What do you do when you go on vacation?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jmbinfo, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. jmbinfo

    jmbinfo Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 10, 2010
    I don't yet have my coop or chickens....just trying to get some info first. I'm wondering what you guys do when you are going to be out of town for 4-7 days like on vacation. I'm sure the optimal thing is to have a family member or neighbor stop by daily to check on them and feed them? Just wondering how long you can lock them in the coop for.
  2. cluckcluck42

    cluckcluck42 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2009
    We are going away next November for our wedding. We will definitely be gone a week. EVERYONE of our family and friends is coming with us so we can't ask them to come feed the chickens.

    I don't know how many chickens you have in the coop, but our coop is fairly large. As long as there arent too many boys they should be okay cooped up for awhile. We're going to fill two or three waterers, two feeders and are going to pay someone to stop by every two days.
  3. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    For trips under two days I don't do anything special other than making sure the waterers have been freshly filled.

    For trips that are under five days I arrange for someone to gather the eggs at least every other day and make sure the waterers and feeders are full before I leave.

    For trips five to ten days I put in double waterers, maybe triple if there are a particular many birds in that flock, fill the feeders as full as they'll go, and have someone come gather the eggs at least every other day.

    The number of birds, the size of your waterers and feeders, and what the weather will be like while you are gone are the things that determine what is best to do. I know how fast my birds go through their water and feed at a given time of year so this tells me the lengths I have to go to for the amount of time I'll be gone.
    1 person likes this.
  4. litterbitt

    litterbitt Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 6, 2010
    West Central GA
    Well, I like to read books, drink cocktails, and lay in the sun.
    OH!!!!!!!!! you meant what do I do with my chickens??? HAHAHA.
    I pay someone to housesit or at least show up every afternoon and check feed waterers, and close up chickens.
    Hopefully I can con one of my daughters into staying.

    City girl Philly likes this.
  5. Uzuri

    Uzuri Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    You can lock them in the coop for the rest of their lives if it's big enough for them. Not a very nice thing to do, but you can do it. A week certainly won't hurt them. "Big enough" varies, but if you're planning on vacationing often, I'd definitely try for considerably more than the minimum 4 sq ft per bird indoors.

    You'll want someone to come by daily. You can do every other day, but if you've got layers, that's risky (broken eggs = eaten eggs; bored hens = eaten eggs), and it's always risky from a water point of view, anyway -- you'd be surprised how they can conspire to empty a waterer, anything from knocking it over, to somehow putting a hole in it, to filling the recepticle with bedding, to just flat out weird things like the seal just deciding to give up the ghost randomly. Leave entertainment objects (cabbages, squashes), and if you ever suspect you have a picking problem ahead of time, peeper those birds.

    The most important thing is to find someone you trust to watch them. And make sure you can REALLY trust them. People are weird about birds, more likely to blow them off than a cat or a dog. Also, make sure to WRITE down instructions and emergency proceedures/phone numbers.
  6. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    I went to Florida for 5 days last April and left 10 3-week old chicks in the brooder for the duration. I just made sure they had enough food and water to last for a week based on what they had been eating. They're now all laying. Once we have layers, however, when we go away for more than 2 days we hire a pet sitter to care for our cats and she also feeds and waters the birds. We really need someone around to gather eggs. The chickens are on lockdown in the coop for the duration since the gal only comes once a day and could not locked them up at night if she let them out. Have gone away for 10 days under these conditions with no problems--the cats miss us more than the chickens. Two days or less we just load everyone with food and lock the doors.
  7. matimeo

    matimeo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2010
    I recently left mine for eight days. They can let themselves in and out of the coop to the attached run and have enough room to move about. Not a lot of room, but enough. My nipple watering system can't be tipped or spilled, so I don't have to worry about that. Since I only have four chickens, a feeder filled full lasted them easily the week.

    Its good your considering all of this before building a coop, since it doesn't sound like you want your life to HAVE to revolve around your chickens. With a little planning, I think it can easily be done.
  8. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    Vacation - whats that.

    Pet sitter moved and no one else will check on them for me. Course I have ducks, quail and chickens so there's more to it.
  9. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    I have a farmsitter - she comes 2X day to feed horses & barncat so she also makes sure chickens have water & feed and locks the coop at night.
    I pay her for the horses and she gathers eggs for her "chicken pay"

    If I'm gone in the Summer when the days are longer, I tell her to let the chickens out into the fenced yard only so she doesn't have to round them up before dark.

    If you don't have family (mine is 2000 miles away) nearby maybe a neighbor could fill in.
    Or ask around at neighbor's farms to see how they handle it.
    Maybe call your vet's office to see if they know anyone.
  10. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:That's us. What's a vacation? We take time off and do day trips but a long trip is out of the question.


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