Food and water inside coop?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jakesbigpapa, May 8, 2012.

  1. jakesbigpapa

    jakesbigpapa In the Brooder

    Feb 27, 2012
    Ithaca, NY
    I built a coop with an attached run. My question is, do the chickens have to have access to food and water over night, while they are inside the coop, or can it stay in the run? FYI....the run is TOTALLY enclosed, top to bottom, including hardware cloth beneath the stone, sand, and earth in the run. So, I'm not asking for opinions having to do with the food attracting predators. I'm wondering if going without food and water at night is okay for the flock's health. I recently moved my 7 week old chicks out there, and right now the food and water are in the coop, but it's making a HUGE mess out of the bedding.

    Thanks in advanced.
    Last edited: May 8, 2012
  2. americanvalkyrie

    americanvalkyrie Songster

    Nov 20, 2011
    Reno, NV
    When it's dark, they're not going to move down and eat or drink. But right when they wake up, they'll want the food and water. I have a friend who removes both completely from the coop at night because of mice, but she takes them right out at sunup.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    As stated, they don't eat after dusk.If you shut them in the coop at night, you'll need to get out fairly early to allow them access to food and water, especially since they're still so young. If they have free run of the run *ha ha* it's no worries.
  4. real_redhead

    real_redhead Songster

    Jun 6, 2011
    Roanoke, VA
    Glad to see this thread I was wondering the same thing. In our old set up food was in coop, water outside because coop was small and run wasn't covered. Now we have a much larger coop with totally enclosed run that is covered. I was wondering about leaving the food outside all night, will it go bad? I have it so if it rains the wind can't blow any rain in so it won't get wet but it has been damp, misty and cool the last several days and I was wondering if I should take the food in each evening. I have some chicken nipples that I hope to make a waterer this weekend so I can still have water in the coop and it won't leak (hopefully).
  5. americanvalkyrie

    americanvalkyrie Songster

    Nov 20, 2011
    Reno, NV
    I'm almost a week late replying. Sorry! I have two coops: one that's totally enclosed, and one tiny coop that only has the sleeping area totally enlosed. The rest is just a run. I had the feeder in the run of the small coop, but eventually covered half of the coop with plastic because the feed got wet when it actually rained. (Not very often around here, but still.) Since mold can kill chickens, you don't want this. I only keep enough food for about a day and a half in either feeder, so I don't have a lot of waste if something happens, like wet feed or a dumped feeder. If the feed isn't getting wet, and is getting eaten fast enough, and isn't getting invaded by mice, then it shouldn't go bad.

    But then, where I live, I can also open a bag of Doritos and leave it on the counter for a week and it won't go stale. Stuff just doesn't go bad here very often.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: