Today my chickens somehow tore down the plastic hanging feeder I had in their coop (don't worry they seem to have cleaned up after themselves!). I knew I would have to find another solution since the bolt and screw system was always getting loose. I swear they climbed on it and used it as a carousel. Anyway I've been planning to set up one of the many nifty PVC solutions I've seen here and on Instructables.com but I have some questions first.
We live in NH where it gets downright cold for a very long time. So I need to keep the feed in the coop rather than the enclosed run. Problem is I have one of those premade coops that is 4x4. On the left side is their roost, and on the right side is their nest boxes. Then there is the big door in the middle of one side and the pop door opposite that. Basically I don't have much room. I had the plastic feeder and the 2 gallon water feeder hanging right inside the big door for easy access - to both chickens and humans.
But I don't know where to put the PVC feeder. I don't want it near roosts because it will get pooped in, but I don't want to block the nesting boxes on the other side either. I had imagined attaching it to the wall next to the big door to make refilling easy but it blocks roosts or nests if I do.
Should I put it in the middle of the coop and just attach it to the ceiling somehow? I"m afraid my four hens will manage to knock it around if it isn't tied in well (they seem to be grumpy but they haven't layed yet either).
Hopefully all that description makes sense. But to summarize my two questions really are:
Do I need to keep the feeder inside because of our cold weather?
Where should I put it in such a small coop?
In case it matters, the run is 8x12 and will, by winter have a roof (just hardware cloth at the moment).