Food and water in or out of the hen house if open to a secure run?


In the Brooder
8 Years
Dec 1, 2011
SF Bay Area, CA
Hi there! We are just now converting an old playhouse 4'x6' into a hen house and connecting it to a fully secure and roofed run area 6'x14'. The house is lifed on stilts to allow for more run space. I have a picture but not sure how to include it in the post. In designing the interior of the house, I am stuck figuring out where to put the food/water and roosting poles. I think it would work better if I don't place the food or water in the actual house. Is it okay to provide food and water outside in the run area only (probably the area under the house) or do we have to provide it inside as well? I should mention we live in a mild climate in SF bay area, CA and plan to always leave the door to the run open. Thanks for the help!
We built the Fort Knox of coops and runs, but we put our food and water inside the house for the simple reasons that we can keep pests out of it better that way, and keep it cleaner.

Our coop is raised like yours, so any pests like mice and such have to actually walk up a ramp to get into the coop. Because of the food and water being inside, we're able to hang both the feeders and waterers to keep pests out and to keep the flock from pooping in thier own food and water. Plus, if we're in a hurry, we don't have to get poopy feet by walking out into the run, we can just reach inside the door!

Hope this helps
Mine feed station is outside. I didn't want the mess made with the eating inside. If water is spilled and feed wasted it in the dirt and not in the sand, inside.
I have food and water outside as well. I do however put in a feeder in the coop at night in case I miss getting out early (which I havent yet) and I put the other feeder in the storage container with the feed bag at night (to keep critters out) and put them both back out in the morning. The water containers stay outside. In my opinion I would be afraid to leave the feeders in the run at night. Maybe you could store them somewhere. I have a very safe and secure run but it only takes one smart critter to figure out how to get in. I have my coop locked up at night as well. Hope this helps. Good luck and have fun
I keep both water and food inside the coop and outside in the run, just in case I don't open the run early enough or weather is bad and the chickens get stuck with an inside day.
I have both the food and water inside my coop. In the summer I wouldn't have a problem putting the water outside, but I want the food protected from everything but the chickens. I don't have a run for them right now, although I hope to make one some time in the spring. For now, the flock is free-range and that would leave the food open to local birds, and the spillage out for other vermin.

Besides, with both food and water inside the coop, I know they will have something to eat and drink during the time the lights come on in the early morning and when I get there to let them out after sunrise.
To discourage pests, we feed and water inside. We, too, like hanging feeders/waterers. In summer, we place extra water outside. Oh, and our runs are uber-secure due to coyotes, eagles, bears, cogars, dogs, skunks, etc., we really cannot free range here. Rodents can still get in!

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