best watering, feeding and cleaning method?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by scrapmom5, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. scrapmom5

    scrapmom5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 21, 2008
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    We have just about finished our HUGE coop (8'X10' with 8 foot ceilings). [​IMG] It looks great. I just need to know the best way to feed and water the chicks (with minimal mess and waste) and the best way to keep the coop clean. Any suggestions?[​IMG]

    Also are there any special treats to offer the hens? We like to spoil our critters with healthy for them items (toys or food).
     
  2. pattycake

    pattycake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With a large hanging waterer and feeder you should have very little mess and they won't get knocked over. I go out each morning and top up each of them while checking on the hens and getting my first egg of the day -- very little trouble at all.

    I recommend a droppings tray under the roosts, and enough litter (I use straw) on the floor to cover it, but not so much the hens can't scratch through it.

    I used to use a lot of litter, kind of a modified deep-litter method, but it stayed damp and got ammonia-y. With less litter it dries out and the hens can find the food and grit that falls through it.
     
  3. pattycake

    pattycake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    fingerlakes, ny
    Oh, yeah, as for snacks, I HIGHLY recommend yogurt -- mixed with oatmeal for my grown up hens and with their food for the chicks. They love it and it's great for their intestinal flora.

    But they'll eat almost anything, though I don't like to give them anything processed too much, like bread. Strawberry tops are always a hit.
     
  4. Dreamthief

    Dreamthief New Egg

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  5. sBrickmanHouse

    sBrickmanHouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our coop is smaller than yours, (6 x 8, with 8 foot ceiling) but we planned it for minimal fuss and maintenance.

    Our food bins are two "small pig feeders" from Tractor Supply mounted on the wall. No spillage, open at the top for easy filling, and take up almost no room. Our feed is in a plastic step on lid trash can in the coop that holds a full bag of feed-- couldn't be easier.

    We have two one gallon waterers, and we just fill one and bring it out each day when we check on the girls, and bring the other one in to be rinsed and refilled. Currently we have a three gallon waterer in the run that gets refilled a couple times a week, but honestly, they could probably do just fine without it. We happened to have it, so we use it.

    We are using the deep litter method, so cleaning is minimal. We have three bricks of shavings on the floor, and we just toss them with a pitchfork a couple times a week. Our hens moved into the coop two months ago as 10 day olds, and we haven't had to change out the litter or do any other coop cleaning yet.

    It seems, at least in our limited experience, as long as the litter and waste is dry, and the coop is well ventilated, it doesn't smell. Of course, our girls have a decent sized run that they're in and out of all day, so that probably helps, too.
     
  6. pattycake

    pattycake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yeah, it's one of those things you have to try to see what works best for you. A lot depends on your climate, whether your birds go out, whether snow blows in through your pophole (like mine! [​IMG]) etc.
     
  7. kelster6

    kelster6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 24, 2008
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    can anyone tell me which works better? ......... hanging feed and waterers inside coop or outside?
    we will have our run area covered with metal roofing, so the feeder/water will not get rained on.
    thanks.
     
  8. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

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    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    Hi Kelster6, Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I used to have both feed and water hanging out in the main run under the cover of a large tarp and it worked great...until 3 windstorms in a months time did its damage on the tarp. I still keep the water out in the run but moved the feeder to the coop so it will stay dry. It's working out okay this way but I'll move the feeder back outside when we replace the tarp, just to open floor space in the coop.

    It really all depends on what you find works best for you, as pattycake mentioned.

    Hope this is some help!

    Dawn
     
  9. scrapmom5

    scrapmom5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We were hoping to move our 5 week old chicks out in the hen house with two ducks (also 5 weeks) We are getting snow today but the weekend should be upper 60's or lower 70's during the day. Our hen house is insulated and the walls are 5 inches thick. We are planning on blocking the exit to the outside for a couple of weeks to get them used to their new home. Do you think 1 heating lamp is enough for them?

    Also, how high should we put the nesting boxes? I feel like such a greeny but want my girls very happy. Eventually the ducks will have a separate home so as to keep the hens cleaner.
     
  10. willheveland

    willheveland Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If your run or part of it is covered,I'd put your food and water outside in the warmer weather.Then in the winter bring your water inside on a electric water fount heater.I'd leave your food outside though so you could get them out of the coop during the day.
    While they are chicks you may just want to bring their food outside when it is nice out,otherwise feed indoors til they go outside on their own. Will
     

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