I plan on leaving chickens alone at least one week

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by IdyllwildAcres, Oct 31, 2016.

  1. I am building my first coop and run combination and part of the deal with DH is that the chickens will not tie us down. I want to be able to leave the chickens on their own for at least a week at a time, 2 weeks with an occasional check in by a human. I searched the threads and found one where this poor woman missed her sisters wedding because everyone told her what a horrible idea it was. So I have read all that now I am hoping to hear from those of you that are set up to leave them on their own.

    My coop and run will be one in the same, only 3 walls open to the run. Lots of concrete and Hardware cloth. It will be as close to fort knox as I can make it I am not worried about the raccoons getting them. I am planning on 22 gallon Brute trash cans (could go 35) for the feed and water, the water will have horizontal nipples or cups and heated with a stock tank heater and thermocube in winter. The feed will be raised off the ground and accessed by the chickens pecking at a device under the cans which will drop food as they want it. Nesting boxes will be roll out boxes with an outside access, egg area will be heated by seedling matt and another thermocube. Of course I will test everything out and know how long things last long before I ever leave them alone. What am I missing? What are you doing? Remember, new coop so I can do almost anything now I would rather get it right from the beginning. Thanks everyone I look forward to hearing your experiences for what works for you.
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I've never had a situation where I've had to leave my birds unattended where I at least didn't have someone check on them everyday. I think if your coop is truly secure and the food supply is adequate, the only thing I'd recommend is additional water should the nipples fail for some reason. It would seem to be cheap insurance to leave out some flat pans of water should the unforeseen happen. Good luck to you!
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Does it actually get cold enough that things freeze in the winter where you are? How many birds? How big coop and run? (sq. ft.) If you intend to leave them shut in coop/run indefinitely, or even for a week or two at a time. IMO, it would be better to give them lots of space. More than the minimally recommended 4 s.f. in coop and 10 s.f. in run/bird.
  4. 6 birds in 160 sq ft run and coop combo, yes it snows and freezes here I am in the mountains of southern Ca at 5300 Ft above sea level. The coop run will all be under a roof.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2016
  5. Thats good advice, redundancy built in.... Thanks and like I said, it will be all well tested.
  6. Adalida

    Adalida Songster

    Nov 21, 2015
    I've had to leave mine for a week. Of course I fretted about them but they were fine. If you really wanted to splurge you could get one of those cameras that you can access with your phone and see what they're doing. I left mine with three water sources, two feeders, and added some "boredom busters" the day I left- a giant heap of leaves/straw/yard litter to scratch through, a head of lettuce, etc, to keep them busy for awhile.
    1 person likes this.
  7. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I've never left mine like that! Find a friend, relative, or neighbor who can visit least once daily, check on things, and get the free eggs while you are gone. Mary
    1 person likes this.
  8. So no tips for leaving them from you Mary! Lol, yes I read that response to another posters thread (one from you I think it was an old thread) and I do respect that position. I have next door neighbor with kids who would likely drop in once a day and gladly take the eggs. But I am planning for the what if's what if the neighbors gone at the same time? What if I get someone to come over and they don't do it? What if I have all my plans set and airline tickets in hand and chicken sitter plans fall apart last minute? What if whomever is checking chickens turns out to be unreliable? just picks up the eggs through outside of coop and leaves?
  9. iokra

    iokra Songster

    Oct 1, 2012
    I have about 15 chickens and I am leaving them alone sometimes for more then two weeks at the time with nobody checking on them. I have an insulated coop and about one acre enclosure (it's really a paddock with side wire). I have two rain barrels for water with a side cap for drinking that works based on gravity - bought on eBay see link, but mine are connected to giant rain barrels (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dual-Outlet...619148?hash=item1e6f9d9ccc:g:T5YAAOSw1ZBUshCo) and I also have a heated base with an other chicken water on top inside the coop. I have a 50 pound feeder inside the coop plus couple of other feeders hanging from the ceiling of my coop. Outside the paddock enclosure I have my two Anatolian shepherds dogs. I never got a raccoon (or any other predator) even though my area is full of them and I never lock them at night.
    mathie likes this.
  10. Now we are talking! But I do not have an acre run and two dogs but I am going to try and make it work, small flock lots of space per bird and redundant systems for food and water. I like those cups I have some in my amazon.com shopping cart that will go in the side of the 36 gallon container. I also have two 55 gallon rain barrels coming off the garage within a short hose distance of the coop I could set up something off of those to top off the one in the coop they are higher up so all gravity fed....

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