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Feed inside the coop or outside?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by sawilliams, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. sawilliams

    sawilliams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 6 girls 4 pullets 2 layers varying age, right now I keep both grower and layer available all day but I keep it in the coop as its been raining and I don't want food to go to waste. I have water both in and out side. My question is in general do you keep feed in the coop or outside our do you move it in or out according to the weather? Our coop is 4x6 foot the run is roughly 40x8 foot. I don't have an outside cover for feed just yet as this is our first flock and e have only had them about 5 weeks.
     
  2. callen0912

    callen0912 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I keep food and water in the coop (I have a 4x6 coop as well) and I keep food, grit, egg shells, and water outside in their pen as well. I keep the coop open so they can come and go as they please. And on days it supposed to rain, I will take all their food bowls to put under my carport the night before, and then ill refill them and put them all in their coop and leave the water bowl out so it can get "refilled". With it getting cold now, some mornings I make them some oatmeal (for warmth) mixed with some do their food and some flax seeds. They absolutely love it!
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  3. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    I put the feeders in the coop when it's raining. Otherwise, it's out in the run.
    Layer feed should only be fed when all the birds in the flock are actively laying.
     
  4. sawilliams

    sawilliams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I keep seeing comments about warm oatmeal on cold days I might have to give it a try about how much do you make for your 6?
     
  5. tdepointe

    tdepointe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I only feed outside the coop, under cover so the rain does not wet the food. I agree with junbuggena that layer should only be fed to actively laying hens. I feed grower with oyster shell free choice to mixed flocks.
     
  6. sawilliams

    sawilliams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    honestly the layer is mixed about 50/50 with scratch right now that we bought becuase taking in the first hen was unexpected. So effectively its not a great layer food right now, and I have oyster shell available if the girls need. 3 of the girls are 5 months or older with 1 being unknown but at least over a year. The other 2 are about 10 weeks give or take but still can only reach the grower.
     
  7. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Scratch feed really should not make up more than 10% of their overall diet. Both layer and scratch are too low in protein for growing and developing birds. The calcium content in layer feed can be harmful to non-laying birds.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
  8. callen0912

    callen0912 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I only have 3 girls currently. I do about two handfuls of oatmeal (I buy the old fashioned 100% oats, just plain ole' oatmeal) and cook it in the microwave, then put it the fridge for a little while so it's warm but not hot, hot. And I only do that on mornings it's cold, like in the 30's cold.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  9. sawilliams

    sawilliams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for you opinions, but as I said the youngest 2 can't reach the layer and the other 2 that are not laying are of laying age. Whether they are currently getting to much scratch right now or not is not a concern of mine as 1 was a stray (possibly released) and the other 5 I was rather shocked when the prior owner provided uncooked Ramen noodles as a treat and scatch as thier daily feed. Also I have to fill the grower 2-3 times to every 1 time I fill the layer so if anything most prefer the grower the layer is just available. Either way the girls are happy and healthy. I have been adjusting thier rations as they start settling in more.

    I'll keep the feed inside untill the weather, or a cover provides it can be outside.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
  10. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Point is, the calcium in layer feed is too much for those that aren't actively laying. The calcium is for eggshell production. If they are using up that extra calcium by laying eggs, it will build up in their kidneys and eventually cause kidney failure. They will not show signs of illness until they are too far gone. Scratch is not a nutritionally balanced feed. It's more of a treat or a very cold weather supplement for extra calories.
     

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