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Chickens & (2 Week) holiday

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I’m hoping to have a 2 week holiday soon. My neighbours have agreed to look after the TWO chickens if dates are convenient. I will look after their rabbit and parrot in return. They’re only away for 1 week so I want to keep my requests to a minimum whilst ensuring girls are safe, healthy and comfortable whilst minimising my guilt !!


What are the minimum requirements ? I was planning to ask them to ask them to

a. let girls out of eglu at 7/7.30/8 am as convenient - remove eggs [will this be OK - they sleep in/on nesting box]

b. lock eglu door just after dusk when they have gone in (generally around 9.30 pm)

c. put 8 scoops of food in feeder every 4 days or so (this should be more than enough judging by how much they eat)

d. top up water every day (tip away and refill every 4 days or as required)


c & d need to be done when girls are locked in eglu as don’t want them to have the hassle of them running out of run


e after about a week, remove poo tray, put in compost bin, add new aubiose, replace tray [ I think bars will survive 2 weeks as only 2 chickens and most stuff falls through bars - hence they won’t have to remove top of eglu, simplifying things]


I will leave them vets number and omlets number as backup. We shall (hopefully) be in Greece and so not easily contactable. I will phone home a couple of times to check but won’t be able to do much.


Does this sound OK ? Am I worrying too much ?

Am new to all this so any advice, suggestions, criticism welcome.


Thanks in advance, H

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Hi Hazel.


I came back from 2 weeks in Kos yesterday (3am - still feeling a bit worn out!).


A local girl came once a day & made sure the hens were fed & watered,& collected the eggs & also gave them a nice green treat too. She cam late afternoon when the eggs had all been laid for the day.This suited her schedule too - she is my local vet!


I cleaned them out really well before I left & she knocked out the poo tray a couple of times a week & refreshed the bedding.I told her not to bother cleaning the bars & have just scrubbed them now.


I leave the Eglu door open 24 hours, so there was no need to tuck them in each night.If you do this then now is a good time to get them used to having the door open as its warm.They are also then free to come out when they like in the morning.


Don't fret about it.Hens are very easy to look after so as long as your girl just keeps their feed & water full,collects the eggs & cleans the tray a couple of times all will be fine :P


Have a good one - where are you off to?

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I think what you're suggesting sounds roughly what I do anyway :oops:

I'm exaggerating slightly, (honest :wink: )


You could leave the Eglu door open night and day - however, it might well be better for your neighbour NOT to have curious chickens pecking around when she tries to refill the Grub and Glug. I usually distract mine with mealworms at the other end of the run, which gives me time to whip the feeder out and refill it.


I think your girls would be just fine on this regime - a bit of poo on the roosting bars won't hurt, the tray may need emptying but if they are in the run and only eating pellets then it should all be, um, fairly firm!

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Thanks for the replies so far - keep them coming is anyone has any other advice

- now just have to find suitable holiday to book !!


I now close eglu door at night as we saw a fox on the run at 4.15 am last week. Chickens fine/safe but don't want to take the risk (especially if we're away)


Olly - I note you live in Buckhurst Hill - I lived in Woodford Green before I moved to Leicester.

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We are going away for 2 weeks next week, and I'm also worrying about the girls! The neighbours are keen to look after them (think she secretly wants to convince him to get an eglu!) but she has just had a shoulder repair, so don't want to give her any more to do than is really essential. I've suggested a once a day visit to collect eggs and top up food and water. I've ordered an extra glug and grub (I have 2 eglus, so each will have 2 grubs and 1 glug). Will suggest a clean out after one week, but I plan to give everything a really good scrub down so it could last a fortnight at a pinch. And I've done a list of safe s"Ooops, word censored!"s they can be given. I feel really guilty - they will be confined to their runs for 2 whole weeks - normally they are out most of the day! :shock::?

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I feel really guilty - they will be confined to their runs for 2 whole weeks - normally they are out most of the day!


Yes - mine only come out for one or two hours a day (which they seem to find plenty) but I am also feeling guilty.

We shouldn't though - the run is plenty big enough !!!

I KNOW they only pace up and down when they see me to make me feel guitly (and it works !!)


Is your list of safe s"Ooops, word censored!"s hand written or electronic (if the latter could you email me a a copy please)


so it could last a fortnight at a pinch.

I clean properly mine once a week, I'm sure it could last 2 weeks (but I do only have 2 girls) - they are supposed to be quite hardy animals - we don't want them to become TOO pampered do we ??!!

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Olly - I note you live in Buckhurst Hill - I lived in Woodford Green before I moved to Leicester.


Funny, 'cos I lived in Loughborough before I moved to London! We seem to have swopped places :wink:


I have a dilemma this year, as I'm going away with some friends ... several friends ... in fact, all the friends I would usually ask to cat- and chicken-sit! I've got a list of pet-sitters from my vet, and need to ring and ask if they will do chickens, but I'm thinking of finding a house-sitter. Anyone ever used this sort of arrangement? I'm thinking more of the sort of arrangement where you exchange houses (although I don't need anywhere to stay) rather than a paid sitter, as I'm near a tube station I'm hoping it might be an attractive proposition. Anyone out there got experience of this?

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Hi Hazel.


My sister (who lives next door) was my sitter recently but even though she's only next door she's pregnant and has a thing about touching animals at the moment so tried to make it hassle free for her.


After a few tentative trial days, we left eglu door open permanently (you could put paving slabs on the run skirt if your worried). We've got both summer and winter shades on the run and the winter one is positioned right next to the eglu door so the wind and rain don't get in.


My sister visited late pm once a day. She collected eggs, watered daily but only topped up feed every few days when necessary. We filled feeder to the max and put it under the summer shade to shield it from the elements.


Also our garden isn't huge, so we put the hosepipe next to the run so she just squirted the water at full blast through the bars into the glug every day which seemed to clean it out and refill at same time.

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