Newbie ?: Leaving for my first overnight since getting chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by NoSleepTillBrooklyn, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. NoSleepTillBrooklyn

    NoSleepTillBrooklyn Out Of The Brooder

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    So, we will be leaving for a two night weekend trip this next weekend. As of late, I've been checking the food and water daily (although it can a day or more before needing refreshing). I can have the neighbor little girl check on them for that. She'd probably like to make some money. [​IMG] My main concern is this--I don't have a finished coop yet, I have their run and their brooder box is out there that I close up at night when they get in it. I live in a warm area the temps are 85 day and 60 night. Can I just leave the box open in the run? They can put themselves to bed and get up whenever? We don't have any real predator problems, hawks and whatnot, but the run takes care of that.

    What say you, gang?
     
  2. poultrycrazy

    poultrycrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    :)
    How old are they?
     
  3. NoSleepTillBrooklyn

    NoSleepTillBrooklyn Out Of The Brooder

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    12 weeks, I believe. I may be off one week in either direction if I'm at some sort of "cusp" for development.
     
  4. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know where you could live where you wouldn't have the potential of night time chicken predators. Raccoons are everywhere, even in cities. We live inside the city limits of Dallas, and I've seen raccoons in our yard myself, several times. And this was before we even had chickens, too, so it's not the presence of chickens that was attracting them. When we went to our first local poultry meet up, about half the people there had lost chickens, mostly to raccoons.

    Unless you are very confident about the security of your run, it's a risk not to lock them inside at night. And a run is always going to be harder to make predator secure than a closed sided coop.

    It just comes down to your own personal tolerance of risk, plus what alternatives would be available to you to lessen that risk. The neighbor girl might not be able to close the chickens in before dusk and let them out the next morning, but then again, maybe she could.
     
  5. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I think what the question was driving at was whether they were still getting supplemental heat. At 12 weeks, they're not...right? They're used to the normal outdoor temps, right?

    The brooder box is only for security, then.
     
  6. NoSleepTillBrooklyn

    NoSleepTillBrooklyn Out Of The Brooder

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    I live in Tucson, and yes the occasional racoon is seen, but they don't have many in the numbers department. We do have bobcats and coyotes, but they are generally skittish of coming into the urban areas. They don't usually do it, and definitely not this time of year because the washes are a wash in bunnies and whatnot. The only thing I've ever heard of really having a problem in my area is the hawk and owl predators. Which the run will deter them. Even they aren't around much yet, they're getting the bunnies that the bobcats missed. We see the coyotes occasionally in July, August when water becomes an issue. But in the 20 years I've lived here, I've never laid eyes on a raccoon, and never heard of a sighting, unless closer to the mountains.

    I will ask the neighbors if they wouldn't mind the evening close up and opening in the morning. They're really helpful, probably wouldn't mind. [​IMG]
     
  7. NanaLantana

    NanaLantana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Go ahead and ask the neighbor's girl to do whatever you want her to do - lock up at night, open at first light in the morning. Leave her a list, and a little chart she can check off. Be sure to tell her that if she does a great job, you'll be happy to use her services again whenever you go away. I know of some kids who have started their own pet-sitting service in their neighborhood! Then pay her - and also bring her a gift. (give the gift the next day, after you've taken inventory of her work).

    This is good for you, so you can go away, and good for her, to learn responsibility and business sense. I'm all for training kids to be adults!
     

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