Free ranging - food and water placement?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by MrJesse34, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. MrJesse34

    MrJesse34 Out Of The Brooder

    May 27, 2011
    Long Valley
    Looking to get my flock into some free ranging. They have food and water in their coop right now, that they make use of when they are both in the run or in the coop.

    Once I start to free range them, do you think it would be wise to setup another watering station somewhere else, either in my yard or up near the chicken coop?

    Any info would be awesome!
  2. justacouplemorechicks

    justacouplemorechicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2011
    I leave the water & feeder inside the run and leave the door propped open for access. They free range and always come home when they are thirsty. I think this helps at night when I close them into their coop. I can start calling them and shaking their feeder and they know exactly where to run.
  3. MrJesse34

    MrJesse34 Out Of The Brooder

    May 27, 2011
    Long Valley
    Quote:How far do they range from the coop? I have an area that looks like this:


    There is about 30-50 feet in between the coop and run, and our fenced in yard. Its on a hill that runs down from the coop to the yard. I was wondering if I should put up some kind of fencing to guide them down into the yard. And if I got them into the yard, if they would need water down there. Any thoughts?
  4. RapidEye

    RapidEye New Egg

    Aug 4, 2010
    Quote:I'll second this. My flock ranges in 6 acres of pasture and they'll range around for a while, then periodically come back to the coop/run/barn area to rest in the shade and get a drink. Just prop open the run door and let them come and go as they want - they'll be fine.
  5. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    My flock free ranges & stays under my porch alot. I have a bowl of water for them under the deck. I don't want them running back to the coop for a drink. Its really hot & dry here so I add a few cubes of ice to keep em cool & daily cold cucumbers. It usually hits a hundred here lately & its just June. Poor chickens & my other birds are miserable.
  6. kara_leigh

    kara_leigh Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2011
    Bradleyville, MO
    I also keep the feed and water on our covered porch. They drink from our big 5 gallon dog bowl. They ignore the chicken waterers, so I stopped putting them out.

    One of my 6 week pullets waiting to get a drink

    I like keeping it on the porch b/c I can watch them when they come up to eat, and can keep a closer eye on them.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
  7. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

    Jan 26, 2010
    Texas, Panhandle
    I have water in my coops, like another poster said, they'll go back when they're ready for a drink. [​IMG]

    ~ Aspen
  8. swampcat

    swampcat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 18, 2011
    Brooklyn, CT
    I just wanted to throw in my two cents here. My flock free ranges on 3 acres and they always have food and water available in their coop. That being said, I always keep a bowl of water at the other end of the property. That's the community bowl that the dog, cats, and chickens share. I've found they drink more out of that bowl than the waterer in the coop. I think it's a nice gesture, especially if it is hot, to have some water available somewhere other than the coop. I know when I work outside I bring a water bottle because I do not want to walk all the way back into the house to get a drink. Perhaps my chicks and I are spoiled [​IMG]
  9. cybercat

    cybercat Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2007
    Greeneville, Tn
    I keep water outside and feed outside or in coop as I feel like it. Keeping water outside and feed outside gives them more room in coop. Having it outside also keeps them out more than in. Since I want them outside free ranging I leave water out in front of coop about 5 feet. I find they drink first then when let out then go range and then drink last when they come in. Also after laying they stop to drink. Works out well having it close like that, has help cut down on laying out of coop.

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