What do you do if you need to be away overnight?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cackle, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. cackle

    cackle Songster

    Jul 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    We are going out of town on a Thursday and my son and his family can not come to house sit until Friday afternoon. This means no one will be home to lock up the hen house Thursday night. We forgot to close them up about a week ago and we either lucked out or the preditors have not yet discovered them.

    I do not want to leave them cooped up for 2 days. SO my only other oprion is to leave them in an open coop unless someone else has a better idea?

    We do not know our neighbors. So that is not an option.

    I do plan to leave the big door closed. We have it open now because of the heat.
  2. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Quote:cackle, I can't tell from your post whether open coop means open to the outside world because your last sentence says you plan to leave the big door closed - I am not readily visualizing your set up.

    I wouldn't leave them in a coop open to the outside world overnight if it is not a predator proof situation. I would hire someone to come in - maybe a vet tech - someone who has a reputation to uphold. This person could ensure they are safely closed in for the night and let out in the morning (by out, I don't know if it's an uncovered run or free range but both still carry pred risk if no on'es around to supervise....)
    Yikes - if you're leaving Thursday you only have tomorrow to find and train someone....
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2008
  3. BowChickaBowMow

    BowChickaBowMow Songster

    May 16, 2008
    Northern Michigan
    We had a similar situation a few weeks ago. We just kept the chicks locked up inside. Our yard just isn't safe when people aren't around. We have all sorts of wildlife running through our property. It was a cool couple of days, so I wasn't worried about the heat. The chicks faired well!
  4. lilchick

    lilchick Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Williamsport In.
    My hubby likes us to take overnight trips on the Harley...

    I keep the chicken barns locked up...
    I fill the feeders and put extra waters in their barn.
    Make sure the fan is on...

    It surely won't hurt them to be locked up for 2 days...

    I find it more worrisome to ask someone to stop over to care for them... think they might leave drop doors open or forget to lock up a few!
    This way you can go on a trip and not worry so much about them...
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    I don't know how you folks do it without dogs to guard your flock! I wouldn't have any peace of mind when I left overnight if I didn't have those pooches! We don't know anyone in our area so we plan for times like these. Our perimeter fence is locked/secure, the hens stay in their run connected to their house and the dogs are in wireless invisible fencing and live in the shed connected to the henhouse. Actually, we freeranged the birds the last time we left...for 3 nights and 4 days. I have homemade continuous feeders and waterers for all animals. I check the batteries on the dog's collars. And leave the rest to the Lord!

    If this is going to be an issue in the future, you may want to prepare by making your run and coop predator safe and leaving plenty of food and water.
  6. thechickenchick

    thechickenchick Born city, Living country

    Mar 8, 2008
    Eaton, Colorado
    Before we bought Nite Guard and got a guard dog we left our girls locked up for 2 nights. I worried like crazy but our situation was alot like yours. There was no one to help. They were just fine. They sure were happy when I let them out! If you need to be gone once in a while I suggest nite guard. Its solar powered, inexpensive, maintenance free and as far as we can tell, really works, Like I said we do leave our dog out while we are away. So far , so good! You can find the nite guard on line and I know there are people on this site that use it also. This is where I heard of it. I highly recommend it. Our biggest problem here is coons and fox.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2008
  7. cackle

    cackle Songster

    Jul 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    We have the people door and the chicken door to the coop. Then we have a run with 8 foot fencing. The electric cattle fence covers an acre around the house. We are going to expand it to around the coop with a intercircle around the chicken pen. That way the dogs can patrol but not get near the fence. We may try to do that this afternoon. Worst case my son comes out tomorrow night and locks them up then lets them out Friday afternoon when they come to stay. They live 17 miles away and he has to be at work at 6:00.

    We do have dogs I guess it is time to put them to work.[​IMG]

    The chicken house is only 8x8 and it does not have a fan...No way to really run one out there either.

    No matter what happens I am going to be worried about them until I hear from my son Friday night. I told my husband I would stay home but he told me no I have to go with him. This trip has been planned for a year.

    I have to check into the nite guard.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2008
  8. kees

    kees Songster

    Feb 5, 2008
    I haven't gone anyway because I have the same problem. One place suggested a vet tech who would come to my house. Each visit would cost $20 but I felt uncomfortable leaving my house open to someone whom I really didn't know. Even the high schoolers in the area in which I reside don't want the money because their parents give them money or they'd rather work at a mall, where they would need transportation and have taxes taken out of their salary.
  9. GreenieMama

    GreenieMama In the Brooder

    Jan 14, 2008
    Shingle Springs, CA
    You could always check with a local 4H group and see if there are any kids that have experience with animals in your area that you could pay to check on your girls. That would probably take some time in advance to arrange.

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