food and water


Mar 19, 2015
central NY
Okay, so the 5 week old chicks are currently sequestered in the coop for the 5 day "get to know your new home" dealio.
When they are able to go in and out as they wish in a few more days, will i need to have food and water both inside and outside the coop? I have been planning to have it only under the coop, outside (fenced in area where the girls will spend most of the day).
Now I'm wondering if they need it available inside too, especially during the night?
Chickens don't eat or drink at night. All they do is sleep. So if you have a secure place to put their food and water outside, that's fine. I don't feed or water in my coop at all. Their pop door to the run is open 24/7 so they get up and go help themselves to a hearty breakfast and drink of water. This does mean, depending on your particular setup, that you'll have to let them into the run early in the morning if you don't leave their door to the run open. Lots of folks use automatic door openers for that. Good luck!
I keep a smaller feed and water supply in the coop so if I sleep in or the weather is really bad the girls still have easy access. Only down side is you have to make sure you don't have a water leak or spill - I use a well secured bucket with nipples.
I have never kept food or water in the coop itself. Unless they are laying or roosting at night, my hens are NEVER in the coop. Sub-zero temps? Yeah, still outside. If the coop is large enough to function as an enclosed run, and they actually spend time in it, then I would suggest having food and water in it. Otherwise, there's not much reason to provide food/water where they won't be eating/drinking. FWIW, even when I shut them in the coop (I leave the coop door open all the time once night time temps stay at 50+) during the winter and am "late" getting to them to let them out the next morning, they have all survived. They aren't up at 6am in the winter anyway. I've let them out at 8am and it's 20 minutes later before they make their way out.
Mine are like yours, tlagnhoj. They are always out, from the crack of dawn until dusk. We had temps to 20 below zero and they were in the run every day. So the pop door here never closes.

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