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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by MesMama, Sep 22, 2016.
Just curious what others do and why? Thank you!
I have always kept my food and water in the coop until i started free ranging my flock a few months ago. I started keeping their food and nesting boxes under the cover of our carport once they began free ranging (because they more or less abandoned their original coop which is out in the woods, I can't blame them, its snakey out there!) and they gather there A LOT. Especially when it rains. We are building a new coop and have everything complete except for screwing the tin on the roof, which we will be doing this weekend. I plan on having one entire side for roosting and the other side for nesting boxes, food, and water. My hope is this will re-locate the "hang out spot" from under my carport to the hen house.
We use 10 gallon buckets with lids and horizontal poultry nipples (which are AMAZING) for our waterers, so spilled or soiled water is never an issue for us. I would guess it depends on your set up, but I really prefer to keep mine inside the coop. It gives the chickens protection from aerial predators while they are distracted by eating/drinking, and they can grab a quick snack and a drink after they get done laying their egg without having to go out of their way. I keep a light in their coop and they are always grabbing one last midnight snack before bed too. They really like to hang out around their food, at least at my house, so where ever that food is, is where they are going to be. So if you want to encourage them to hang out in a specific place, that is a good way to do it, and that is why I do it.
I have mine inside the coop too, and an extra waterer outside. I agree about the predator thing too. Plus they are up way earlier than we can let them out and I think man, they've gone like 12 hours with no water or food they probably need it??? Idk?
I feed and water inside my coop also...I only provide water out in the yard when free ranging....Always a hen running in to eat a bit even when free ranging....
Depends on what predators frequent your area. I can not leave food anywhere outside overnight. All feeders have to be brought inside the house each night. Bears are a real problem. And I don't want to invite rats and mice to take up residence in the coop.
I had bears drag an almost full bag of scratch about 30 feet and then tear it open the other night. What a waste. Bagged feed goes in the garage now.
I keep food and water in the coop 24/7, water under the raised coop 24/7, when temps are above freezing. Water is also in the pen. I feed scratch grains and grass in the pen. GC
I keep both food and water in the run. During winter I don't want extra moisture in the coop. Keeping it all outside encourages them to be out for part of the day. I will add that my run has a tarp on top and clear shower curtains on the sides to stop rain, snow, and wind from getting into the run. I also use electric poultry netting to keep any unwanted critters far away from my coop.
Thank you all for your responses I appreciate it! I think I'll keep my setup the way it is, the predator thing is what concerns me most probably and I don't have a way to cover the pasture.
I also keep food and water in the coop. same idea, I don't get out there when they first get up so I feel they should have something to do till I do! I only have 8 so I just use a plastic quart sized chick feeder and waterer. seems to be plenty, it's never even close to empty, but they do eat and drink.