LEAVING CHICKS ALONE FOR A WEEKEND???

Redline

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 31, 2009
15
0
22
Seattle
All 9 are now in the coop. Nine weeks old and 6 weeks old but everybody goes in at night (finally) by themselves
We want to go away for a 3 day weekend. Do I need a chicken sitter? I usually close them in at night. Can I leave the coop door open? I've never done this.
 

Emzyyy

Runs with Deer
11 Years
Jul 14, 2008
2,952
21
191
Derby Kansas
When we leave Im scared to leave them alone and scared of getting a "sitter" because last time I had a "sitter" one of my white leghorns died. They said she just wouldn't eat after I left and I came home and it had been raining hard and I walked into the muddy run and felt something under my feet looked down and only saw mud so I moved the mud around with my feet and there was my hen they didn't even pick her up and throw her away or leave her in a bad for me just left her where she dropped! Poor girl. I would find a sitter that knows a little more about chickens then the friends I had watch them I thought they knew because their dad has chickens.
 

beginnerchick08

In the Brooder
11 Years
Dec 19, 2008
78
0
39
Alabama
im in the same boat right now. I leave my doors open at night. not a smart move but oh well. Im going to put as much food and water as possible out and then do a trail run of the 3 days and if they run out ill get a sitter but hopefully they wont.
 

AngelzFyre

Songster
12 Years
Sep 18, 2007
807
10
165
Pell City, Alabama
I would definitely get someone to check on them and put them up at night. You've invested money, time, and loving care... leaving them alone to fend for themselves at that age, or really any age... is taking a big chance.
Someone needs to check that they have food, water and are locked up safe and sound at night. Predators would be able to get in at free will if the coop was left open and since they roost at night and are basically oblivious being so young, they would just be targets.
Water gets knocked over, food gets spoiled or other critters come and eat it all. Either of these for 3 days would be disastrous to your babies.

Ask your neighbors if they have any recommendations or your local vet. Sometimes the techs/kennel help are also pet sitters.

Leave specific instructions and a head count so that they can make sure everyone is alive and accounted for.

Good luck and hope you have a happy, safe weekend!
 

Dr.Doorlock

Songster
11 Years
Oct 21, 2008
408
2
131
Garland, Texas
You can read about the special arrangements I made for my girls.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=195661

I have 7 RIR sexlinks and one game hen. I'm taking a six day vacation, but my DW is staying home. She will monitor the devices and rinse the waterer as well as gather the eggs. This will be a test to assure us all will go well. In addition to the food and water, I have made the run and the coop preditor proof to anything short of a bear which I do not expect to see in the city. Racoons could try but not get in. You can see what I have done to prevent digging under at my site linked below.

When we next take a vacation together, we will have our neighbors simply look in, gather the eggs and slide the coop door shut each evening. After hearing about the death of a chicken, we will add removal of the corpse. We are sure they won't mind getting 7 or 8 eggs a day when they don't have to even feed or water them.
 

Hangin Wit My Peeps

AutumnBreezeChickens.com
11 Years
Apr 20, 2008
6,396
29
263
Birnamwood, Wisconsin
Oh my gosh...I would for sure get a chick sitter for them rather then leaving the door open. There is a VERY good chance you come home to very dead chickens. And that would be horrible for them. You just never know what could happen.
 

Peeplperson

Songster
10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
139
5
119
Napa
I would love to hear how this goes. We purposely built our coop & run to be as predator proof as possible so that we could be gone for 2-3 days at a time and not worry. (I'll post photos after I finish painting this weekend - oh, vanity!)

We're trying to have chickens that fit into our lifestyle as opposed to our lives revolving around the chickens. Having said that, we do try to live by the rule that any animals in our care should have a better life with us than without us. Not eloquent, but you know what I mean.

We have 7 x 8 week old pullets (hopefully:)). The best advise I got from our local feed store was to buy the biggest feed & water holders I could lift. So there's 30# of feed and 5 gallons of water at all times. We've done 1 night away - no problems, and will have to be away for longer in the near future.

You all sound like such good chicken 'parents' but there must be some more of us who can't do 24/7 and still want to do the right thing by our chickens. What have you come up with?
 

Hangin Wit My Peeps

AutumnBreezeChickens.com
11 Years
Apr 20, 2008
6,396
29
263
Birnamwood, Wisconsin
I'm sure there are people who have no choice but to leave them alone for a couple days but I think if I had to do this I would leave them inside the coop and leave the doors closed and windows open for air. I really don't think I could do it because I'm paranoid that way but I'm sure many do here. I would love to hear how it went for them and how it goes for you guys too if you decided to do this.
 

slewfoot100

In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 9, 2009
25
0
22
Dyersburg, TN
We always lost a chick or two when we left for a weekend. This is like our 3rd flock we are starting on now. 6 or 7 weeks old now. I bought a 25 dollar electric fence charger that is good for 15 acres and have it strung about 5 inches high off the ground and about 5 inches away from the coop (just out from the chicks reach) all the way around it. Our coop is 15X15 so it wasn't much trouble to install at all. We haven't lost chick since and it's been 3 weeks. I have heard a dog yelp twice. Mine are as safe as I can get them right now. Try an electric fence around your coop...
 

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