Whether you’re going to visit family for the holidays or heading to the Bahamas for a couple weeks, at some point you’ll need to leave your chickens. But how can you ensure that your chickens are well taken care of while you’re away? While chickens can last on their own for a couple of days, anything longer than that and they will need a sitter. Here, we go through everything you need to know about finding and preparing for a chicken sitter.
Why Do You Need a Chicken Sitter?
If you’re here reading this blog post, then you’ve either already decided on getting a chicken sitter or you’re on the fence about it. If you’re on the fence about it, it’s likely because you won’t be gone too long and you’re not sure if you really need one.
Technically speaking, chickens can spend a couple days alone so long as you load them up on the essentials. However, we don’t recommend doing this. Your chickens’ eggs will still need to be collected, and you never know when a predator might wander by. Plus, there’s always the chance that your trip takes longer than you planned.
How to Find a Chicken Sitter
Now that you’ve decided on hiring a chicken sitter, it’s time to actually find one. Thankfully, finding a chicken sitter is easier now than it’s ever been before. Here are just a few options:
- Neighbors, friends, or family: If you’re looking for someone you can trust, then see if anyone you know would be willing to watch your chickens. Keep in mind, though, that if you go this route, you may have to train your to-be chicken sitter.
- Hire a local pet sitting service: More and more pet sitters are now offering to pet sit chickens as well as dogs and cats. Make a few calls or google searches to see which local companies can do this.
- Call your veterinarian: Your veterinarian will likely have pet sitter recommendations on file.
What to Look for in Your Chicken Sitter
An ideal chicken sitter is familiar with poultry and already knows how to take care of them. It’s important that your chicken sitter has experience with chickens, rather than just other types of pets. After all, chickens are quite different from dogs or cats, and your chicken sitter should realize that.
If you’re unable to find someone who has prior experience with poultry, then try and find someone who is willing to get up to speed and is comfortable with chickens. You will have to take time training them, but they will then be able to watch your chickens far into the future.
How to Prepare for your Sitter
You’ve hired your sitter, but what now? While you’ll be busy preparing for your trip, you’ll also need to prepare for your chicken sitter. Here are a few things you should do before you leave:
- Leave instructions: Even if you’ve walked your sitter through everything, it’s best to leave written instructions just in case. Detail everything from replacing their water to good biosecurity practices.
- Have an emergency plan: You should always have a back-up plan in case something happens to your sitter or if your trip lasts longer than intended. This may mean asking a neighbor or friend to step in if needed.
- Leave contact information: While you’re gone, you never know what may happen. So, be sure that your sitter has the information of anyone who could help. This should include your veterinarian, neighbors, friends, and family that can come help in an emergency.
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