Finding a Chicken Sitter.

Any trip that involves overnight also brings the need for a ‘chicken sitter’.

leaving-on-a-trip

Neighbors make good chickens sitters as do responsible young people.

 Last year I had a former coworker, Elizabeth and her two young teens, Peter and Grace watch my chickens during our LOTO trip. They were considering getting chickens of their own, and watching mine showed them how easy and fun it really is. Elizabeth’s husband Tom was surprisingly smitten by my gals (just like my husband!).

They now have 4 lovely hens of their own.

Eliz1

The fact that they are busy with their own chickens, but more so that they will be in England, (lucky ducks),  had me looking for a new chicken sitter this year.

flag

Luck-Duck

I asked my neighbor Roxanne and she was delighted.

002

Since she will also be taking care of my dogs there is payment involved but the fresh eggs are a nice perk.

It is a good idea to have your sitter over to meet the gals and become familiar with the routine. It is not enough to just tell them or show them, it is best to actually have a ‘run through’ and let them practice filling the food and water, work the latches, handle the birds, gather eggs, etc. Remind them that they will be stepping in chicken poop and to dress accordingly!

Speaking of chicken poop – this is a great article from the Chicken Chick!

Since our trip is short enough there is no coop cleaning involved.

clean

For a longer trip your sitter should know how to clean out the coop and run, replace bedding and where to put used bedding.

compost-new-pile1

Follow up your ‘run through’ with detailed written instructions and include what to do for a sick or injured bird.  I don’t need to say that you should leave your contact phone number but it is probably a good idea to leave the number of a person who is familiar with chickens if your sitter is not, as well as your vet if you use one.

list

If you don’t have a separate coop where a sick or injured bird can be quarantined, section off a portion of your coop or provide a dog crate just in case.

cage

 

Being the semi-OC person that I am I will probably text Roxanne at least twice a day as a ‘reminder’ and to check in. I am actually pretty easy with my requirements but my two biggest fears are that they will run our of water, and that they will not be secured at dusk.

lock

If those two things are accomplished each day/evening they can survive a few days with a dirty coop, running out of food (they have probably spilled a life time supply in the coop bedding anyway) or not being let out in a timely manner.

feed me

I wonder if they will miss me?

sadorp

How to you prepare for a trip away from your chickens?

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Barbara Faust
    Aug 11, 2014 @ 12:53:33

    Knew already water more important than food for horses but never dreamt same applied to chickens. Big fan of all the visuals.

    Like

    Reply

  2. Steven Criger
    Aug 10, 2014 @ 13:22:38

    cute!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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