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Feeding chickens inside the coop

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I'm very new to backyard chickening and need some info!

My chickens go into the coop only at night and spend the rest of their time free ranging in my backyard. Is it necessary to keep food and water inside the coop or will they be alright if I just keep it in the yard?

Thanks!

post #2 of 11

welcome-byc from Louisiana.

Not sure how you are set up.  Where do they eat now?  Do you leave their feed in the yard over night?  If so, you may be faced with other pests/animals (rats, etc.) coming over to visit to eat their feed.  How far is the backyard from the coop?

NPIP Certified -115 Chickens, 19 Geese, 19 BR Turkeys, 7 Rabbits, 120 Muscovy Ducks , 9 Guineas, 9 Peafowl, 8 sheep, 1 Goat and currently have 100 broilers to be processed March 2014.  And it's broody/hatching season all over again for 2014.
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NPIP Certified -115 Chickens, 19 Geese, 19 BR Turkeys, 7 Rabbits, 120 Muscovy Ducks , 9 Guineas, 9 Peafowl, 8 sheep, 1 Goat and currently have 100 broilers to be processed March 2014.  And it's broody/hatching season all over again for 2014.
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post #3 of 11

Welcome aboard.Keeping the food and water outside is alright.This does help to keep your coop clean.I feed mine inside because of the weather.Moisture will ruin your feed if left to the rain and snow,etc.I bring the water inside during the winter to help some with the freezing.In the winter I have noticed that they don't like the cold ground and walking in the snow.By having feed and water inside they get used to the inside.It depends on where you live and what the weather is like.Good Luck

Lil White House Home for my ladies  

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Lil White House Home for my ladies  

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post #4 of 11

Welcome....welcome-byc

Its something you have to choose, I keep mine in the run and the coop door open 24/7....but this winter when it hits the sub zeros, I will put water inside and shut the coop/run door..I always keep water available to them...the food they can get when I let them out, but if I am late in getting outside, they will at least have water.

Anconas, Barred Rocks, Easter Eggers, Aracaunas, Gold Comets, Black Sex Link, Silver Laced Wyandottes, Production Red....new chicks...new flock!
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Anconas, Barred Rocks, Easter Eggers, Aracaunas, Gold Comets, Black Sex Link, Silver Laced Wyandottes, Production Red....new chicks...new flock!
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post #5 of 11

We keep feed and water inside. The feed, because of the weather. The water...it's easier to get to in the coop, for one thing, and this winter it'll have to be in there anyway due to freezing weather.

My Chicken Blog
My NEW coop!
germophobic farmwife and mom to 3 homeschooled kids, 1 dog, 2 cats, 2 rabbits, and 15 chickens (5 red stars, 5 silver laced wyandottes, and 5 easter eggers)

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My Chicken Blog
My NEW coop!
germophobic farmwife and mom to 3 homeschooled kids, 1 dog, 2 cats, 2 rabbits, and 15 chickens (5 red stars, 5 silver laced wyandottes, and 5 easter eggers)

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post #6 of 11

Food & water inside the coop 24/7 (locked at night)
Water in the run 24/7
Water and snacks up by my backyard gate (when they're free ranging)
I never put their layer pellets outside ... too many feral cats, squirrels, crows and other birds around.
Layer pellets are expensive and most wild critters don't want to go into the pen and through the pop-hole into the coop to steal food in broad daylight.

I'm the silly old biddy one, proud member of the crazy pullets of BYC and resident chicken whisperer. My cologne is eau de chicken poop.
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I'm the silly old biddy one, proud member of the crazy pullets of BYC and resident chicken whisperer. My cologne is eau de chicken poop.
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post #7 of 11

Food and water in both coops 24/7, when we let them out in the morning we prop the doors open so they can go in and eat/drink. In the summertime I have an old roasting pan I put water in that sits in the yard, they drink from that and I even saw them standing in it on a couple of really hot days.

Married to my best friend and forever love on February 14, 2012.....Planning a much larger coop and run for many more hens (plus a roo, woohoo!) and then expanding to quail.  Currently overrun with dogs and children, but there's nothing about my life I'd change (except maybe having less laundry to do).
 

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Married to my best friend and forever love on February 14, 2012.....Planning a much larger coop and run for many more hens (plus a roo, woohoo!) and then expanding to quail.  Currently overrun with dogs and children, but there's nothing about my life I'd change (except maybe having less laundry to do).
 

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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

The coop is in the backyard so in the mornings I open the door and they are out. Right now I have food & water inside as well as outside. It's just a huge mess in the coop and I was hoping they'd be alright without it. They are let out in the mornings around 7:00am and go back inside when it gets dark. I live in southern California so we don't really have weather and that's not an issue:) Also, I don't really have issues with other animals eating the outdoor food. My cat keeps the rodents away and leaves the chickens alone and I clean up the excess food every morning.

post #9 of 11

are the ones inside hanging? that certainly will help with the mess....you can just keep the water inside, that may help keep mess down

Anconas, Barred Rocks, Easter Eggers, Aracaunas, Gold Comets, Black Sex Link, Silver Laced Wyandottes, Production Red....new chicks...new flock!
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Anconas, Barred Rocks, Easter Eggers, Aracaunas, Gold Comets, Black Sex Link, Silver Laced Wyandottes, Production Red....new chicks...new flock!
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post #10 of 11

welcome-byc

My setup varies with the seasons and my preference at the time.

Right now, I have the feed inside the coop and the waterers in the run. But just a few days ago I had the feeders in the run, and poured the food in a metal pail at night.

When our rainy winters are in full swing, the blowing rain and mist just gets everything wet. In the deepest cold of the season I might put a waterer inside the coop. It really varies.

The important thing is that if you don't have food AND water in the coop, all the daylight hours must be spent outside, and I am really diligent about letting them out at daybreak. They can choke if they are eating and without water inside the coop...so I let them out ASAP.

Small flock of Black Australorps, EEs, and Nankins.

"The love of heaven makes one heavenly." - William Shakespeare

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Small flock of Black Australorps, EEs, and Nankins.

"The love of heaven makes one heavenly." - William Shakespeare

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