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 ). It is the design that is on the BYC homepage: 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 . 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!!