I also have quite a few members in our animal family (horses, dogs, cats, and of course, the flock),but we also love to travel once or twice a year soooo I have a couple of really good, non-farm friends who I give a lot of advance notice to, humbly asking (with much gratitude) if they would be interested and available to farm-sit while we're gone, and also family is available if we aren't travelling together. We always have a run though a week or two before we leave town so they know what they will be doing. I try really hard to make it as simple as possible for whoever is taking care of the critturs, i.e., minimal stall cleaning (usually not an issue in the summer as they horses are out in their turnout.) I also have a word.doc saved on my pc that I just update each time--had detailed instructions, a page per animal species with all the little things I just do without thinking about. That is really helpful--I even specify things like 'the black pony,' or the 'red horse,' and which chickens are in which area (three coop/runs)...would rather have too much detail instead of not enough. One city friend who loves to come out and play farmer...short term of course...always asks if I have my "novel" done yet? Having it in writing is really nice, and I just update it each time we leave. I also have everything done that can possibly be done in advance so it is very easy to do--label feed containers with a sharpie and duct tape, coop/run cleaned, plenty of feed, treats labelled,etc. I do not have inexperienced folks letting our chickens free range, too many chances of missing one later. I also reassure them not to stress out if one happens to die while we are gone--maybe that sounds cruel but I really don't want my friends, who are helping us out, to feel so worried they miss out on the fun of being out in the country--I do everything I can to protect the girls but as we all know, sometimes things just happen. So far we've been extremly blessed by great friends and family so I think we're doing something right. The last thing I make sure is more for the dogs and horses.. I notify my vets so if our helpers call the vet, they know it's OK to come out and bill me later (I have their contact info on my 'novel')...and also my vets are willing to answer concerns over the phone too as they know I'm not around. Makes it a lot easier to leave town and have a relaxing vacation knowing I've done everything I possibly could to prevent problems and also it really is nice to get away for a bit...no need to get up and take care of everyone...if only for a few days. Then cannot wait to come home and see the rest of the family...good luck, it can be done and you can have peace of mind...and it is a good thing to do. They will be fine.