A house-sitter
If you have several animals or are worried about leaving the house unattended, it may be
worth considering a live-in sitter, who will take charge of everything - even water the plants.
Look for adverts locally as well as in country magazines and on the internet. Of course you
will want to check references extra thoroughly.
Send them to chicken ‘boarding kennels’
With the growing interest in chicken keeping, it is now possible to have your chickens
boarded’ in the same way as the family dog or cat. Some establishments will supply the
arks and feed, although others will require you to bring your own. Try an internet search to
see if there is a facility in your locality.
Before booking in your hens, it would be wise to pay a visit to the premises to make sure
you are happy with the way they are organised. Each set of hens should be given their own
house and run, which should be thoroughly disinfected
and moved to new ground before the next group arrives.
Check that the housing is in good condition, and that
security is adequate too. Finally, have a look at the
current residents – do they seem healthy and contented?
Take them with you!
Not impossible if you are holidaying in a self-catering
property which is suitable and will allow you to bring your
hens. However, long journeys can be stressful for
chickens, and they don’t react well to heat (don’t put
them in the car boot, keep the air-conditioning on and
stop regularly to offer water). They should travel in
chicken or pet carriers – cardboard boxes may become
too warm – and should not be overcrowded. You will
also need a large enough vehicle or a trailer to transport
the ark. Be aware of any new potential dangers at the
holiday house: foxes, badgers, and that pretty stream
could be home to a mink.
A chicken boarding facility
Photograph: Newland Poultry
Your chicken sitter may be
willing to clean out the coop
Continued over ...