Free Feeding 24/7 ????

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by arwmommy, May 30, 2007.

  1. arwmommy

    arwmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2007
    California
    Hey everyone,

    The babies are 3 1/2 weeks old now and the coop is supposedly started (so says my husband's friend who is building it [​IMG] ). It is the design that is on the BYC homepage:
    [​IMG]

    It is perfect for our 6 banties-- total of 4'x8', the house is 4'x2'. We are in So. Cal, so they will never be in the house all "winter" long [​IMG] .

    Here is the question......... the plans call for the feeder and waterer to be in the run portion, as pictured. We are suspending them from under the hen house portion. The problem I am trying to figure out is aobut free feeding. I am totally for free feeding on many levels, but especially to protect those on the bottom of the pecking order, to ensure that they can have access to adequate food and water when more senior ranking girls are roosting. In addition, I just think it is a great idea for them to have total access to water, especially since it can be warm here (though cools at night to the 50's F, even on blistering days).

    HOWEVER--- we are going to be locking the girls into the house at night to protect from predators (we can hear coyotes at night, there are rampant oppossoms and skunks, and even a rat here and there). This means that they won't have access to the big waterers and feeders. As the house is small, (remember, only 4x2) it would be impossible to hang big ones in there instead (or in addition). I am thinking about just putting their small chick feeder and waterers in the house for "emergency/bottom of the pecking order" rations, but would rather not have something that could so easily be knocked over, and there really isn't a ton of room anyway! Is it horrible to not have them have access to food and water from 8pm to 7am??? Does anyone have a better idea??? Help!

    Thanks in advance, you guys always come through!!
     
  2. Critter Crazy

    Critter Crazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2007
    Binghamton, NY
    Hmmm...not sure exactly what you could do, but I would definitely find something to use inside the house for them. I would also not leave the food and water outside in the run over night. That will just attract predators. I have food and water available for my girls 24/7. and there is constantly someone eating and drinking all night long. So I wouldnt feel comfortable not having that available.

    Not sure what you could do about a waterer, but maybe build in a small wooden shelf that you could fill with food for overnight.
     
  3. Sugar Sand Farm

    Sugar Sand Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2007
    North Florida
    Saw your post I keep food and water in our coop for nighttime feeding. The waterer is always used when I check on them and let them out in the morning. I was just thinking I saw someone on this forum build a PVC pipe feeder couldn't you use something like that It wouldn't take up much room check on the coops section you might find it. It looked pretty neat. Micki
     
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    You can get little hopper feeders that hang on a wall. They use them for pigs and rabbits. We keep our oyster shell in one.

    Chickens can also learn to use a water bottle, which could be hung on a wall. Since you live in a nice warm place (unlike Wisconsin!) you don't need to worry about water freezing. You could mount one of the little bowls that's an automatic waterer, attached to a hose. That also wouldn't take up much space on a wall.

    I love that design, but I always wish the plans called for the house portion to be about twice as wide as it is. I don't need another coop, I don't need another coop... [​IMG]
     

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