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Taking Vacation? Who covers the flock mgmt for you?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by FarmerJamie, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. FarmerJamie

    FarmerJamie Songster

    Mar 21, 2010
    This probably seems like a dumb question -

    In starting our flock early last year, being able to take a vacation was not on our radar, but thankfully this year we are in a little better situation where we can think about it. We really had the "duh" moment as we were discussing taking a week to visit family (8 hours away). We've taken mini-breaks (local camping), but due to work constraints, either my wife or I were home at night. The kids have worked really hard this summer to support the household and they'd really like for us as a family to visit their cousins (they are near some really cool family attractions).

    We have 14 egg layers, so they would need daily attention. In the immediate neighborhood, there really aren't a lot of families to help out, even thought we're only talking about 15-20 minutes per day....quick feed and water and open the door in morning, collect the eggs, and shut them up at night. Unfortunately, if they are not careful, the girls will effect a "prison break" if a careless moment arises and rounding them at night is mandatory since I've already fed the local coyotes one time more than I had ever wanted. I'm thinking hard about this, maybe offering up the eggs laid while we are gone as payment. Is that too cheesy?

    What options do you take for situations? Any helpful advice or thoughts? thx.
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    We have to hire a house sitter anytime we go on vacation. We have great neighbors, so we just hire a teenager from up the road to tend to the chickens, ducks, goose and dogs. We also have a friend who owns a local temp agency, so if we are really in a bind we can get staff from there to hire out. It isn't cheap, but the animals are worth it.

    Enjoy your vacation.
  3. WingingIt

    WingingIt Songster

    Apr 16, 2009
    Our neighbor across the street used to have chickens and loves them, so she does it for us when we have to leave. I do tell her to keep all of the eggs. Offered to pay her but she says eggs are enough.

    A couple of thoughts/questions for you:

    Do you have a run they go out in during the day or do they free range? It might only take you 10 minutes to round them up at night if they free range, but it will probably take a stranger who may not be familiar with chickens quite a bit longer and they'll want to be compensated for that time. If they could be contained in a run just while you're on vacation, that would speed that process up as well as give you more peace of mind that they are all making it back in the coop at night and are safe.

    I'd try to find someone local, down the street, that's responsible and that you can hire. It will be easier (and cheaper) to pay someone to walk down to your house in the morning to let them out rather than pay someone who has to take 20 minutes driving to your home and back twice a day.

    Any teenagers that you've seen out mowing yards for money? That'd be a good place to start.

    Good luck
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2010
  4. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    I hire the 14-year-old girl across the street. She takes care of them really well and I let her take all the eggs home to her family since we're not there to eat them.
  5. wsdareme

    wsdareme Songster

    Mar 9, 2010
    Yelm, WA
    I feel your pain! We haven't taken a vacation since we started The Chicken Experience. We're planning on going to Texas in November for a couple of weeks, and I'll have to find someone that has some knowledge not only of chickens, but horses and dogs and cats as well. It's not easy to find someone to house- and pet-sit that you can trust with your belongings and your pets. I haven't come up with anyone yet. I hope you find someone soon! [​IMG]
  6. Resolution

    Resolution Chillin' With My Peeps

    Farmer's Helper Forage Cakes; oversize water containers and a responsible elderly person or middle school aged kid.
  7. thechickenchick

    thechickenchick Born city, Living country

    Mar 8, 2008
    Eaton, Colorado
    I don't think offering eggs for payment is cheesy. In today's economy most people are grateful for free food. We were gone for 10 days last summer. I offered to pay the closest neigbor kids (3 miles away) $50 each to take care of the birds daily, plus they could take all of the eggs to their Mom. At the time I was getting about a dozen a day. When we returned we found out that the Mom ended up doing all of the work. She refused the $100 and returned part of the eggs. Turns out she wants chickens but her DH will not let her have them, unless they are strictly to butcher. They had done that once and she doesn't want to do it again.
  8. mmaddie's mom

    mmaddie's mom Songster

    [​IMG] I'm lucky... my mail carrier is also a "crazy chicken lady" [​IMG] and she's in my drive once a day anyway... I paid her $5 a day and she didn't even want to take that... she's great![​IMG]
  9. thechickenchick

    thechickenchick Born city, Living country

    Mar 8, 2008
    Eaton, Colorado
    mmaddie's mom :

    [​IMG] I'm lucky... my mail carrier is also a "crazy chicken lady" [​IMG] and she's in my drive once a day anyway... I paid her $5 a day and she didn't even want to take that... she's great![​IMG]

    How perfect is that!!!!​
  10. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    No vacation here. Too many animals. I am in the process of getting together a typed "manual" and will try to train the young man next door. It is a step by step guideline on what to do with every single animal. After it is typed, I will do a "walk thru" with him to see if he can do everything. It's kinda scary to think about going out of town with so many animals.

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