Only at "farm" on weekends, egg collection??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Tracyree, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. Tracyree

    Tracyree Songster

    May 6, 2011
    We are moving. But keeping our "farm". We will live about and hour away and visit on weekends. My feeling is that I have to get rid of my hens. :( I can't see how to manage them with only being here on weekends. Feed and water are possible, but eggs. Any ideas?
  2. song of joy

    song of joy Crowing

    Apr 22, 2012
    Central Pennsylvania
    You're probably asking for problems if the eggs are only collected weekly. It could very well lead to broken eggs and/or egg-eaters. In winter, the eggs will freeze and crack, making a mess. In summer, the quality will be lower after sitting in a hot coop for several days.

    Also, any number of issues could arise during the week, including predation, an empty waterer, a sick or injured hen, etc. Someone should be there at least every couple of days to keep an eye on things.

    Some potential solutions:

    1. Take some or all of the hens with you, and get rid of the rest.
    2. Have someone tend the hens for you. If someone is renting the farmstead, flock maintenance could be a condition of rental.
    3. If nobody will be moving into the farmstead, hire someone to come daily or every other day to care for the hens and collect eggs. This could get expensive, though.
    4. Re-home the flock.
    5. Butcher the flock and use them for meat.
  3. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Crowing

    Apr 11, 2011
    Anyone live close to the farm that might be interested in picking up the eggs?

    Maybe you could arrange to have someone look in on the feed and water during the week and take the eggs as payment. Then you could take whatever is laid on the weekends when you check them..
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I agree with you, while you can get away with leaving them for a day or two, 5 days is pushing it. And really I think the eggs will be a mess.

    Let them go.
  5. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Recently I adopted a hen from an animal shelter who had been brought there after a neighbor saw her scooting under her car. Apparently, the owner had moved and left the chickens behind. It's not known if he arranged for anyone to come in and care for these chickens, but eventually all of them got out of whatever enclosure they were in and all died except for this one hen.

    This is known as "cruelty to animals". By acquiring animals, whatever the species and for whatever reason, we assume the responsibility to care for them properly. By your trying to explore the ways and means to continue the care of your chickens after you move indicates you have a sense of this responsibility. You came here to get additional viewpoints on your problem.

    We are here to help you see what you may not be seeing as you explore solutions.

    Chickens are very vulnerable animals. They are much more than meat and eggs. They are prey to any number of mammals and reptiles and birds of prey. They get diseases. They have accidents. They have fights and injure one another. The things that can happen even with a full time care taker can seem overwhelming when taken all together.

    Imagine coming around only every five or six days and encountering a crisis that has occurred during your absence. How will you feel finding a dead chicken? How will you feel when you find an injured chicken that has been left to suffer for days? A sick chicken not able to get to food and water? A storm that has destroyed part of a fence and you find only a third of your chickens are still there?

    I read on one of these forums a few years back about a man who went away for a couple of days and came home to find a bear had completely destroyed his coop and run, leveled it, and all the chickens had disappeared or been killed. How do you think he felt?

    Only you can make the decision about how to handle this matter. Hopefully, you'll make an informed decision.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Would probably be best in the long run.

    Even if feed and water could provided in bulk for that time period......livestock should be monitored daily.
    Problems with bulk feed/water, predators, illness, injury, not to mention gathering eggs,
    are all things that a keeper should be observant of daily.

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