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Overnight Feeding

post #1 of 8
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Should I provide food and water overnight while my hens are closed in their coop? I have been doing this but I see that others have food and water only in the run and apparently not inside the coop. Right now my coop is quite small and I have a small container of food and a nipple waterer in there but it does tend to get messy quickly requiring more frequent cleaning. A new big coop is in progress and I wonder if I will need to make provisions for food and water for overnight.

post #2 of 8
I've heard if you are religious about letting them out first thing in the morning, food/water in coop isn't necessary as they don't eat/drink after they get settled in at night. Some people prefer to have it in there to keep critters out of it. I have food in coop and water outside, except when it's really hot I add a dish inside.
post #3 of 8
The only animal that is going to eat overnight is mice/rats either remove or cover your feed. Chickens are going to sleep until morning. I open my coop at first light everyday by the way you should also remove or cover thier waterer as well. You do not want vermin moving in as you will have a tough time evicting them!
Elena Zambito
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Elena Zambito
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post #4 of 8

I keep my feeder in the coop and water in the run.

But I don't close my coop door at night, only the run door. And my dog is in the backyard all night and keeps predators out of the yard.

post #5 of 8
I tried keeping my pullets' food outside the pop door last night, but they seemed desperate to eat when I let them out at 6:30am, and there's no way I can regularly be up earlier. They had eaten their fill the previous evening and went to "bed" on their own at dark. Maybe they're just too little and still growing, but I plan to leave a little back-up food dish in with them at night. They also have a smaller nipple waterer inside.

Folks that don't feed overnight, is there a certain age they have to be, or maximum number of hours without food? 11 hours seemed too long for my greedy 6-7 week olds.
post #6 of 8

I keep my food and water inside the coop too. I have it hanging so that the feed and water are at chest height. So far no issues with mice or rats, and the chickens aren't able to scratch the feed out on the ground. Like you, schedule prevents me from always being there to let them out first thing. I also keep a waterer in the run since they don't go inside much during the day. I feed the all treats and scraps in the run. When I'm outside to supervise I allow them to free-range. My chickens are only 11 weeks, but this has been working well.

post #7 of 8

I keep water in the coop, I've stopped providing food in our coop though because we have had chipmunks coming in all hours and stealing the feed.  Water is one of those things that it's always safer to have on hand than not; however, food is best served outside, during the day, along with their calcium supplements, when they are most likely to be in the mood to feed.

post #8 of 8
We keep water and food in both the coop and the run. We let them out first thing in the morning and they are allowed to free range all day. They enter their run every evening at dusk like clock work.Our girls prefer to sleep on the highest perch in their run rather then inside their coop.(Not sure if that will be a problem later on)? However, they can move about freely from coop to run if they choose to.
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