Vacation -- Put the Roo in Jail?


10 Years
Mar 28, 2009
Northern Califonia
One of these days, we're going to HAVE to go on vacation! I'm wondering what to do about our roo, who is fine with us, but treats other folks like they are a big threat to his girls. Don't say stewpot -- DH loves this creature, and unless the roo ever attacks HIM, he's safe! He DOES do a wonderful job of protecting his flock and we have seen him chase away hawks on more than one occasion.

They free range all day. If someone is coming over to work on a project, we just shoo everyone back to the run.

If we go away for just a couple of days, no big deal. The chickens have a nice secure coop with a good size attached run and we can just leave everyone loaded up with lots of food and clean water.

But if we wanted to go away for a week, that's another story. Our eight girls lay an egg a day each, and someone would have to pick those up. But I can see our roo putting up a fight with anyone coming in to his coop to collect eggs.

What do we do? Set up one of those doggy fences and keep him separated from the flock for a whole week so someone can come and go from the coop without fear of attack? I would think that would be very hard on him.

Has anyone ever faced this problem? What was your solution?
We're facing the same thing! Our new roo is great with us but unpredictable (as he should be) with strangers. What our plans are is as follows:
The dear neighbor who loves our chickens will collect the eggs daily with her hubby standing "guard" with a rake to shoo Brooster back. He's easy to shoo back in the coop, just block the pop door from inside.

They will fill the feeders after dark or early am before the chickens are let out.

They will again "guard" each other to open/close the pop door daily.

It helps that these neighbors, though elderly, had chickens when younger. The man especially is fearless although he is very frail. He feels powerful enough with the rake in his hand. She is a large woman who moves slowly, so they will definitely have to work as a team to do the chores.

We will clean the coop thoroughly before our vacation, so they will ONLY be asked to do egg/feed/water duty. Any emergencies that arise, oh well - there's a shovel in the shed.
I had to laugh when I read the subject line. I have a jail in my coop too
My male duck spends his nights in it, he is too aggressive with my hens.
Back on subject. I have a big Deleware roo that is aggessive towards strangers, therefore, when I go on vacation he goes into a wire dog cage for the duration of our trip. The initial issue we had was that he turned over just about every water container we put in there in attempt to get out. I found great clip on cups at Petsmart for his water. My mother in law is our chicken sitter and she is small but very fiesty and could probably handle him but I don't want to take the chance so Mouch spends a week in jail. It's better then freezer camp
As most here, we too have a "mean" roo too and it will even come after both of us. We have found that a squirt bottle is extremely effective. A couple of squirts and he backs off and it allows us to keep a good distance him and us.

We close the pop out door when working inside and do pen work before letting them out. We have the ability of opening and closing the pop out door from outside the coop and pen, that is really helpful. Just on a pulley with cloth line wire/string.

We have tried to re-home this roo but all in all he does a great job of protecting the hens. Our neighbors are elderly as well and have had chickens in the past and follow our same routine so it is working out well for us.

I too am facing the vacation problem. My Girlfriend is going to take care of the cats and hens but my 2 roos are going to be a problem for her so I am trying to find a home for the older one and hope my vet can house the younger one for a week with a hen as company. I am thankful both silky roos are sweet tempered!
I would do whatever is best for the person coming to feed/water your chickens. So yes, separate him or cage him whatever you need to do so whoever is coming will feel comfortable taking care of the girls without the fear of him attacking them!
It's best for your caregiver and the rooster!
I say put him in a cage, he might not be thrilled but that's life. It's not such a long time. Whenever I have to do things like this - like putting my dogs in a kennel, keeping the chickens confined while on vacation, etc., I remind myself that I'm not always thrilled about life either - getting stuck in traffic, working 10 hours/day, and not being able to take enough vacations!!! That's life, right?

Also, remind yourself what a great life your chickens have compared to most chickens, and perhaps even most animals in the world, even if they're in a cage for a week or two.
I very much intend to do so when I travel this summer so that my folks don't have to worry about mine at all. He'll be in a plenty big enough cage for the duration, and all they' have to do is shove some food and water through the door. The last thing I'd want would be for him to manage to stand them off so that they couldn't take care of the hens! In jail he's out of the way.

It's actually my intention to "jail" him on daytrip days as well -- days that I won't be home before yet won't be gone overnight and won't have a sitter so everyone has to stay locked up. In this case, it's for the good of the girls. Everyone in my coop gets along, there's little fighting, but there's no doubt that the girls suffer a bit from Rooster's attentions when they're stuck inside. He's a big awkward dope and they can get away from him outside, but not so inside. So into jail he goes when the doors have to stay closed.

Uh, anyway, after all that blabbering, my vote is to jail him.
I vote jail... I finally got rid of my nasty rooster and the rest are pretty decent toward people so I'd feel comfortable with having neighbors chicken-sit, but if I had a questionable roo, he'd be jailed until I got back. Not fair to put that one people who are doing you a favor by taking care of your chickens!!

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