Food Inside the Coop or Out


In the Brooder
9 Years
Oct 15, 2010
I have a small coop...16 sf for 6 chickens and the run is 4' x 12'. It is pretty tight inside so I don't want to put the water and food in there. Are there any isues keping the food and water outside? I will get a heater for the waterer. Will the food freeze up in the container and not fall to the bottom?
I am in Florida, so food freezing is not an issue for us . . . .However, food getting wet is an issue. Do you have a place where a driving rain would not ruin your food ? ? Is there a place where the chickens can stand and eat if it rains / snows all day ? ?
EDITED- I started this at 6 weeks of age. The younger ones IMO need food and water 24/7.

I keep my food and water in the run for the health of my chickens (because when I didn't I had a mold fiasco).

I remove ALL food at night into a covered bucket in the garage (rodents).

I am careful to let them out early in the morning and don't rush them to bed at night. They are gaining weight ok and it solved all my problems with mold (and bullying in the coops over food).

I don't have issues with food in the winter as long as you keep it dry. Moldy food can kill chickens. I am going to trial rubber pans for water this winter since apparently you can knock the ice out easily and refill.

My husband won't let me have an outside electric waterer, because he is afraid of fire (and he is an electrical engineer by training). So make sure you are safe from fire if you do this.

There are some REALLY nice threads on winter waterers. I recommend you do a search on this board for that. Some use dog waterers, some use poultry heated waterers. Some make their own.
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I feed outside and my coop is 10x12 it is just to messy inside the coop. I feed at 5 am when I let them out, check at 330 then again at 6 before they go in. They have 3 water buckets and a pool during the day while they are out. No food allowed in coop unless newbies are being introduced and can't go out yet.
I do crumbles inside -- my feeder is on a shelf with a magnet holding the metal feeder. Damp food, anything I cook or raw fruits and vegetables are fed outside. Right now the waterer is outside... I haven't decided how to handle that this winter.

decisions, decisions,
I have a chicken tractor that is 8x4 and I leave food in there all the time. I made a pvc feeder with 4 feeding holes and hung it on the wall. I just refill it every other day and my chickens (I have 8) go in and out to eat when they want. I also have a waterer suspended from the ceiling so if I needed to lock the girls up, they have plenty of floor space to move around and access to food and water without getting it dirty. Hydestone==not sure where you are but there are plenty of good ideas on feeders and wateres for tight space that wont take up floor space. You can check out my page and look on the forum. I got my ideas off the forum. Think outside the box when it comes to placing things in the coop. The most important thing to chickens is space so anything that doesnt take up floor space is a plus.
Right now I have feeders both inside and out the coop- hanging one inside so if I don't go out and let them out first thing in the morning then they can still have breakfast. Hanging the feeder also keeps shavings on the floor from getting in the feed. Have one set up outside in nice weather to encourage them to stay out in the run all day. Of course with winter coming both feed and water will be placed inside. Haven't decided yet what to do about keeping the water from freezing up in the months to come...
Hi I live in MI and if you are handy or know anyone handy. My husband put a water tank heater in a 5 gal gravity water (plastic). He cut the plug of the end of the heater ran it through a hole he put at the top of the waterer and used a silicone to seal around the hole and cord and re-atached a new cord end. It works great

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