Food and water in the coop or in the run?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by speyerk, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. speyerk

    speyerk In the Brooder

    Feb 19, 2012
    Kapolei Hawaii
    Trying to figure out which is the best practice here, is it better to keep my chicken's food and water in the coop or in the run?

    I currently have all the food and water in the run, and I end up feeding every bird in the frickin' neighborhood! I ordered one of those step on feeders, and I ordered some water feeder nipples to put in a drip watering system. I was thinking that keeping the coop box just for sleeping and egg laying. Just wanted some more expert advice.


  2. jmtcmkb

    jmtcmkb Songster

    Sep 2, 2011
    New Hampshire
    My pullets spend all their daytime hours in the run, so I keep food and water in the run. I am in no way an expert, just my first flock, but in my observation they spend 90% of their time in the enclosed run.
    2 people like this.
  3. Tivona

    Tivona Songster

    Jun 2, 2011
    A few things to consider are how big is the coop itself? If its really small having the food in might be hard. If its big enough and with a good floor to prevent rodents getting in then perhaps having it inside is a good idea at least until some of the wild birds find somewhere else to go.

    How are the wild birds getting into the run? Does it have a top or is the wire/fencing big enough for the wild birds to get through? Any chance of putting something with smaller opening to block the wild birds like 1 inch chicken wire? Or even bird netting over the current fencing?

    Do you leave the food out at night or bring it in? I have some wild birds getting some but more was going to rodents before I started bringing it in at night.

    How protected is the food from other creatures that might be interested in it? I know its easy to spot the wild birds getting in the food but things like the (grumble grumble) pocket gopher that I have a problem with can be just about impossible to catch in the act of getting the food.

    From my experiences chicken, ducks and geese can easily adjust to the food going to a new location as long as you make sure they know where it is, and its close to a water source. But that is just what I have seen with my birds. I am not an expert...
    1 person likes this.
  4. speyerk

    speyerk In the Brooder

    Feb 19, 2012
    Kapolei Hawaii
    This is my coop, I leave the pop door and the coop flip up door open all day to let the chickens free range. The coop box is big enough, but it is dark and I wonder if the chickens will go in and out to eat during the day. Every time I go outside 3 or 4 doves and a half dozen other birds are in the coop, and they go nuts and I end up letting them out the screen door at the end of the coop. I havent seen any signs of rodents, and I dont think there are gophers in HI, I just dont want a dozen wild birds in my coop box every day. there is enough poop in there as it is :)

    Maybe I'll try putting the food inside for a while to see if it helps. THANKS!!

  5. SweetSarah

    SweetSarah In the Brooder

    Jun 11, 2011
    That is a very cute coop. I like it
    1 person likes this.
  6. speyerk

    speyerk In the Brooder

    Feb 19, 2012
    Kapolei Hawaii
    Thanks! Came out better than I thought it would...
  7. beej

    beej In the Brooder

    I have a similar question. My 4 babies are still in the brooder but I have been wondering whether to put the food and water inside or outside once they are ready to go outside. We have built a chicken tractor that is of the a-frame type with the coop above and the open area enclosed underneath. It has a footprint of 4X8 feet and is 4 feet tall at the peak.

    I thought I would put the food and water in the "outside" but wasn't sure if they need food and water at night when they will be closed up in the coop or if they would tuck their cute little heads under their wings and sleep through the night.
  8. JackE

    JackE Crowing

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    I keep the food and water inside. When they are free -ranging, I'll put an extra water fount out by the house so they can have water in their travels. They also seem to find plenty to eat on their own. I don't want the food out there to give away to the wild birds, and I especially don't want it out there to draw rats and mice.
  9. ECBW

    ECBW Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    I wish I live in HI.

    For me, living in 4 seasons territory, feeder and waterer are both in the coop. True, they spend a lot of time in the run, but they know where to get food and water.

    I would add a dish of water in the run when weather is nice.
  10. speyerk

    speyerk In the Brooder

    Feb 19, 2012
    Kapolei Hawaii
    I left the food and water in the brooder when they were little, but I'm pretty sure they don't eat and drink at night. I try to refresh their feed tray right before dusk so they get a good meal before bedtime. Its so cool to have pets that put themselves to bed at night!
    1 person likes this.

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