What About Going Away?

LaFemmeKatia

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May 14, 2020
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I am new at being a chicken mom, and I am finding that my chickens are very time consuming. So my question is, will I ever be able to go away? Like for a week? Or even a weekend?
How many times a day will my chicken-sitter have to come?
It seems to me that I am fussing with them a lot!
Can they be left alone at all?
 
Nov 28, 2017
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Personally the longest I’d leave them with no check ins is 3 days. Any longer and someone should check on them 1-2 times a day. Make sure they have a big feeder and waterer. And a very secure coop and run. There are always unexpected happenings in the chicken world, random illnesses and deaths are one of them. The last thing I’d want for anyone is to come home to a week old chicken corpse - morbid I know, but it holds truth.
 

Folly's place

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Sep 13, 2011
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We have family nearby, although we don't rely on them as 'first responders'. We have neighbors who get our eggs, and are willing to chick on the flock, and two different friends, who also have chickens, who 'pet sit' when we get away.
Our situation may be a bit different, as we also have horses and cattle, and so have developed relationships with friends who also have stock, so we all pitch in when anyone is out of town. Having more than one person to call on is a big help, and so twice daily visits can happen without asking anyone to do too much.
Otherwise, a pet sitter would be good; your veterinarian may have a list of people with experience who can step in.
Mary
 

rosemarythyme

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Yes of course you can still go away, you just need to plan ahead.

That said (and this will sound extreme, but I know I'm not the only one to do it...) my hubby and I take trips separately. Unless we absolutely have to (like going to a funeral), we don't travel together. That way we don't have to fuss about how to arrange for care for all the animals.

Since we've gotten the chickens, we've gone on vacation once, for 3 days. At that time we did have our neighbor come over to pick up eggs and open/close up the coop. I had feed and water fully loaded so she didn't have to worry about any of that. We now have an auto door and coop cam too (in case we see something amiss) so for a trip 3 days or less, I'd be pretty ok leaving them unattended for the most part.
 

Sueby

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Apr 23, 2019
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I frequently go away for a few days at a time. I have an automatic door & a security cam so I can keep an eye on everything & call in a neighbor if anything happens. Only when I go away do I leave water in the coop, just in case the door doesn't open. I have multiple feed & water stations set up just in case something happens to one.

With that said we are going away for 3 weeks at some point & I'm looking for someone to stay at my house during that time, I'd never leave them that long!
 

Birdmom2020

Songster
Mar 9, 2020
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Yadkin river area NC
I'm in the same boat right now. My birds are secure. I have multiple feed and water stations and simple coop set up so they can be closed up easily. I will only be 4 hrs away from home for 5 days so if something does happen (fingers crossed nothing will) I can get home. My neighbors will be caring for them but I have a hose hook up outside and will have the feed stored outside in a storage tote for easy access. I'm still a little nervous tho.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
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I am new at being a chicken mom, and I am finding that my chickens are very time consuming. So my question is, will I ever be able to go away? Like for a week? Or even a weekend?
How many times a day will my chicken-sitter have to come?

Are yours still babies? It gets easier as they get older.

My usual pattern is that chickens get tended twice a day (morning and evening.) Anything beyond that is for my own pleasure--so I would not expect a sitter to come more than twice a day.

If you can have a coop/run setup that is predator safe, so no-one needs to open and close a door, then a sitter could come by once a day or perhaps less often. (Exception: if the water freezes, it needs refreshing in the morning, and again later if it froze again.)

Having two waterers and two feeders could help make sure they still have food and water, even if one fails.

If you get some cameras that you can check remotely, you can point them at feeder, waterer, the whole coop and run. That way you can check from a distance. Then arrange with someone local that they will go check if you call them, but only call if you see something wrong, or if the camera fails. If you can see feed, water, all chickens, and no distress-- then they are fine until the next check.
 

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