How to Find Reliable Caretakers for Your Chickens When You’re Away.
I know firsthand how difficult it can be to find someone to look after my feathered friends when I need to leave town. Whether it’s for a quick weekend getaway or an extended vacation, it’s important to ensure that your chickens are properly cared for while you’re away.
In this article, I’ll share some of the ways I’ve found reliable caretakers for my chickens, as well as some tips for ensuring their safety and well-being while you’re gone.
Why It’s Important to Have Someone Look After Your Chickens
Chickens are social creatures and require daily care to stay healthy and happy. When left unattended for an extended period, they can become stressed, anxious, and even ill.
In addition, chickens are vulnerable to predators such as foxes, raccoons, and coyotes. Without someone to keep an eye on them and protect them from harm, they are at risk of being attacked and killed.
Finding a Reliable Caretaker for Your Chickens
So, who can you trust to look after your chickens when you’re out of town? Here are some options to consider:
- Neighborhood Kids
One option is to seek out local kids who are willing to take on the responsibility of caring for your chickens. This can be a great way to give them a sense of responsibility and keep them occupied during the summer months.
I live in a rural area, so I’ve found that there are usually kids in the neighborhood who are interested in helping out with farm chores. I’ll often approach them or their parents and ask if they’d be willing to collect eggs and ensure that the chickens are safe and secure.
Another option is to ask a trusted neighbor to look after your chickens while you’re away. This can be a great option if you have someone nearby who is familiar with your chickens and knows how to care for them.
I’ve found that some neighbors are happy to help out in exchange for eggs or a small payment. Others are simply happy to be of assistance and don’t expect anything in return.
- Professional Chicken Sitters
If you live in an urban area and don’t have any nearby neighbors or kids who can help out, you may want to consider hiring a professional chicken sitter.
These are people who specialize in caring for chickens and other farm animals while their owners are away. They can provide daily care and attention, ensure that the chickens are safe and secure, and even provide updates and photos to give you peace of mind while you’re away.
Tips for Keeping Your Chickens Safe and Happy While You’re Away
Once you’ve found a reliable caretaker for your chickens, it’s important to take steps to ensure their safety and well-being while you’re away. Here are some tips to consider:
- Make Sure They Have Enough Food and Water
When it comes to providing enough food and water for your chickens while you’re away, it’s important to consider the duration of your absence. If you’re only going to be gone for a few days, you may be able to get by with leaving out a little extra food and water. However, if you’re going to be gone for an extended period, you’ll need to make sure that your chickens have enough to last.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to leave out enough food and water to last at least a week. This will ensure that your chickens have access to the essentials while you’re away. It’s also important to consider the number of chickens you have and their daily consumption rate. You don’t want to leave too little food and water and risk your chickens going hungry or thirsty.
When it comes to feeding your chickens, make sure that you leave out their usual food and that it’s stored in a dry, cool place to prevent it from spoiling. Additionally, make sure that your chickens have access to clean water that’s free of any contaminants. It’s a good idea to change the water daily to ensure that it’s fresh and clean.
Finally, make sure to leave clear instructions for the caretaker on how much food and water to give to the chickens and when to refill their supplies. This will help ensure that your chickens are properly cared for and that they have everything they need to stay healthy and happy while you’re away.
- Provide Adequate Shelter
Providing adequate shelter is crucial for the safety and well-being of your chickens while you’re away. A sturdy and well-maintained coop will protect them from predators and harsh weather conditions. It’s important to make sure that the coop is properly secured and that there are no gaps or holes that could allow predators to enter.
Additionally, it’s important to ensure that the coop is clean and well-ventilated to prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria and moisture. This will help to keep your chickens healthy and comfortable while you’re away.
If your coop has a door, make sure to lock it securely at night to prevent predators from gaining access to your chickens. Consider investing in an automatic door opener that can be set to open and close at specific times. This will provide an extra layer of protection for your chickens and give you peace of mind while you’re away.
In addition to the coop, it’s important to ensure that your chickens have access to a secure outdoor run or enclosure. This will allow them to get some exercise and fresh air while remaining safe from predators. Make sure that the run is also securely fenced and that there are no gaps or holes that could allow predators to enter.
- Consider Installing Security Cameras
Installing security cameras is an effective way to monitor your chickens’ safety and well-being while you’re away. By having a video feed of your coop, you can quickly identify any potential predators or issues that may arise. There are a variety of security camera options available, including wireless cameras that can be easily installed and accessed remotely through a mobile app or computer.
When installing security cameras, make sure to position them in areas that provide a clear view of your coop and run. It’s also a good idea to choose cameras with night vision capabilities to ensure that you can see what’s going on even in low-light conditions.
If you do install security cameras, be sure to let your caretaker know that they are there and how to access the video feed. This can provide additional peace of mind and allow you and your caretaker to work together to keep your chickens safe and secure.
- Let Your Neighbors Know
It’s important to let your neighbors know that you’ll be away and that someone will be looking after your chickens. This not only helps to build a sense of community and trust among your neighbors but also acts as an additional layer of security for your chickens.
Your neighbors can keep an eye on your property and alert the caretaker or the authorities if they notice any suspicious activity. This can be especially helpful if you don’t have security cameras installed or if the caretaker is not able to check on your chickens every day.
In addition, letting your neighbors know that you’ll be away and that someone will be looking after your chickens can help to prevent misunderstandings or conflicts. Your neighbors will be aware of the situation and won’t be alarmed if they see someone coming in and out of your property.
Before you leave town, it’s a good idea to introduce your neighbors to the caretaker and provide them with the caretaker’s contact information. This way, they can reach out to the caretaker if they have any concerns or questions. By working together with your neighbors and the caretaker, you can ensure the safety and well-being of your chickens while you’re away.
- Leave Contact Information
Leaving contact information for the caretaker is crucial in case of an emergency. Make sure that you provide them with your phone number, as well as the phone number of a trusted neighbor or family member who can be reached in case you’re unavailable. It’s also a good idea to provide them with any additional information they may need, such as the location of the nearest veterinary clinic or any specific instructions regarding your chickens’ care. By leaving detailed instructions and contact information, you can ensure that your chickens will be well-cared for and that any issues can be quickly addressed.
Finding someone to look after your chickens while you’re away can be a challenge, but it’s essential for their safety and well-being. Whether you opt for neighborhood kids, trusted neighbors, or a professional chicken sitter, make sure that you take steps to ensure that your chickens have everything they need to stay happy and healthy while you’re gone. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can enjoy your time away knowing that your feathered friends are in good hands.