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anybody NOT have food and water available at night?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by haTHOR, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. haTHOR

    haTHOR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Near Asheville, NC
    mine seem fine without it but i have been reading that others keep food and water in the roost. i have limited floor space in the predator-proof (knock on plyboard) upstairs of their mobile coop (a-frame). shouldn't they be ok dark to dawn without eating/drinking?

    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  2. Big dreams

    Big dreams Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    I am no expert at all, but i would think that if they go to bed late, get up early they would be ok, if anything I might try to put a small waterer in, if possible. Maybe someone else will know more. Good luck.
  3. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Do you mean you are trying to feed and water them while they are ON the roost ?

    Or just have food and water available to them at night ?
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I'm not sure what you mean by "in the roost" and I'm thinking you mean "in the coop"? My food and water is in the coop but it is nowhere near my roosts or I would have some pretty messy feed and water. [​IMG]

    Mine free range, so they have a food source outside in their forage. They have water in the coop but they are usually back-side up into the dog's water bucket. [​IMG] If I kept food outside it would get rained upon.

    So....food and water are both inside my coop.
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I keep food and water available in the coop at all times. My chickens get up and want to eat alot earlier than I do. They also have a waterer outside, but like beekissed's chooks they prefer the dog or goat's water more.
    My feeders are hanging, so they don't take up valuable coop floor space.
  6. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    They will absolutely be fine between dusk and dawn without sustenance. The fact that they havent died yet indicates that it is alright.

    That was actually common practice in the past. In fact, scheduled feeding can help regulate a chickens life. It encourages foraging, keeps them close to home and keeps egg laying on a regular cycle. SO it has benefits.

    Chickens go to sleep at night and in my experience, they dont get up to "go potty" or "raid the icebox..." so why leave feed around for the mice or other nocturnal scroungers? However, they DO get up early, so a way to keep water available at all time should be worked out.

    As to feeding, it has always been recommended that you use a triple feeding schedule .... Early morning, noon and mid afternoon.
    (However, gritsar makes a good point. Early for a chicken means, "crack of dawn.")

    As part of this triple schedule, add a fourth feeding of grain moistened with water or skim milk just before dusk. This is easily digested while they sleep and this "cereal snack" tides them over the night... works the same for human babies.
    Most people don't bother with all that, though, and just leave the feeder full all the time. This is very convenient for the chicken keeper, and there really is nothing wrong with it. If you don't have the room for it, so be it. The chickens aint gonna die if they dont get breakfast before 8 AM.

    Something you may wish to consider is feeding outside. It is harder to keep moochers like wild birds and mice out of it, and the feed must be kept dry and protected from the elements. But, otherwise, that has been done before with good effect.

    Interestingly, the "modern" recommendation to keep the feed hopper full is a direct offshoot of that most hated and despicable of all human endeavors - the commercial poultry business.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2009
  7. haTHOR

    haTHOR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Near Asheville, NC

    this is the set-up...you can imagine how there's not much room on the top floor (where they roost/nest) for food/water as it's short and peaked (we use DLM too so there is even less height than you'd imagine from this pic, and the popdoor takes up a bunch of that floor space,)

    anyway, thanks for the info...i do think i will hang a small water container in there esp. since we get hot soon here.

    they are big foragers and are out of the coop completely for several hours per day. i'd like to experiment with limiting their food to scheduled feedings though. i didn' raise my hens and none of them are exactly tame, and i am sure that would help!
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2009
  8. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
  9. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    I really don't plan on feeding/watering in my tiny coop. I used to work overnights, and am still unemployed while my husband is still on that schedule so being up at the crack of dawn is perfectly normal for me.

    IF I manage to land a job that would require sleeping in (not looking too good, it's been 5 months so far) things might change.
  10. Mikhail

    Mikhail Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 13, 2008
    Would not watering/feeding at night be okay for ducks too? Unlike chickens, I know ducks will eat/drink in the dark.

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