It’s the time of year when you’re starting to think about your summer holiday and where you’d like to go for some much needed R&R.
Whether you’re looking for fun in the sun or you prefer to find some summer snow there are plenty of options for the adventurous traveller.
However, if you have chickens you’ll also need to consider who’s going to care for them whilst you’re away. Luckily there are a variety of options and your hens will probably enjoy their summer holiday as much as you enjoy yours.
Here are some ideas that will make sure your hens are looked after and your holiday can go without a hitch.
Helpful Neighbours, Friends and Family
You’ll usually find that neighbours, friends, and family are willing to help look after hens – particularly with the promise of free eggs!
Remember to leave them with enough food and clear instructions about what’s expected of them. It might also be a good idea to give them a number of a chicken friendly vet or fellow chicken keeper in case they’re worried about one of the flock.
This can be a good option if you’re only going away for an evening or weekend and your hens have a secure enclosure. This option might also work for you if you can only arrange for someone to visit once per day.
You can purchase automatic pop holes and feeders that will make sure your chickens are secure and fed. A large water drinker should be adequate for a day until your chicken sitter can visit and top it up.
Other chicken Keepers
It’s always good to get friendly with other chicken keepers as you can share chicken sitting duties between you. if you’re going away for more than a week try organising a rota between your other chicken keeping friends so you’re not leaving one person with the responsibility of keeping your hens happy.
Holidays for Hens
If you’re going away, why shouldn’t your hens? There are companies all across the UK which offer 5* accommodation for your feathered companions so they can live in luxury whilst you’re away.
Here are just some, with a few words about what they can offer your flock:
Animal Aunts Ltd.
“We arrange for Aunts to live in our client’s home when they go away, to look after everything they hold dear. Their home is kept clean and tidy, plants watered and garden kept ticking over. Meanwhile all animals large and small will be looked after to their normal routine.
Chickens will be let out early morning and locked safely away in the evenings (unless they have automatic door closers and electric fences which is how we have ours here at HQ). All animals will be fed and watered, loved and tended as if they were our own, dogs will be walked, horses exercised if necessary, Animal Aunts have looked after any property, any animal, anywhere for 30 years.”
The Hen Hotel
“I am Hilary, a retired teacher with many years experience of poultry as a hobby and I have been potty about chickens for many years. I’ve kept them as pets both in France and in the UK. I have a great deal of knowledge about caring for the birds. I know how important it is to keep them disease free and the steps to take at the first sign of problems. I hold regular courses on chicken care.
I constantly protect all our friends from red mite, I keep their feathers glossy by good food and care – I give them treats every day and of course, cuddles for the poultry guests that want them.”
The Chicken Hotel
“A new and exciting hotel in Helston (Cornwall) exclusively for our feathered friends!
Want chickens but don’t know what you’d do if you went away for a weekend or on holiday? Well you can let your chickens have a short holiday break in The Chicken Hotel!
We offer an economical chicken boarding service similar to a cattery or kennels. We now offer accommodation to ducks on an equal opportunities basis.”
N.B – Jim Vyse Arks does not endorse any of these hen sitting companies – although we’re sure they’re all very lovely!
Photo credits: Backyard Chickens, Countryside Network