Hanging Food Outside?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by olympiashorts, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. olympiashorts

    olympiashorts New Egg

    Sep 21, 2016
    I just got started raising chickens. I have 4 16-week old hens and am wondering about the best way to feed/water them. When they
    were chicks, I had these:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    And now I have:

    Which are both large and take up a lot of room in the coop:


    I have a large run which is approx. 30'x15' and have the large waterer and feeder sitting on blocks and leave the little chick-waterer in the coop. I worry about pests although I have not seen any yet. We do have foxes and raccoons in the area so I suspect that it is only a matter of time before they discover the coop. I wonder if hanging the feeder would be best if I'm going to keep it outside? If so, any advice?
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Plenty of folks keep food and water outside - as you have noted, it can really help with the space issue.
    Do you have any anti-digging barriers (wire, pavers, etc) setup around the outside perimeter of your coop? This will go a long way in keeping potential food drawn pests out of the enclosure. Is the wire used for your run predator resistant (not chicken wire/poultry netting)? Is the run covered?
    One option for feeders that are less predator attracting would be to use a treadle type feeder. This would keep the food covered and secured any time the chickens are not actively eating from it. In addition to keeping the food "closed" from drawing pests it also protects the feed from weather. The feeder you have now has an open feed tray at the base which exposes the food to pests *and* potential weather -- a treadle *or* a no-waste type feed bucket will offer more protection to the feed while it's kept outside.
    As your birds will not be eating from dusk to dawn, and those are the same hours many of the pests you are most concerned about are most active, another simple solution is to collect the feeder at dusk, put it up and then place it back out in the run at dawn when the birds will be moving out and looking for food.
  3. olympiashorts

    olympiashorts New Egg

    Sep 21, 2016
    I don't have anti-digging barriers, the wire fence is welded wire, I had previously covered the run with a very light net because I was worried about raptors but have since removed it and so the run is uncovered. I have actually covered the top of the feeder with a garbage can lid to keep the rain out, which has been marginally successful. Thanks so much for spending the time to respond.

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