Have you been marking the days off your calendar for that holiday you’ve been planning for months? Suddenly it is so close and you realise there is only one problem, you have chickens! Chickens worship routine and need to be fed to keep them happy while you are away for a few weeks. There are some things you can do to help your chicken sitter while you are away.
Finding A Quality Chicken Sitter
If you’re going away for less than four days, it is perfectly ok to leave your chickens unattended. If you will be away for more than four days, it will be necessary to organise for someone to look after them. This person will be your chicken sitter and can really be anyone: family, friends, neighbours, house sitters or even pet sitters.
Chicken sitting is a bit more complicated than picking up the mail, but it will surely be fun for anyone who gets the chance to look after your chickens. Make sure that the person you ask is genuinely interested in learning to care for your chickens. They also need the following qualities:
Chickens sitters need to be trustworthy since you will most likely be giving your chicken sitter access to both your house and precious flock.
- Have a passion for poultry
The most enthusiastic and successful chicken sitter is someone with a passion for chickens. If your sitter does not like chickens, feeding your flock a cleaning the coop may simply become a burden.
It doesn’t matter how trustworthy and passionate your chicken sitter is if they live hours away. They will be of no use if something unexpected goes wrong and will waste a lot of fuel driving back and forth to check on your flock.
You can most definitely ask kids and teenagers to look after your flock, as long as they are mature and responsible. Kids over the age of 12 will have an easier time following your instructions and are mature enough to take responsibility. Young people tend to have a lot of time on their hands and will have a lot of fun entertaining your flock.
If your chicken sitter is all of the above and more, it is your lucky day. If you’re having trouble finding someone, think outside of the box. There could be a neighbour on your street that always wanted chickens that would jump on the opportunity to get some first-hand experience. Otherwise, you can ask your other chicken keeper friends for recommendations.
Things To Do Before You Leave
Now that you have a reliable chicken sitter, there are some other preparations that you have to take care of. You won’t be there every step of the way with your chicken sitter, but it would be helpful to lay down the groundwork for a successful experience. Here are some things you might want to do in advance to make the whole thing easier on your chicken sitter:
Your chicken sitter is a lot more likely to offer to look after your chickens again if you leave them well prepared.
Even though your chicken sitter may be a trustworthy, passionate friend, they may not know the difference between shell grit and chicken feed. To avoid any mix-up, leave them with clear instructions and label every container to avoid confusion.
- Clean your coop before you go
It is only good manners to give the coop a deep clean before you go. The less cleaning your chicken keeper will have to do, the better.
- Compile a list of emergency numbers
If something goes wrong, your chicken keeper will need to know who to call. Give them all the emergency numbers they will require such as the number of your local chicken vet, the SPCA, your number and a friend or neighbour they can call for help.