Vacation time's near & I'm a nervous wreck!!

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by gritsar, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Just two weeks until we leave for the Hot Springs motorcycle rally. We attend every year and I always have the best time. I love Hot Springs and I love all the activities during the rally, especially the concerts. Only now I have chickens. [​IMG]
    We've made arrangements for my SO's DD to come and tend to the animals while we are gone. She's a huge animal lover, but still I worry. What if she decides it's too much of a hassle to keep a close watch on the chickens while they free-range or worse, decides to keep them locked up in their coop the whole time? They don't have an run, yet. They just free-range and go in their coop at night. What if she forgets that the cat has to be in the house while the chickens are out? What if she forgets to take the spout cap off their waterer after she fills it? I did this once and the poor things were without water for several hours. [​IMG] So many what ifs! Her Dad has given her the option of only being up here to tend to the animals and staying in town at her Mom's at night. I'm not happy about that, but I know this farm could be a spooky place to a young girl.
    I've thought of making her a list of the care for all the animals, but I'm afraid she'll be insulted.
    Oh, what to do? what to do???
    We don't have the time between now and then to build a run, since his other DD will be getting married as soon as we get back, so there's wedding preparations and all my doctor's appts. to deal with.
    If she backs out at the last minute then of course I'll be staying home. That would make my SO one very p***** off man; since our room reservations and the $85 a piece rally fee has already been made.
    We'll only be gone three days and two nights, but how can I cope with leaving my babies for the first time?
     
  2. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

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    Sevier County, TN
    Write a list out and put it in the phone book. Then if she checks in and says she's confused you can tell her where to find the list.

    Also, having the list made means you'll be ready if another sitter is found at the last minute. Check the vet's office or feed store. There are bonded sitters who do this for a living. It would be cheaper than missing the rally and special time with your SO.

    The chickens will probably be fine. It's not like you'll be gone that long. Check them before you go and the minute you get back an they'll only be without you for around 48 hours.

    Relax and go try and have a good time.
     
  3. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    I've thought of making her a list of the care for all the animals, but I'm afraid she'll be insulted.
    Oh, what to do? what to do???

    I always leave an "Animal Care" Journal when we leave the animals. No matter who takes take of them while we are gone. Our journal has a pic of each animal, it's name, sex, age, and what it is fed and how often.

    On the refrigerator, I post my cell number and a secondary number "in case of emergency".

    This last time we went away, we had a mama hen and her chicks in the laundry/mud room of our house as well as the rest of the flock in the hen house/barn.

    I leave detailed instructions for the daily routine for the animals. I use different colored 3 x 5 cards for these. The green are the barn animals, the pink ones were for mama hen and her chicks, and the white for our Great Pyr.

    When it was just our Great Pyr, we had a professional pet sitter, who happens to be a family friend. But she doesn't service our area now that we're 'in the sticks'.

    One of our friends from church has a high school aged son trying to earn money for a car. They have a farm too, so their son is used to taking care of animals. So we hired him to take care of the animals while we were out of town recently.

    A couple days before we left, he and his parents came to get instructions and ask questions. It worked out really well and we would certainly feel secure in leaving our animals in his care again.

    Just a note: we do a nightly head count when we lock up the animals. So I left head counts sheets where the animals would be at night. So for our laundry/mud room there was a sheet on the wall that said: One JBG mama hen, 2 CM chicks, 2 Cochin chicks, 1 mix CM-Cochin chick. This information was also on the pink 3 x 5 cards I used for care info for this group of chickens. (I'm just that way [​IMG] )

    Make sure your care giver knows what is expected before you leave and you'll be able to enjoy your time away from your flock. Have fun!​
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Okay, so I'm trying to work off my anxieties by keeping busy preparing things. Made detailed lists, one for her so she'll know what everybody needs; one for me to make sure I don't forget anything I need to do beforehand.
    My SO has offered to buy the chickens a third waterer, so they'll have two in the coop besides their one outside.
    I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the temps will be a bit cooler by mid-September; that way if they do end up spending more time in their coop than I'd like at least they won't be hot and cooped up. [​IMG]
     
  5. orbirdman

    orbirdman Out Of The Brooder

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    oregon
    dont worry too much. we leave at least once a month. the house sitters that we have are awesome. we only had to update the list and show em all the stuff for the birds. funny thing is they both love our place and leave it just as clean or better for when we return home. oh yeah, they love sitting in the yard watching the birds and drinking the beer we leave in the fridge for em.
     
  6. chick4chicks

    chick4chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2008
    N.E. Pa.
    Sounds like you have all bases covered. Hope you enjoy the rally.
     
  7. cockadoodlemom

    cockadoodlemom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2007
    Texas
    gritsar, It will all work out [​IMG] go enjoy yourself and have fun. [​IMG] will be waiting for news of the fun you had and maybe a few pics.
     
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Thanks for the support. My SO talked to his DD last night and apparently she's still willing to do it. Somebody, I'm not sure if it's him or her, is not too keen on the idea of her free-ranging them in our absence. I free-range all day, but then again I have plenty of time to check on them since I've been forced to retire due to my health. She may find it to be too much trouble. That's okay. I checked the long range forecast and it's suppose to be in the low 80s while we are gone; so even if they have to be stuck in their coop the whole time at least they won't be stuck in there and hot too.
     
  9. whitecra

    whitecra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2008
    Oklahoma
    I would leave her a note on how to care for them. I do this with our animals if someone new watches them and they like having it. They say it makes them feel better because they know excatly how they are to take care of them.
    Chris
     
  10. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

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    Jul 5, 2007
    Sevier County, TN
    You might also leave some ideas on treats she can use to enrich their environment since they won't be free-ranging.
    Our neighbor is nervous about letting our peeps out, so she uses this. A few ears of fresh corn on the cob or a sliced up melon or squash gives them lots of enjoyment and makes her feel less guilty about not letting them out.
    We 've also left her with suet cakes to use for treats when we travelled last Christmas.
     

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