Feeding regimine for working folks..........

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by gabby3535, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. gabby3535

    gabby3535 Songster

    I work a 12 hr, day, 3 days a week..............
    I haven't gotten my chickens yet, but I "have" gotten a variety of different feeding recommendations for my situation, for when I do.
    Some folks say never put feeders "in" the coop, as it will encourage rodents (in the coop)............
    some say never put waterers in the coop, as the spillage will create a unhealthy and humid environment .......
    Others say the opposite!

    I do see pictures on BYC of hanging feeders and waterers........"in" peoples' coops.......
    so I'm asking for opinions.....pro and con, about everyone's preferences.

    Here in NJ, most of the year I could certainly hang feeders/waterers "outside" only..........and could just give the chickens some scratch each evening, scattered on the coop's wood shavings......and only have the feeders/waterers hanging in the run, outside.
    Or............I could have feeders/waterers "both" inside the coop and outside, in the run!

    Chickens will be in a 18 x 28 foot, secure run, with access to their coop via the pop-door, on the days I must work.............but will be able to free-range (and have coop/run access) on the 4 days/week that I am not at work.

    And what about in the winter???
    I suppose the feed in the hanging feeders (which would be outside, in the run) could get wet and spoiled, should snow and/or rain occur while I am away at work..................and since the chickens would have their option of being inside or out, via the pop-door,
    in-coop hanging feeders would probably be best this time of year, no?

    Opinions please....................

  2. dixiechick

    dixiechick Songster

    I keep my out...but I live in Fl so there are only nesting boxes...


    My flock doesn't eat when they go to roost, so to me it would seem to leave it out in the run if they can get to the run from the coop....

    Because you work so much, I would suggest to get one of those gallon sized feeders and waterers and hang them (to keep the sand out and to keep them from scratching the food out).

    Hope this helps...

    truly, I think it is up to you and your birds...see what works best for you and them...
  3. 2468Chickensrgr8

    2468Chickensrgr8 Songster

    Nov 7, 2007
    Hello and welcome....In my oponion I wouldnt worry about putting the feed out in their yard unless your definetly going to be around to put it back in the coop....I would keep both the waterer and the feed in the coop....what If you dont get to the coop to open the door....at least they'll have food and water...and there is more of a chance of your feed spoiling outside in the elements...In the summer I have a waterer both inside and outside in their yard....hope that helps...good luck...
  4. Chick_a_dee

    Chick_a_dee Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Peterborough, ON
    I have a waterer on two cinder blocks near the popdoor in my coop, no mess. I also have a hanging feeder that I fill up once every two to three days. My girls get food and water free choice. I usually have to change the water every couple days, and in the winter I've put hot water in it, the cool weather cools it to warm and they really seem to love it. Imagine drinking hot chocolate on a cold wintery day, very relaxing [​IMG]

    The problem with the feed outdoors is you're going to get more predators as they'll be attracked by the free food. I have mine in the coop, and have no issues with rodents.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008

  5. Catalina

    Catalina Songster

    Jul 19, 2007
    I keep the food and water inside the coop and havn't had any problems. They don't make that big a mess.
    I used to work a 24 hour shift every 4th week-end.
    On those days the chickens had to stay inside their coop, because even though I think my run is secure, I always thought something could happen.
    I'd rather know they were secure than worry about it.
    And my girls got lots of treats when I came home!
  6. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    I have both hanging feeders and a hanging waterer in one of my coops. I have 2 feeders, so I usually only have to refill once a week or so. I had a feeder in the other coop but it was too close to the roost and kept getting pooped on -- the group that sleeps in there eats in the other coop.

    The water sometimes gets spilled so I just lowered it a bit for easier access. The food is just at beak height to make it more challenging for them to make a mess with it. So far it's worked well, even when I was feeding mash instead of pellets.
  7. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    I don't have food or water in the coop, where the girls spend their nights locked in. They typically roost around 4:30 this time of year and are let out around 7 - that's still dark here in western WA State. They're always eager to be let out, but they had thrived and are laying.

  8. This photo was taken last week during the northeast snowstorm. We both work full tiem and our kids are in middle school, so the girls are on their own from about 7am to 3pm every day.

    Ours hang outside all the time; the water can is up on a heated stand and the feeder has just enough pellets for a day or two when the weather is bad. I did add some polycarbonate panels aorund two sides to keep the wet stuff out.


    If the overnight weather is rainy, snowy or wet I bring the feeder in and hang it back out in the morning when I open up the coop. I do this only because I don't want the feed to get wet or damp.

    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008
  9. FrontPorchIndiana

    FrontPorchIndiana Songster

    Mar 8, 2008
    You'll want food and water available to them inside their coop. In NJ winters they'll need to be inside more than you think. I keep an extra feeder outside in the winter on dry days and a heat lamp on the water inside the coop to prevent freezing. During the summer I put extra food and water in their run.

  10. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    Caveat: during our recent coldspell I did put their food & water into the coop because they didn't want to come out into the yuck... who blames them?

    The advantage to me was that I got to sleep in a little bit!

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