Feeding chickens inside the coop

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Chlsredhair, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. Chlsredhair

    Chlsredhair Hatching

    Sep 12, 2011
    I'm very new to backyard chickening and need some info!

    My chickens go into the coop only at night and spend the rest of their time free ranging in my backyard. Is it necessary to keep food and water inside the coop or will they be alright if I just keep it in the yard?


  2. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    [​IMG] from Louisiana.

    Not sure how you are set up. Where do they eat now? Do you leave their feed in the yard over night? If so, you may be faced with other pests/animals (rats, etc.) coming over to visit to eat their feed. How far is the backyard from the coop?
  3. trooper

    trooper Songster

    Apr 26, 2010
    Welcome aboard.Keeping the food and water outside is alright.This does help to keep your coop clean.I feed mine inside because of the weather.Moisture will ruin your feed if left to the rain and snow,etc.I bring the water inside during the winter to help some with the freezing.In the winter I have noticed that they don't like the cold ground and walking in the snow.By having feed and water inside they get used to the inside.It depends on where you live and what the weather is like.Good Luck
  4. JodyJo

    JodyJo Songster

    Sep 27, 2010

    Its something you have to choose, I keep mine in the run and the coop door open 24/7....but this winter when it hits the sub zeros, I will put water inside and shut the coop/run door..I always keep water available to them...the food they can get when I let them out, but if I am late in getting outside, they will at least have water.

  5. gale65

    gale65 Songster

    We keep feed and water inside. The feed, because of the weather. The water...it's easier to get to in the coop, for one thing, and this winter it'll have to be in there anyway due to freezing weather.
  6. mamabigbird

    mamabigbird Songster

    Feb 11, 2010
    Vancouver Island, B.C.,
    Food & water inside the coop 24/7 (locked at night)
    Water in the run 24/7
    Water and snacks up by my backyard gate (when they're free ranging)
    I never put their layer pellets outside ... too many feral cats, squirrels, crows and other birds around.
    Layer pellets are expensive and most wild critters don't want to go into the pen and through the pop-hole into the coop to steal food in broad daylight.
  7. MommyMagpie

    MommyMagpie Songster

    Jul 29, 2011
    Salem/Jarvisville, WV
    Food and water in both coops 24/7, when we let them out in the morning we prop the doors open so they can go in and eat/drink. In the summertime I have an old roasting pan I put water in that sits in the yard, they drink from that and I even saw them standing in it on a couple of really hot days.

  8. Chlsredhair

    Chlsredhair Hatching

    Sep 12, 2011
    The coop is in the backyard so in the mornings I open the door and they are out. Right now I have food & water inside as well as outside. It's just a huge mess in the coop and I was hoping they'd be alright without it. They are let out in the mornings around 7:00am and go back inside when it gets dark. I live in southern California so we don't really have weather and that's not an issue:) Also, I don't really have issues with other animals eating the outdoor food. My cat keeps the rodents away and leaves the chickens alone and I clean up the excess food every morning.
  9. JodyJo

    JodyJo Songster

    Sep 27, 2010
    are the ones inside hanging? that certainly will help with the mess....you can just keep the water inside, that may help keep mess down

  10. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens


    My setup varies with the seasons and my preference at the time.

    Right now, I have the feed inside the coop and the waterers in the run. But just a few days ago I had the feeders in the run, and poured the food in a metal pail at night.

    When our rainy winters are in full swing, the blowing rain and mist just gets everything wet. In the deepest cold of the season I might put a waterer inside the coop. It really varies.

    The important thing is that if you don't have food AND water in the coop, all the daylight hours must be spent outside, and I am really diligent about letting them out at daybreak. They can choke if they are eating and without water inside the coop...so I let them out ASAP.

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