How Do You Take a Vacation When You Have Chickens? Leaving your chickens at home while on vacation can be a little daunting and worrisome. There are tricks to help ease into this transition. Whether you’re going on vacation or traveling for business you’ll be needing some help!
How Do You Take a Vacation When You Have Chickens?
Devise A Plan
There are two main ways to take a vacation when you have chickens. Those are to have someone watch them for you or automate everything. We’ll get into the how-to’s of those later.
First, you have to decide if you have anyone who could watch the chickens, if not you may have to lean towards automation.
A chicken sitter is someone who is paid to come over a couple of times a day or possibly even stay at your home while your away. However, they don’t need to stay all day long.
A chicken sitter would really only need to come over for about 15 minutes in the morning and at night. Maybe a little more depending on your setup and how many chickens you have.
Typically, you would want someone who already knows about chickens. The last thing you need while you’re on vacation is to worry whether or not you’ve left them in capable hands.
You’ll want to make sure they know how much to feed chickens and that they have an appropriate amount of water throughout the day. It’s a great idea for them to know when you typically collect eggs and how you prefer to store them.
Although, usually when someone watches my chickens for me they can keep as many eggs as they like!
A chicken sitter will also need to know what time to open and close the coop. This is usually at or near sunrise and at dusk for most chicken owners.
Another good idea is that they know about chicken wounds and how to treat them. Just in case something goes wrong. Learn more about having a chicken first aid kit.
Spouses And Other Family Members
If you go on vacation and your spouse or another adult is still going to be at home in the mornings and at night, they could care for the chickens while you’re gone.
Or you can do what I do and put my kiddos in charge! My little farm boys (they’re not little anymore, who am I kidding?) have a fair share of chores around here. They are expected to help with the chickens too. They are what you might call experience farm hands or chicken farmers?
Anyhow, they help me out when I need to go out of town. Dad of course helps and supervises!
If you don’t have someone at home, ask a friend or family member if they would mind helping you out. It wouldn’t even take 15 minutes each time they come.
Although, convincing family or friends to do this for you may be a little difficult. Maybe you can entice them with free eggs!
Another thing to think about is having a chicken run or fenced in chickens. It may be easier for you to go on vacation if the chickens are not free-ranging throughout the day.
I let my girls free range unless there is a big storm coming our way or if I know I will be away for most of the day.
So, in my opinion, you don’t need someone watching the chickens all day long. Get someone to let the chickens out early in the morning, and have them check to make sure they have plenty of food and water, and collect eggs then, close up the coop at night.
I hope this helps. Now, all you have to do is find someone willing to do this for you! That may be the hardest part.
Another option that many readers say that they do is to make or buy an automatic water and feeder. I prefer a treadle feeder instead of this open feeder. Since, open feeders draw in the attention of many hungry wild animals including other birds, mice, rats, squirrels, and more.
Additionally, don’t forget to have multiple waters and feeders especially if you have a good amount of chickens. This will help keep the peace within the flock.
Having an automatic door on the coop would be a great way to make sure that the chickens are locked in a night, while you’re away.
The only thing I would worry about are predators. Living deep in the woods, we tend to get a lot of predators.
I know that whether I’m here or not, predators are an issue. I have lost a few birds to predators, however, I’ve also successfully defended off some of the attackers too.
Just last week, we had to scare off our first fox. We’re surprised we haven’t seen one around here before now.
No matter who you are or where you live, you are bound to get a predator or two.
My friend lives within the city limits and she has to deal with raccoons. So, you’re never safe from predators.
Especially when it comes to raising chickens and other poultry. Since there are so many predators that love chickens and their delicious eggs.
How To Predator Proof Your Chicken Pen
Chicken wire is not predator proof. It’s meant to keep chickens in…Not predators out!
Using hardware cloth for fencing will help make the chicken pen more secure.
The hardware cloth should also be used as a digging deterrent, by burying it several inches deep all around the coop.
Animals that like to dig will give up when they hit hardware cloth, since they can’t get around it.
Flying and climbing predators can and will enter the chicken pen through the roof.
Adding a roof to the chicken pen can significantly help keep those pesky buggers away from your chooks!
One thing I really wished we had is electric poultry netting. This is a great defense system in keeping many predators at bay.
Taking a vacation away from your animals can be a little stressful. If you have someone you trust to take care of them while you’re gone, you’ll be able to relax more while on vacation.
However, many people seek automation when it comes to their coop setups and this can also allow you the ability and freedom to leave when you need to.
Predator proofing the chicken pen will help you gain some confidence in leaving them home alone.
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