Feed Question: Do you take away the poultry's feed at night? Why or why not?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by GardenJen77, Apr 6, 2018.

  1. GardenJen77

    GardenJen77 Songster

    Mar 23, 2017
    Central Michigan, USA
    A question came up on another thread, and got a little heated, due to my background with rescuing animals who were starved of food. So I am asking here, for clarity for all, and for others to chime in with their "expertise." Do you remove the food from your flocks at night? Why?

    I have been taught, and have found, that it is BEST to keep food and water available at all times to my flock. If the food bowl gets empty, or is removed, when it is replaced/refilled, the animals go nuts, whether it's fighting with my chicken flock, or just gorging with either chickens or ducks. But, if I leave the food dish alone, and keep it filled, the animals are perfectly content, and eat "normally."

    I have been told that the former behavior (fighting and gorging) is because the animals feel the need to protect the "scarce food" from the others eating it, and then eat as much of it as possible, because they don't know when more food will be available. Which makes sense.

    I don't find any of my animals over-eating, or wasting food when I do it this way. They eat as needed only, and I actually go through LESS food, because they aren't gorging on the "scare food supply."
  2. imnukensc

    imnukensc Crowing

    May 22, 2017
    SC Midlands
    Mine have food and water available 24/7 in their attached/enclosed/secure run. I see no need to take it up. Further, I am not willing to get my butt up at 5:30 AM to put food and water out nor to take it up/put it away after they've gone to roost at night.
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    I never leave feed accessible over night b/c of the likelihood of it attracting rodents or other undesirable night creatures. I feed FF, so it is not as likely for animals to "squirrel it away". But, I simply feel it wise to remove it at night if there is any left over. I have a flock of 27 birds, and divide the daily ration into 2 - 4 feeding stations. No fighting. Yes, they do hit it heavy when I feed them, but what animal doesn't? I do not keep feed in front of my dog 24/7. If I did so, she may be obese. Chickens can get fat too. Also, chickens spend the night on the roost, so no need to have feed out at night.

    I do DL management in coop and run, so the birds are busy working the litter if the chow does not arrive at sun rise.
    KikisGirls, 1cock2hens and Trish1974 like this.
  4. Squeak61

    Squeak61 Songster

    May 22, 2017
    My chickens have food available all the time, and they’re perfectly healthy. I see no reason to take away food at night. Their water, however, is kept out in the run. I find it gets too messy if it stays on the coop. The only time I bring it inside is if it’s snowing or raining really heavy.
    GardenJen77 likes this.
  5. blayt90

    blayt90 Crowing

    Jan 11, 2018
    Magee, Mississippi
    My Coop
    I leave food and water out for mine 24/7 due to the facts that you stated. And I have not had any issues with my flock gorging themselves. They eat normally and also forage very well when let out of their run.
    GardenJen77 likes this.
  6. SueT

    SueT Free Ranging

    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    I remove all feed at night because of mice, bugs, and the possibility of attracting larger varmints. The chickens have gone to roost at that point, and I bring feed back at dawn just before they wake up.
  7. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master

    Jan 10, 2013
    X2. Nothing larger than a 1/2 inch can get into my all-in-one coop/run - so no problems with rodents, etc. My gals eat mostly when they arise and before going go roost. With occasional trips to feeders during the day.
  8. GardenJen77

    GardenJen77 Songster

    Mar 23, 2017
    Central Michigan, USA
    Same for me on the water. My chickens hate the snow and won't go out, so the water is in the coop at that time.
  9. GardenJen77

    GardenJen77 Songster

    Mar 23, 2017
    Central Michigan, USA
    I find that I have mice/bugs/varmints regardless of the "food" I have tons of field mice who love the warmth of the coop, but the feed is where they can't get it. The varmints I have had trouble with, are after the eggs. And the bugs....well. they just are. LOL
  10. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Hello, your post was not Chickens. It was Ducks. I leave feed and water in my Chickens Coop because they sleep all night. My Ducks would make such a mess with water that I would go broke replacing wet bedding daily.. I remove feed and water at night..I lock my Ducks up each night and let them out first thing in the morning..
    Soon2BChixMom and Miss Lydia like this.

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