injured animals that need special attention. The whole neighborhood knows how to deal with the animals because some have their own, and some just like animals and want to learn how to care for them. (It is my goal to turn our neighborhood into one big agricultural area. I have already converted 2 neighbors to chicken ownership. I have 2 more that I know will be getting some soon. [​IMG] )

    The worst thing that has happened while we were gone is that the pigs got overfed. They were OK with that.
  2. Kinniburgh

    Kinniburgh Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 5, 2010
    Was gone a whole week this summer. Put an extra food and water feeder out in the run and had the neighbor boy (8) check for eggs and throw in a handful of scratch. I also had him tip out the old H20 from the dish to let some new clean stuff flow back in. Chickens were healthy, alive, and kicking when I returned:) If you have a predator proof run and coop there is less to worry about (we just let the pop door open the whole time).
  3. kelidei

    kelidei ~*Dances with chickens*~

    Mar 18, 2009
    Northern Illinois
    We have a guy from Mexico that works for us and he grew up with chickens. I just left him an instruction list and a list of phone numbers if he needed help... He came 2 x a day... I sweetened the deal by telling him he could take the eggs while we were gone and we paid him well especially since he cared for our dogs too. We went away for 5 days for my daughter's wedding and all was well when we returned. [​IMG]
  4. Tiffrz-N-Kidz

    Tiffrz-N-Kidz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2010
    Aledo, TX
    I had a friend house-sit. He got a shorter commute, I had a live-in nanny for the animals. :)
  5. kristim23

    kristim23 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 8, 2010
  6. PaulaJoAnne

    PaulaJoAnne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2009
    I do not allow free ranging while away. That leaves so many variables that could occur, and that your chicken sitter will end up feeling responsible and guilty for.
    And it can do serious damage to the relationship.

    We have trusted neighbor that takes care of ours on the few occasions we are gone for a couple of days.
    She understands how much to feed them, how the heated waterer works, where to fill it at, and how to gather eggs.
    She also has the phone number to extended family that lives 1/2 an hour away, for emergenices.
    That about covers it.

    Now that we have goats that we will be milking next year, we will be rethinking things.
    With just two milkers, we intend to take them with us on fishing and hunting trips.
    That way they will provide food for us, and be milked on time.
  7. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    Since I have horses I just added the chickens on to my farmsitter's To Do list.

    She comes 2X a day to feed the horses, so in the morning she lets the chickens into their fenced yard (no freeranging for her to worry about), feeds & waters them.
    Then when she returns for P.M. feeding they are usually roosting so she just closes up the coop.

    I pay her to look after the horses but her "pay" for the chickens is all the eggs they lay while I'm gone.

    If I didn't have the horses, I'd probably see if I could get my "next door" (next 5ac farmette) neighbor to feed for me as he has chickens too.
  8. The Fairy Godmartyr

    The Fairy Godmartyr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 7, 2010
    We went to Florida for the week of Thanksgiving. With 4 dogs, a chinchilla, a gecko, and a dozen chickens, there was NO WAY that we could go even a day without someone to take care of them (especially with temperatures cold enough to freeze the chickens' water). We asked a 20-something young woman from our church if she would like to house sit for us for the week. We paid her to live in our house while we were gone. I left very detailed instructions for each type of animal. It worked out just fine.

    Incidentally, the girl had chicken-sat one other time, for someone else--and it hadn't been the best experience that time. Apparently, they left her with a couple of hens and a BUNCH of roosters. A couple of the boys got into it and one killed the other. Totally not her fault, but when she said she's watch them for me, she felt the need to warn me that another chicken had died in her care. Bless her heart, I think she felt somewhat responsible.
  9. PepsNick

    PepsNick Back to Business

    May 9, 2010
    Egglanta, GA
    I have little caresheets I give to my next-door neighbor, who does this as a mini-job, and she watches the dog and chickens. She is very good with them and we don't have to pay her much.
  10. pontoosuc

    pontoosuc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2010
    Richmond, MA
    My good friend comes and house/chicken sits. Dogs go to kennel or with us, depending.

    For ski weekends I have a friend scheduled to come and top feed and fresh water and
    collect eggs.

    .....electricity in the coop today!! so exciting! [​IMG]

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