Food/Water at Night?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by bygrace53, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. bygrace53

    bygrace53 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 4, 2013
    My hens are now 11 weeks old and 10 weeks old (4 of each). I have been providing them food and water up in their nesting/roosting box at night. They use their ramp to "put themselves to bed at sundown each night" which I think is adorable. Once up there, they hang out under the heat lamps and eat/drink. I was wondering how long (until they are how old) do I need food/water up there? They are free to go back down the ramp to the main food/water supply in their protected "yard" but never seem to leave the box at night.[​IMG]
  2. jenifry

    jenifry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2012
    South Dakota
    I would think they should be fine without food and water at night.
  3. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    Chickens will only eat with light. If you give them light at night, they will eat. If the atr old enough to be out, they are old enough to turn the light off and move the feed out.
  4. bygrace53

    bygrace53 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 4, 2013
    I have the red light on for heat at night... So I don't think I should turn that off...It's dropping into the 30s at night. Thoughts?
  5. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    Most folks acclimate their chicks outside at 5 weeks old or their bodies are fully feathered. Winter is a bit more difficult, which is why people prefer Spring chicks. What I would suggest is gradually wean them off the heat lamp for a week so it isn't a shock to them. You'll notice chickens roost next to each other at night to enhance warmth. What is important is to have a draft-free coop but adequate ventilation. That means no vents at roost level that could blow on the birds while roosting at night. Provide warm or tepid water for them each morning. Keep waterers and feeders clean. Pick up feeders at night to prevent attracting rodents. Put out fresh feed and water each morning.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
  6. Tacswa3

    Tacswa3 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 16, 2013
    Mine are almost 13 weeks old. I have had them for 6 days now lol. The first 2 nights I gave them food and water in the coop. I now remove the food at night. If it falls below freezing, I take the water out too. No problems so far. But when you go to feed and water in the AM they will be hungry, LOL. Mine go straight for the food.

    Oh, and a couple of these nights has been in the teens and I have no heat lamp. All fine, they huddle together if need be.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
  7. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    When on the roost chickens neither eat or drink. If your chickens do they are unable to sleep because of the light you have them under.

    Some broiler producers use more or less continuous light to force their birds to eat around the clock and thus grow faster.

    In fact, like Michael said commercial chicken farms don't often provide extra heat after the first few weeks because the chickens are able to heat their quarters with their own body heat.

    If you turn off the heat on baby chicks too soon they will huddle up so close that they will smother the whole commercial chicken house worth of chicks. After a winter storm knocked out the power I have seen dead chicks huddled up 4 feet deep. All or almost all large commercial chicken growing operations today have large emergency diesel generations on sight to circulate the heat in case of a power failure.

    The chick shown in your avatar is hardly a baby chick and 30 or so degrees is not to cold for a chick like the one shown in your avatar.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013

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