Taking a Vacation.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Hoot, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. Hoot

    Hoot In the Brooder

    Jan 12, 2009
    Canaveral Groves, FL.
    It is always an issue when my wife and I take a trip. Who do we get to care for the animals. For my hounds I use automatic feeders and have their water plumbed and connected to an automatic water system.

    What do you guys do for the chickens?

    I think a few extra feeders and water containers would do the trick. I also have a battery powered automatic deer feeders. The bucket will hold 40 lbs of corn or scratch. It can be set to dump feed up to 4 times a day.

    Any ideas?
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    It would be an awful lot better to get someone to check in on 'em once a day. Every other day at LEAST. A huge number of things can go wrong -- tipped over waterers, predator makes a hole in the fence, etc etc.

    Also you don't want them sitting around with the eggs piling up til someone says 'gee, I wonder what happens if you peck at and then taste this interesting round object that comes out of our butts'. That is a hard, sometimes impossible, habit to break once it gets started.


  3. BeakSanctuary

    BeakSanctuary Songster

    Aug 31, 2008
    Pat - that's a hoot about the eggs! Made me smile...

    Regarding vacations, darn - I've had two 6-day absences and it was expensive because the gal I found to care for them charges $18/trip and I had her coming in the morning to feed and let out and then again in the evening to put away or two trips per day.

    The first week, I was still free-ranging them during the day and they went out of their house and out of the fence - and I learned the hard way that either the caretaker didn't close them up early enough or else there were lots of hungry predators that week because I lost about 11 birds! No way of knowing if the people taking care of them really do what you'd do yourself. The coop was sopping wet by the time I got home, too.

    The second week, they only got let out of their house and had to stay inside the fence during the day - no more free-ranging - and things were much better. Nothing died as far as I could tell.

    I'm home to stay for a long time now. I did think of trying to leave them with survival gear like you mentioned, but with the winter it just seemed like too big a risk. There's an article in our local paper where a guy got in real hot water ($12,000 fine and 56 days in jail) even though he did have a caretaker for his horses when he went away because there wasn't enough food for them and no water because the troughs were frozen. Yikes!
  4. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    How long are your trips, Hoot? I think what you'd need to do would depend on the length of trip.

    I'd really recommend having someone you trust look in on them daily, though. Make part of their payment any eggs that are laid while you are gone. [​IMG]
  5. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Son #1 comes home in May after spending two years in Oregon. We were talking today about a vacation with everyone this summer. Don't know if I trust the neighbor kids yet!
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I had extra feeders and waterers out. I went away for a month. I had several people collecting the eggs and checking the birds feed and water. I have one feeder and waterer in the coop and some under the covered part of the run. I put two extra large (wide) shallow glass planters out in the area of my run that is not covered as we usually get rain every day in the summer and the rain would go into, so hopefully they would have plenty of water. I left the pop door open and the run gate open to their fenced in yard area which I put under a yard light. I figured there would be fewer problems with predators with the coop, run and their yard area under the light. Everything worked out. We had a hurricane and a tornado went though our property while we were gone. A tree fell into the run and knocked down part of the fence. When some friends came to check, the chickens were still all in the run.
  7. greenmulberry

    greenmulberry Songster

    Jul 17, 2007
    I keep extra feeders and waterers out. I prefer not to have people mess with the water because I worry too much that they will leave the water on, which happened once.

    I have someone swing by every day or every other day to get eggs. I tell them that if the weather is bad or they are busy, they can skip coming over, but not to let the eggs pile up too long because I don't want them to learn that they eggs are tasty.
  8. Hoot

    Hoot In the Brooder

    Jan 12, 2009
    Canaveral Groves, FL.
    Normally I'm not gone over a week. All of our kids are grown and moved away. My buddy would do it, but its a long haul from his house.

    I'll just ask the wife if she minds 4 hounds and a load of chickens going with us on our second honeymoon.

  9. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    We are planning a 5 day trip to the Guinea Pig Specialty in April so I am working on getting someone in now. We will be gone overnight next month and I thought that may be a good time to see what someone may do.
    I called a few vets around us and got a few recommendations. One of my friends works at one of them and said she would do it but she wants $20 a trip plus time here (she didn't say how much that may be) and I have known her about all my life and worry that she can do it.
    There is a lot of work on a farm plus any other animals in the house. I don't mind paying but I would like it done right. I have been biting my nails over this for months but we really need to go to PA for the Specialty.
  10. coffeemama

    coffeemama Barista Queen

    Mar 5, 2008
    Have you checked into local 4-H or FFA clubs? Sometimes there are very responsible teens who do this stuff.

    We're lucky-my mom takes care of our critters when we're gone. I think they frown when we come home because she spoils them rotten!

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