what to do with chickens when you go on vacation

What to Do With Chickens When on Vacation

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Can chickens stay in a coop all day? What if you need to leave for a day or two? How long can chickens go without water? The tips below will help you plan your vacation while taking care of your chickens.

I started with six Rhode Island Red chickens when we lived across from Walmart. BJ’s Wholesale club was only two houses down the road. Yet the lines were funny and we were able to have chickens.

My husband built the chicken coop and it was small but the birds had some grass to munch on. I sat there wondering, How long can chickens stay in a coop?

I couldn’t stand thinking about the birds in this small little space. I also knew if I started letting them out, we probably could never go on vacation.

According to this article, chickens can go 24 hours without water, but they may not lay any eggs.

chickens vacation coop

I couldn’t ask my neighbor to round up our chickens. What if they made it all the way to the BJs parking lot?

If you are thinking about getting chickens it is important to start with the basics. First, go and read my post on getting started with chicks for cheap. Second, go and read the five common mistakes chicken owners make here.

If your coop isn’t big enough you probably won’t be able to leave your chickens inside for days at a time.

Let me share with you how we have left our chickens to fend for themselves and go on vacation.

You need to factor in how many chickens you have for these tips. When you only have six birds it is going to be easier to leave them for a few days with minimal attention.

If you have twenty birds you will need to recruit a helping hand and set up the following ideas below.


I don’t know if there is a technical name for it. That’s what I came up with when I asked my husband and he said, ” I don’t know.”

chickens vacation coop

This will allow the birds to have a larger amount of water, without worrying if it gets dumped etc.

Here is an idea on how to make your own.

Set this up at least a week before you leave. It will take the birds a few days to adjust to the new water system.

If you want an easier project for your birds to have access to water. Try this method.

chickens vacation coop

Use a five-gallon bucket and purchase Chicken Waterer cups. You can grab four cups for only $19.99.

Of course you can buy the whole thing already made on Amazon here.


You will want to make sure the birds have plenty of food for the few days you will be gone. If you are planning on taking off for more than a couple days you are going to need someone to come in and check on the birds.

chickens vacation coop

I find you can get away with stocking up on all the chicken food and water for two days. After that, it’s a good idea to have a neighbor stop in and check water and food levels.

I like to set up two water bowls for the chickens. In case there is a leak or one gets dumped etc.

If you have only chickens in a coop, I find they rarely dump over a water bowl. With our pigs, they dump bowls daily in the winter.

Need tips for keeping your chickens warm in winter? Read This.

We have this same chicken feeder with 22 birds. If they are locked in the coop it lasts two days. Give or take.

If it’s winter make sure they have extra straw. The eggs will be okay to sit for a few days. Again if you are leaving for a week in the summer when it’s 90 degrees you will need someone to come and get the eggs.

chickens vacation coop

Weather plays a major role. If it is winter and the temperatures are below freezing leaving your eggs in the coop will probably cause them to freeze and crack.

For us cheap folks, sometimes losing a few eggs is cheaper than paying someone to come in and grab the eggs.

If you are going to have someone come and check your chickens leave a couple egg cartons near the coop. This way they won’t be trying to shove the eggs in their pocket.

You could always have the neighbor come to gather eggs and check your chickens and take the eggs with them. If you live out in the country and your nearest neighbor is miles away you may find losing a few eggs is worth it.

Don’t have anyone near you to care for your chickens? This Pet Sitter website now offers sitters for chickens! Check it out here.

What tips do you have for leaving your chickens when you go on vacation?


  1. Tricia April 30, 2019
    • Tasia April 30, 2019
  2. Carrie June 2, 2019
    • Tasia June 3, 2019
    • Chrissy August 20, 2019
      • Tasia August 20, 2019
      • Tracy Gedicks September 10, 2019
  3. Stuart Bone August 29, 2019
  4. Angela June 5, 2020
    • Tasia June 6, 2020

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