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Feeder in Coop

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Bokeeliachick, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. Bokeeliachick

    Bokeeliachick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 14, 2008
    SW Florida
    Newbie here with a question. My 10 girls will be 2 weeks old tomorrow. They are growing so fast! :eek:)
    I live in Florida and we got most of the coop built yesterday. I am only planning on putting them in it to sleep.
    They will be out in "their" yard during the day.
    Okay, here is the question - Do I have to put a feeder in the coop?
    Can I just have it outside for them? I would put water in both places of course, but do they need feed in there if I am planning on putting them in at dusk and letting them out in the morning?

    Thanks for your help.
    These boards have answered a lot of questions for me.

    Bokeeliachick
     
  2. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2007
    put their feed in the coop.that way the birds cant eat it an mess it up.theyll go in the coop when they get hungry.you can put the water both in the coop an the run.
     
  3. cthrash1

    cthrash1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Somerset, KY
    I kept food and water in the coop while I kept them in it before I started letting them out and then for a while afterward....Now they are older and go into the coop on their own each night so I just leave it out in the run. They aren't going to eat and drink at night anyway. In the mornings when let out they get a drink then run around the side of their run for their treat and bug eating...As for the food they eat it throughout the day.
     
  4. McGoo

    McGoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Once they are older and don't need food at night, I'd take it away during the night. I don't put food in the coop so that there is less incentive for critters breaking in at night.
     
  5. AllisonK

    AllisonK Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 16, 2008
    Quote:What age is old enough to not eat at night?
     
  6. FloridaChickenChick

    FloridaChickenChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2008
    Lake County, Florida
    Golly, I'm 49 and I still eat at night!

    [​IMG]

    Sorry...couldn't resist.
     
  7. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Lets dig back into the past on this one. In my research over the years, I found that the old time range farmers (the precursors to todays "new" pastured poultry movement) did it differently.

    They fed outside the coop, in the main. This encourages the birds to be outside in the fresh air and sunshine, where they belong. They go back in the coop to roost and lay, that's it.

    Out in their yard, keep the feed sheltered from the weather in a range shelter along with water, and keep them both close to the coop, say within 10-20 yards. This encourages them to remain close to "home," yet gives them somewhere to go, so to speak. It should go without saying that the shelter be big enough to accomodate the birds with shade and good cover.

    Feeding in the coop when they are young, to bond them to the coop as "home," is okay. Sometimes they need to be coerced to come BACK to the coop at dusk and coop feeding them then in lieu of outside feeding is a good plan, until they get the hang of "coming home to roost."
    When they are in heavy lay, a small supplemental feeding of moistened mash, just what they will clean up before roosting, can be considered.

    But why funk up your coop with feed and water all the time when you dont need to? Let 'em eat outside and do what they should do inside - roost and lay eggs.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2008
  8. Iowamom

    Iowamom Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2008
    Carlisle, Iowa
    Seems like I read a post where someone said they kept the food in the coop to encourage them to forage more when they were out for the day.

    I just adopted a flock and they were used to having food/water access 24/7. I am not going to change that, so they have food and water in the coop. I am going to put a waterer out in the run too, but not food. Once they have established in their new home, I will be letting them out in the yard to do some free ranging. I am hoping that theory works on them foraging more by not having the feeder out in plain sight in the run.
     
  9. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    5,535
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    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Seems like I read a post where someone said they kept the food in the coop to encourage them to forage more when they were out for the day.

    I just adopted a flock and they were used to having food/water access 24/7. I am not going to change that, so they have food and water in the coop.

    Then there you go, the die is struck. I'm just not keen to be always mucking around in the coop, nor having the cluckers loafing around in there... Anything I can do to factilitate that is on my list.

    Once they have established in their new home, I will be letting them out in the yard to do some free ranging. I am hoping that theory works on them foraging more by not having the feeder out in plain sight in the run.

    Actually, the birds tend to feed in a hierarchy. They will ignore their normal feed, if there are yummy bugs and succulent plants, as in the spring.
    As the season wanes into summer and dries out, the bugs get faster and the plants tougher. They then move towards the feeder all the more. If it's inside, well, now they're back to hanging out inside.

    Either way, a flock of active chickens will deplete the available forage pretty quickly. I've read that for a chicken to be supported on foraging alone, it would take an entire acre per bird. Even if that is off by some amount, the point is clear:
    They need supplemental feeding. Since they are to be outside for their own benefit, then it seems that the feed should be as well.

    That's my case, plainly stated. In the end, it won't really matter, I suppose. You should do fine and Happy Rearing!​
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2008
  10. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady Premium Member

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    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    I have my Cochins free ranging on the farm during the day. They have a full feeder in their coop all the time but seldom eat from it except first thing in the morning before I open the gate and last thing at night before they go to roost. If someone is in the coop, she is laying me some vittles and might grab a bite at that time but I can't keep a feeder outside because the wild birds devour it. I do have a waterer outside for them as well as inside. Even in the winter my chickens haven't hung out in the coop. Way too boring when there is so much carnage they can be doing.
    If you have them in a pen, that is a different matter. They may lay around inside doing their nails and talking about the roos![​IMG]
     

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