Closing coop up and opening in the morning question?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by binders, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. binders

    binders Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2011
    I have 7 pullets in a smallish coop that doesn't really have room inside for food and water. In the evening after they have gone to bed I close the door to their coop on nights that it gets really cold. I don't close it on nights when it is above freezing and they seem to do fine.

    My question is: What do others do about opening it up in the morning? I don't get up early (more like 7:30 -8:00) and especially on weekends, like to sleep in till 9. I was wondering if the chickens will be OK to wait until then to get the food and water? I have tried putting the water in with them but it just gets spilled all over the place and then the shaving get all wet.
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    I have a small coop also without food and water. I get up to let them out about 7:15 or 7:30. They seem to be just waking up then. (Could be different where you are?) They're fine. If I want to sleep in, I still get up to let them out and then just go back to bed.

    I always close the door at night, just for the extra security.
  3. vjbakke

    vjbakke Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2011
    They should be fine until you open the coop, but I would recommend having their water in feed inside the coop. If they are knocking over the water it could be too low? We have ours made higher from a wood box my husband built. Concrete blocks work well to raise it up. I think they should have it inside and be used to that for the reason if they should ever need to be cooped up for a period of time, due to weather or whatever. We close ours up every night at well. Good luck!
  4. skunknchatter

    skunknchatter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2007
    Northern Utah
    Strange how we both asked this same question within minutes of each other. I have lights in my coop so my birds are up even earlier and was wondering about the food/water thing. So far my chickens seem okay but I don't want to be starving the girls. We wouldn't get many eggs from hungry chickens I think [​IMG]
  5. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Free access to water especially is important to maintain egg production. Hours spent without food and water may reduce productivity - remember, it is not just the few hours you sleep in, but the many overnight hours as well.
  6. ScottyHOMEy

    ScottyHOMEy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2011
    Waldo County, Maine
    Please don't misunderstand. I'm one to sleep in past sunrise, too, and I don't see it as laziness.

    But our birds are on a different clock. Feed is important, but not so critical as water, to their regularity of their day. Again not critical, but regularity is a not unimprtant factor for production, whether of eggs or meat.

    My take on it is that spell of an hour or two of hungry may disrupt their ideal existence to a limited extent. Getting up at 9 on the weekends instead of 8 to feed them should not be a serious disruption.

    Water, on the other hand, is central. Someone mentioned blocking up a waterer. That works. If floor space is the problem, consider finding a waterer that you can hang up to keep off the floor. It shouldn't be so high that they can't get under it so, its "shadow" may be such that it takes up near as much floor space, but it's important that birds (or any other animals that rely on us for their sustenance) have access to water when their instincts tell them they need it.
  7. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    Don't no the correct answer but my birds are never without fresh water & food. They are hungry & thirsty when they leave the roost. They are trying to make eggs so they need both 24/7 .
  8. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    Just to clarify. If one let's their birds out at dawn, there is no need for food and water in the coop. They are not going to jump down off the roost in the middle of the night for a drink.

    A lot of small coops just don't have the room, so someone with a very small coop like the OP can either get up at dawn (as I do), install an automatic pop door, or rig up some kind of watering system that won't make a mess...maybe nipple waterers.
  9. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    Wow. I do see it as laziness. You can say you have the right too sleep in if it makes you feel good, but it is what it is. You took on the care of the chickens when you got um. Same as you did with your children if you had any. Both take responsibility. I'm retired and don't have to get up for anything, but I can't sleep if I know it's time for the chickens to come out. That really isn't a problem since I'm up at 5:30 anyway, 7 days a week. Same with putting them up at night. I make sure I'm home before sundown so I know they are locked in. I always check the nest and inside the coop before I lock it up. Am I silly, probably but these chickens are under my care so they will be taken care of till they leave here.

    Oh, and silly me, I always make sure they have plenty of fresh water and dry feed.
  10. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    Quote:Correct call.

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