Do you keep your feed out at night, always accessible?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by johndeerelover, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. johndeerelover

    johndeerelover Chirping

    Oct 7, 2013
    Carroll County Maryland
    I've read about putting your feeder somewhere rodent proof at night. Anyone do this? Or do you keep the food available all the time? I thought putting the grain away at night would avoid rats etc, but I wasn't sure if that's a good idea in the winter or if chickens eat at night etc. Also, those who close their chickens up at night in the coop, does that mean you keep water in the coop? I'm new to chickens so I have lots of questions :)

  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I keep food and water in the coop now. If you have food in there, it is best to keep a little water too, to help them wash things down.

    Rodents will eat feed if it is available out in the run. I used to close my feed up in a metal container every night and this was so much more labor than just leaving it in the coop.

    The chickens won't eat if it is dark in the coop and they can't see, but I have a light on a timer for them so they are closed up in there and I don't want feather picking if they have no food.
  3. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Crowing

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    Chickens do not eat or drink in the,dark. It will attract mice, raccoons, possum and others that do feed at night. I don't bother to remove feef at night but I do leave it in the coop or it gets eaten by the magpies.
  4. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    I'd rather feed a few mice than move the feeder every day
    You'll still have some rodents attracted to what's spilled anyway
  5. jetdog

    jetdog Songster

    Jun 18, 2013
    Food and water is out in the run, there is no spilling of the food with the 5 gallon bucket feeder I made and have no problems with rodents 5 gallon waterer with nipples stays clean to, when the auto door opens they go straight for the water, my thoughts were if the water is in the coop it will just add moisture which I'm trying to keep out with winter setting in.

  6. appps

    appps Crowing

    Aug 29, 2012
    We have those PVC pipe feeders and I was getting mouse poop in them so I now put lids on them at night. The chickens are pretty keen to get out in the morning so if you close it up you can't sleep in lol. But I'd rather them a bit hungry first up than mice peeing and pooping in it.

    I have water in there 24/7 with a single automatic watering cup hooked up to a 15L drum outside the coop.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
  7. coffeychicks

    coffeychicks Songster

    Apr 7, 2013
    moncks corner s
    My chickens are rat killers. Found 3 so far dead to holes in the head
  8. EquestrianGirl

    EquestrianGirl In the Brooder

    Oct 27, 2013
    I have a hanging feeder in my run that is high enough that mice and such can't reach it, but my chickens can. And I'm not that worried about mice after I sat and watched my hens murder a mouse, then run around like crazy with it hanging from their beaks, seeing who could steal it from who. After that little incident, I've found that rodents don't stand a chance if they get in with my girls!
  9. farmchickutah

    farmchickutah In the Brooder

    Sep 4, 2013
    Mine have access to food and water in the coop and in the run. No other creatures can get in except maybe some little mice!

  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I have enough cats and my dog to patrol and kill rodents. I leave my feed in the coop all the time. I fill the feeder every few days, so there's always feed there. No rodent issues.

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