food water in coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cottagechick, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. cottagechick

    cottagechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2011
    Cottage Grove, Oregon
    If I put their food/water in a covered shady spot of their run, do I also need to put food/water in the coop? Do they need access to food and drink at night?

  2. Chickie Mamma

    Chickie Mamma Farmer at Heart

    Apr 20, 2008
    Sherman, CT
    I always keep water and food in the coop overnight. They get up earlier than we do, so I like to know they have all they need available.
  3. Chickengnome

    Chickengnome Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 19, 2011
    I bought some chicken nipples and made an automatic watering/drip drinking system. Just google "chicken nipples" and you'll see the site called poulty works.
    Follow their easy demo of hanging a water bucket with chicken nipples and viola, you have a cleaner way to get water to your chickies.
  4. ll

    ll Chillin' With My Peeps

    They do not need food/water at night because they sleep.
    When they wake up they are going to want food & water though, so you can give them 24 hour access to the run if it is secure - otherwise keep some in the coop. My feed and water is outside 24/7 ... except when we get a snowstorm, which we get quite a few of, then they will have a supply of food & water in their coop because they'll be snowed in. [​IMG]
  5. KDK1

    KDK1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2011
    Tennessee Plateau
    I have automatic waterers inside and out. I feed only inside. That way it's out of the weather and harder for pests... although I've never seen one. (knock on wood)
  6. vegaschick

    vegaschick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 16, 2009
    Las Vegas
    All chickens do at night is poo. It is best to keep feed/water away from where they poo all night. You don't want them picking through poo to find spilled feed. This topic is addressed in a great thread getting ready for winter. Here's the link.

    post #20 by Resolution. He states, "It's primarily an issue of fecal/dander contamination. The closer the food is to the ground, the more likely it is to come into contact with environmental dust generated from the more or less strictly terrestrial activities like rake scratching and bill digging. Dander is of course largely deposited from nocturnal perches. Adding feed particulates to that mix is enhancing the environment for potentially deleterious bacterium."

    If you had to keep food and water inside (if they get snowed in...?) then you could use some of the other suggestions such as feeding tables for food (or at least getting the feed up off the ground where they poo all night), poop hammocks or boards to keep the night time poop off the floor, or automatic waterers.

    I love my waterers made with chicken nipples and wouldn't go back for all the money in the world. I love them because they are so easy to work with. I'm working on a poop hammock now. Here's some pics of my waterers. I start them young.

    This image shows a "covered" auto feeder too.
  7. Amethyste

    Amethyste For Love of Boo...

    I always keep food and water inside the coop. I believe that it helps reinforce that it is HOME. I do leave water in the run if needed for overly hot days, and treats are run only unless the weather is bad and they are staying coopbound.

    Food is hanging and not ground level, as is water. Treats have their own area inside the coop away from the roosting area.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  8. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    I get up and let the chickens out at 6:00 am, so do not keep food and water in the coop. It's less to get messy in a small coop that is basically just used for sleeping and laying.
  9. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

    May 11, 2011
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    We keep food and water in the coop 24/7. Even though their run is secure (buried fencing, hardware cloth, roof, electric fence, etc.), we still lock the coop once they head in for the night; just in case.

    While we're usually up and open the pop hole just before day break, sometimes it's well after sunrise before we get out there and we want to make sure they have access to food and water when they want/need it. It also keeps the food isolated to the coop (which is elevated off of the ground) and not out in the run where smaller wild birds, rodents, etc. are more likely to find it and potentially make a habit of visiting.

    The waterer is suspended from the ceiling at head level and the food is raised off of the floor (also to head level) to keep the pine shavings and poo out of both.
  10. Kountreefok

    Kountreefok Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 12, 2011
    Graceton, MN
    We keep food and water constantly available inside and out. However, the larger outdoor feeder gets the lesser quality (cheaper/not specially mixed) feed--when applicable--because it ends up being shared with wild birds.
    Treats are generally given outside during summer.

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