Food in the run?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by rubysmom, May 15, 2008.

  1. rubysmom

    rubysmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does everybody put food out in the run as well as in the coop? I have a feeder in the coop, but I don't have one in the run. Will they just go inside to eat?
    Thanks
    Claudia
     
  2. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    I have feeders/waterers in my coop but they rarely go in there during the day and by the time they go in coop at night they go straight to roost. I have two large fenced yards that are used for a run and I put feeders/waterers in there. But, I mostly throw the food on the ground and scatter it all over. My grown hens have total free range of farm but will still hang out in run and eat and hang out with all the youngsters who are kept behind 4' picket fence. When the bigger ones are ready, they just jump the fence and go back to free ranging.

    I find that by scattering food all over they get to scratch and hunt for it and I can have ducklings and chicks and chickens of all ages from one week old to one year old all living harmoniously together. No fighting or pecking going on. If I just had a feeder the older ones would lay claim to it and there would be fighting and the babies may never get a chance to eat. Plus, this way when they see me coming everyone comes running and I go in run and start tossing food and everyone gets to run and scatter and scratch. It's a fun time for all.
     
  3. rubysmom

    rubysmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That sounds like a great idea. I only have 5 pullets so there's not a lot of competition [​IMG]

    Speaking of not going in the coop during the day, yesterday was the first hot day we've had, about 80 degrees, and I noticed that about 3 o'clock they all went in the coop where it was about 85 degrees. They were even panting a little? It was much cooler with a nice breeze outside. What were they doing you think? Do most people close up the coop during the day?
     
  4. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    I think most people leave the coop open all day so the chickens can come and go as they please. If you have their food there then that's where they will go all day looking to eat. Our coop is much cooler inside than outside when temps are high so they can go there for a dark cool place to eat and nap. If your coop is really heating up you might want to add some ventilation, like a window, if you don't already.
     
  5. sBrickmanHouse

    sBrickmanHouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our coop is open to the run all day for our birds, and we just have their feeders inside the coop.

    When we feed treats and table scraps, though, we scatter them in the run. It gives them something to do, and those things would make an unholy mess in the coop itself.
     
  6. mangled

    mangled Chillin' With My Peeps

    My girls free range, but I like to give them the layer's crumble and oyster shell free choice in the coop. They don't seem to eat it in the coop much. The oyster shell actually goes faster than the feed.

    Every morning, before I let the girls out, I throw down food in the run. It keeps the wood chips in the run stirred up, and lets all the girls of all ages and level on the pecking order get in there and eat before they head out into the yard to free range. I also throw some down in the evening, to bring them in and get them close to the coop.

    Em
     
  7. rubysmom

    rubysmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unfortunatly my coop isn't staying that cool. I'm not sure why? It has two big windows and venting in the roof but today it was almost 90 degrees in there? Even now they just went in the coop for the night and its about 80, is that too hot? They were panting so I put a fan outside to blow some cool air in. Is that necessary? Do chickens always pant in the summer?
     
  8. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    Does the coop have any shade above it? Where are the windows? Inother words, are they getting a cross breeze inside the coop?

    I found that if it is in the direct sun, you need the cross ventilation to cool the inside down. Having the fan there is good. They thrive better around 80 degrees...when they are panting, they are too hot.
     
  9. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    No panting is not a good sign - it does mean they are too hot and if it's already 90 degrees in your coop and summer hasn't even gotten close yet, you may have a problem when summer does arrive. Is the coop newly built and/or can you modify it so that it does have some cross ventilation? Or can it be moved to under shade trees? Is there too much sunshine coming through the windows - if they are glass that could be the problem - you may have to tint them or paint over the glass. I'm assuming the windows can be opened for fresh air.
     

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