How long can we leave our 3 hens when we go away for a long week end?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by NoelC, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. NoelC

    NoelC In the Brooder

    Jan 8, 2011
    Still getting ready for this experiment in chicken raising!

    What we have is

    1. A coop the 3 hens will hopefully roost and lay in. It's small, but should be ok for 3 hens of any size.
    2. The coop lives inside of an 8x8x6 foot 8 gauge welded wire predator pen w/ the same welded wire roof. We can expect this to keep larger predators out I'm pretty certain. Not sure if we will need to line the inside with a few feet tall of 1/2" galvanized hardware cloth to keep predators from reaching and grabbing the neck of an unwary hen, but I've been told here that's a possibility.
    3. Outside of the predator pen, we will have a larger chicken wire pen that will contain the hens during the day when we're here so they can graze on about 1/8th of an acre of shaded native oak forest.

    I'm told here that squirrels and rats may pilfer feed if we leave feed in a feeder per se. We've been guessing we will feed them each day and will only give them enough to eat for the day, and again, let them forage in the larger penned area.

    So, the question today: are there any feeding solutions we can use to feed them when we're gone, that the squirrels/rats won't pilfer? If we go away for longer, we figured we'd need someone to come over and take care of feeding/watering them.

    Give us your thoughts on this topic and thanks in advance!

  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    I wouldn't worry about the pilfering for just a few happens. I've left my gals free ranging 24/7 along with my LGDs for up to 4-5 days before with no ill effects. As long as you leave enough food and water, they should be just fine for a long weekend.
  3. BellevueOmlet

    BellevueOmlet Songster

    Jul 10, 2010
    As far as watering, if you have a 5 gallon bucket feeder, three chickens would be ok for a couple weeks without refilling.


    You can set up a feeder that works in a similar way and as long as they are laying birds, they will not overeat so you do not need to regulate it.
  4. I have left my 3 chicks home for the weekend several times now. I keep the pop door to the coop open but the run (10 x 10) secure. No free ranging while I'm gone! I leave water founts inside & out and plenty of food in a hanging outdoor feeder. I put treats & grit in feeders & bowls all around to keep them busy. They have been absolutely fine for up to two nights/three days this way. I have a neighbor who sometimes stops by to give them veggies, but I think the chicks would be fine alone.

    They do sure love when I'm back & they get to run the yard!

    I hope this is an okay way to do it...if I'm doing something wrong anyone is free to let me know!!

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