What not to do when you go on vacation....


13 Years
Nov 19, 2008
Central NC
We had to take a week long trip to my MIL to pick some stuff up so we hired the local neighbor kid to come tend the chickens, he is great with them and has always been reliable...

Luckily no incidences with predators, he must have remembered to close them up each night, but they ran out of layer pellets. So he :::gulp::: filled the feeder with the oyster shell! I guess he thought it was chicken food. He then realized that they weren't eating it, they were just billing it out onto the floor. (Luckily they have an acre of orchard on which to free range)

So, in the end he improvised had a friend pick up a bag of chicken feed at the store to fill the hopper (which normally holds 2 50# bags of food, I didn't realize how low the food had gotten before we left). He called me to tell me what happened, I was 800 miles away, couldn't do much but reassure him.

I came home and went to treat the chickens and they weren't interested in it at all! I wondered what the deal was so I checked the feeder, it was full of scratch! No wonder they didn't want anything else! they had stuffed themselves on the "good stuff!" Needless to say I went got a couple bags of the regular layer pellets they normally eat, scooped out the scratch and put them back on normal feed. They sulked for a day or so but :::shrugs::: oh well.

Lessons learned: 1. Always have an extra bag of food on hand 2. Label in dark magic marker "Food" and "Treats" and "NOT Food" any bags of miscellaneous stuff in the food shed.


thootp veteran
11 Years
Apr 10, 2008
Washington, PA
You know what? I've gotten to the point that as long as the chickens are alive when I get back from vacation, I'm happy...

Trying to get someone to show up at your house at daybreak and dusk but not too early or late and to put out fresh food and water and collect eggs, especially when they're not familiar with chicken care is alot to ask of someone other than family and even then, no one will care for your birds as well as you.

I just try to enjoy the vacations and don't sweat the small particulars...

It seems like your chickens had a vacation too with that wonderful buffet of scratch!


Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
14 Years
Nov 9, 2007
SW Arkansas
Yep, had to mark the bins for goat feed and chicken feed when we went on vacation.
The bins and the food looked almost identical. The chickens would have loved a chance at all the goat food they could consume, but I'm not sure the goat would have appreciated it.


Hilltop Farm
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Nov 18, 2007
My Coop
My Coop
My husband and I went away for 3 days and asked a friend to collect the eggs while we were gone. He collected them the first day only and left the nest box door opened. The chickens were out of the coop and their yard for two days. They didn't get into the gardens but did get into the compost piles and spread them out. I found eggs in the coop on the floor. They never do that when I'm home. They lay in their nest boxes. There are pictures on my BYC Page.
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