How long have you left your chickens alone?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Bozo, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. Bozo

    Bozo New Egg

    May 21, 2010
    We knew this day would come when we have to go out of town for a few days and was wondering how long other people have left there chickens alone. We have four hens each about 22 weeks old. They have a run that is compleatly enclosed that is 20' x 20' with the chicken coop inside the run. They all feed inside the coop with a feeder that holds at least five days of food and a 2 1/2 gal. waterer. Each is elevated so the pine shaveings in the feed and water is greatly reduced. We also have a 3 1/2 gal. and a 1 gal. water in the run. The 3 1/2 is hung by a rope and stays preaty clean but the one gal. I replace each day due to it being so close to the ground and it gets dirty. I do plan on elevating the one gal. before we go. We live in central Fl and due to the heat I have made sure they allways have pleanty of water. I know the best thing to do is have someone come over and chicken sit but if that is not pratical then I would like recomendations on how many days you would feel comfortable leaving them alone, if at all.
    1 person likes this.
  2. BirdNut

    BirdNut Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 13, 2010
    Suprise, Arizona
    I haven't let my chickens longer thna a day, but I think you could get away with (maybe) two days maximum. I live in hot, sunny Arizona. We get triple-digit weather during the Summer, so leaving the chickens at home for even a day is risky. Just be sure to fill the waterer as full as you can, and throw in lots of ice. You can fill up water bottles, freeze them, and lay them around the entire coop to act as an air conditioner and something to lay on when they get hot. They also like to pick at the ice. You'll want to do all of this almost at th last minute, so that it will last longer while you're gone.

    Best wishes; I hope that someone else will come along and help you!
  3. JMPE

    JMPE Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2009
    Western Wisconsin
    I have left my five girls several times on weekend trips (usually only two nights/ one full day and two partials). I have left them up to three nights without someone checking on them. Beyond that I have some stop by mid trip to collect eggs and check on them.
  4. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    We are supposed to leave them alone? I just now got used to not checking on them in the middle of the night.
  5. SmartyChick

    SmartyChick An Official Milkmaid

    Oct 19, 2009
    Sullivan County NY
    We've left our alone for 2 nights and a 3 days, but we had someone come and collect the eggs (we have an egg eating epidemic). We have huge feeders and waterers, but any longer wouldn't have worked, they were down to the bare minimum when we got back
  6. Chook-A-Holic

    Chook-A-Holic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2009
    Central, N.C.
    First of all... [​IMG]

    How many days is a few? I have left mine for up to 8 days with no problems at all. I added additional waterers and filled the feeders completely full with an additional day or two of each just in-case. You will want to make absolutely sure that if a waterer gets knocked over that there is plenty of additional waterers until your return. I also make sure the water is completely shaded and I add a teaspoon of vinegar per gallon to help prevent it from turning sour. Do not add any electrolytes to the water before you leave because the water may sour in a day or two in hot weather. Sometimes it's just impossible to find anyone that you trust to check on them. I am fortunate that I have a neighbor that will walk over and make sure everything is OK even though they would not rather go into the coops and runs. They call me if there is a problem.
  7. MJCooper42

    MJCooper42 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 24, 2010

    My DW has weekend plans set out till May...
  8. BayouPoules

    BayouPoules Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:[​IMG] [​IMG]
  9. Bozo

    Bozo New Egg

    May 21, 2010
    Thanks for the replies. Ours are not laying eggs yet, but we are hopeing anytime now. The trip is for four nights but ony three full days. I am thinking that is pushing it to far. I am not concerend about the food, and the water should be o.k. but that is what I am most concerned about. They have plenty of shade and cover, but I do think four nights is to long. Am I answering my own question???
  10. cobrien

    cobrien Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    I think you are answering your own question -- what I mean is, this is your vacation and you don't want to worry about your girls, so do what will ease your mind. I do think it is fine to load up on food/water and leave them for many days (4 and maybe even more). But I am a bit on the paranoid / worrying side so I have only left them 1-2 days without anyone checking. I have neighbors who aren't chicken people who can check on them, and another set of chicken loving friends that know the whole food/water filling routine and they even let them out to play. When my chicken friends aren't available, what I do is ask my non-chicken neighbors to just visually check their food/water sometime early in the day (they have never found a problem and we've done this dozens of times - so this indicates to me that yes, I am paranoid). If any problem, they can call me or go into my garage where I have backup feed/waterers ready to go that they can just put right in the coop.

    Not to add to the paranoia but there is still the risk of a predator breaking into the run if they aren't locked in the coop. I have a very secure run and have never had a problem, but there is still a risk.

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