Holiday Care for Chickens

Chicken on holiday

Chicken Boarding and alternative Holiday care for Chickens

Is chicken boarding a thing? If you have chickens, as much as you love spending time with them, now and again you are possibly hoping to go on holiday. How do you get holiday care for hens when you want to go away? This is a very good question and there are several answers which we have tried to cover below

Is Chicken Boarding the only solution?

Well no, but there are various options for sorting out holiday care for chickens and each has their own issues. Hen boarding is the only one in which you can literally dump and run.

Don’t go on holidayNo issues with care. You don’t get to miss your chickens.Not so feasible as everyone benefits from a break now and then
Chicken boardingJust hand your chickens over and walk away.Additional forward planning as pre-booking will be required. You may have to travel some distance to reach your hen boarding. Adds to the cost of your holiday. Increased infection risk if placements are not well spaced or disinfected effectively. Cockerel boarding is unlikely. See our recommendations below for approved places.
Chicken sitter live inChickens are cared for in their own surroundings. No infection riskYour house will need cleaning from top to bottom to make it presentable perhaps. Space may have to be made for your sitter to be comfortable which adds to pre-holiday workload. That clutter you have been ignoring for years therefore may have to be tackled. You have to provide food. Home security risk unless you trust your sitter implicitly.
Chicken sitter visitingDaily visits to monitor food and water and cleaning done if agreed. Less risk to house securityMight not visit regularly as agreed. Might not notice health issues. Always go on recommendations if you can.
Leave chickens unattendedReduced security risk. Less reliance on others. CheapRisk of food running out. Water running out. Risk of automatic door failure. Lots of forward planning and you will need to add failsafes. Extra feeders and drinkers need to be added to make up for losses.

What alternative is there for holiday care for chickens?

There are some things you can do to make a holiday easier if you have no external assistance. This requires more investment in other equipment. It also requires a coop inside a very secure and fox-proof run however please remember that chicken wire is definitely NOT fox-proof. Fox-proofing is a topic in more detail here. The coop needs an automatic door opener whereby you can safely shut the chickens away at night and open them up in the morning. You will need to address food and water essentials because chickens cannot ever be left without these things.

Issue: How to keep the water flowing

  • You can try a nipple drinker which is supplied by either a large bucket or header tank. It has to have enough capacity to last for the duration of your holiday.
  • Bell drinkers supplied by a gravity header tank
  • Cup drinkers supplied by a gravity header tank
  • All the above can be also fed from the mains to a header tank containing a ballcock. This makes the supply even more automatic
  • A beehive style tripod drinker will hold up to 30 litres of water
  • Several large but untipping buckets
  • Test the duration of the water supply in the weeks beforehand because it must not run dry or get dirty

Issue: How to keep the food flowing

  • Large capacity treadle feeder or grandpa feeder to keep vermin out
  • Beehive style emperor feeder preferably with a wright feeder attachment rather than the included pan feeder.
  • Spring or pan feeder which is fed by a drum or barrel
  • Large capacity hanging feeders or several feeders.
  • Other home-made large capacity and unclogging feeder
  • Outside feeders need top hats to keep the food dry and they need to be off the ground if possible. This will minimise spoilage due to slugs and vermin.
  • Test the duration of the food supply in the weeks beforehand with the proviso that it must stay dry and not run out

Suppliers of chicken boarding

If you provide this service and would like to be entered here please use our contact pageYour website or page can be added here
The Mother Hen covering CH61 and surrounding areas.
Providing a chicken care and visiting service while you are away or if you just need an extra pair of hands. Happy to do morning/evening visits, including feeding, watering and keeping on top of cleanliness. Prices will vary a little depending on location and how many daily visits you require. You can be safe in the knowledge that they are being cared for in their own environment and by an experienced chicken keeper. I can also offer chicken boarding care at my home address for up to 6 hens. Get in touch via my Facebook page if you are interested.
Lucy Byrom
Based in Irby on the Wirral
Hedgerow Henporium – yes that’s us 🙂 . Covering CH66 and surrounding areas
We are now able to provide a boarding service for hens. Based in CH66 near Chester. Our hen boarding service is a home from home where your girlies will benefit from our expert care. Offering boarding was the next logical step for us. We can either do an in house boarding in a 4 or 6 bird coop or we can do a visit to your chickens. Daily visits are only for those of you who are within short travelling distance because mileage is charged on top of our fee. Mileage is calculated for off site visits based on your distance from CH66 4RB. Bio-security is maintained to a very high standard which ensures your hens remain safe and secure. Our basic service is from £8 per coop per day with a minimum charge of £30. Optional health services are also available if you would like us to perform them for you.
Use our contact form to enquire, or book here through our shop page
National Portal for Chicken Hotels. If you cannot find a space in either ours or the Mother Hen above then check out the Betsy website. If you are not in our area then this would be a great place to start your search.