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How long can we leave them alone?

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Hi. We’re fairly new to chicken keeping, but have read up as much as we can on the topic as well as trying to purchase good equipment and feed/nutrients.

My wife and I would like to go away for long weekends (3 days) now and then and occasionally, maybe once a year, even a whole week. We’d like advice on how this is possible. Although we have a helpful neighbour close by, she is quite elderly and we’d like to limit asking her to check in on the chickens or change feed/water.

We have 4 four month old Pekin Bantams pullets currently in a Cube Mk2 with a 3m run and an automatic door. The run is almost completely covered with a glass tarp (with a shade section at the middle/top) with the exception of the door end and a 25cm gap at the bottom down both sides. We also have remotely accessible CCTV inside the run to check the door opens and closes when it should and the chickens are all acting normally.

Although we have a lot of urban foxes in our area, the three nocturnal visits they’ve made into our garden thus far (all caught on CCTV) have lead to complete frustration for them. The run/coop is on flat ground and pegged down. So they have thoroughly investigated every nook and cranny, but found no way in and then given up.

Our hens are fast approaching the 500g mark where apparently a Grandpa’s treadle feeder will work for them. Being Bantams, the standard Grandpa’s treadle feeder should supply ample feed for a week or more. We haven’t actually bought the feeder yet, so we’re open to advice on whether there’s a better option for leaving feed for up to a week whilst keeping rodents/slugs out?

The biggest challenge we envisage is leaving them with safe water. A couple of days of untreated water seems doable, but 3+ may be pushing it, particularly in the summer. So again we are looking for advice on this. Adding ACV may reduce any bacteria, but I’ve also considered adding Virkon H20. Whether this would be enough to get us to a week of them being left unattended, I don’t know. Again we are looking for advice.

Finally is there any other thoughts or advice folks have on leaving chickens unattended for periods up to 7 days?

We appreciate your time in helping us.



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