How many feeders & waterers?!

selainek

Chirping
Sep 17, 2019
37
53
79
Northwest Ohio
We have four chickens in an enclosed run with attached coop. Do I need to have food and water in both the run and the coop at all times? What about grit and calcium - do those need to be available all the time and should they be inside the coop or out in the run?

Thanks!

PS Total newbie here -- so grateful for all the great information available in these forums!
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,845
21,969
907
Southeast Louisiana
Welcome to the forum, glad you joined.

Do I need to have food and water in both the run and the coop at all times?

No you don't have to with four the same age. When you are integrating it is a great idea to have feeding and watering stations well spread out, but not with your flock. In your situation some people feed or water only in the coop, some only in the run, some both.

What about grit and calcium - do those need to be available all the time and should they be inside the coop or out in the run?

Those do not need to be available at all times, though it doesn't hurt. They can be anywhere.
 

selainek

Chirping
Sep 17, 2019
37
53
79
Northwest Ohio
Welcome to the forum, glad you joined.

Do I need to have food and water in both the run and the coop at all times?

No you don't have to with four the same age. When you are integrating it is a great idea to have feeding and watering stations well spread out, but not with your flock. In your situation some people feed or water only in the coop, some only in the run, some both.

What about grit and calcium - do those need to be available all the time and should they be inside the coop or out in the run?

Those do not need to be available at all times, though it doesn't hurt. They can be anywhere.

Thanks so much for the reply! Two stations for food and water seemed like a lot for four birds! The containers are certainly easier for me to tend to when they're in the run - I'll consider moving them to inside the coop when the weather turns colder.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
17,089
33,567
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Food and water should go where it makes sense in your set up - I have water outside only (no risk of spills that way) and food both outside and in (dry feed inside for 100% rain protection, wet feed outside so the wet mess stays outside). So depending on your weather, the size of your space, etc., that can differ for you.

I keep grit and oyster inside the coop as well, once again, just to keep things dry.

For 7 birds in the morning I have 4 food sources (3 bowls outside, feeder inside) when they're hungriest and most likely toe squabble over it, after that it's just 1 feeder in the coop. No food left out after dark = fewer pest issues.
 

FortCluck

Hatch-a-Long Queen
Sep 9, 2019
21,411
93,373
1,317
Central Virginia
I have hanging goat treat containers that have two compartments. I out egg shells on one side and feed in the other. I have 2 of these in the run and I have a big galvanized dish that can fit 10 cups but I only put about 3 in. I have 3 waterers, one is a bucket with chicken waterer cups, the others are just the screw on type. All together I have 8 gallons of water at all times.

It all depends on your chickens, when I had four only, I always did two waters and two feeders. The only reason why I did this is because it prevents them from fighting and the ones tire in the packing order won't stop the others from eating. I had a hen that used to boss everyone around and no one would dare touch food unless she walked away from it, so I knew that would be an issue.

watch your flock and see how they interact with each other and then you can decide what's best for you. No flock is the same and what works for someone may not work for you.
 

selainek

Chirping
Sep 17, 2019
37
53
79
Northwest Ohio
I have hanging goat treat containers that have two compartments. I out egg shells on one side and feed in the other. I have 2 of these in the run and I have a big galvanized dish that can fit 10 cups but I only put about 3 in. I have 3 waterers, one is a bucket with chicken waterer cups, the others are just the screw on type. All together I have 8 gallons of water at all times.

It all depends on your chickens, when I had four only, I always did two waters and two feeders. The only reason why I did this is because it prevents them from fighting and the ones tire in the packing order won't stop the others from eating. I had a hen that used to boss everyone around and no one would dare touch food unless she walked away from it, so I knew that would be an issue.

watch your flock and see how they interact with each other and then you can decide what's best for you. No flock is the same and what works for someone may not work for you.


So far we don't have any pecking order issues. They're about 10 weeks old and have been raised together. We'll see how things progress as they get bigger! I guess it's better to have more food/water than needed - one less thing to worry about ;) Thanks for the reply!
 

selainek

Chirping
Sep 17, 2019
37
53
79
Northwest Ohio
Food and water should go where it makes sense in your set up - I have water outside only (no risk of spills that way) and food both outside and in (dry feed inside for 100% rain protection, wet feed outside so the wet mess stays outside). So depending on your weather, the size of your space, etc., that can differ for you.

I keep grit and oyster inside the coop as well, once again, just to keep things dry.

For 7 birds in the morning I have 4 food sources (3 bowls outside, feeder inside) when they're hungriest and most likely toe squabble over it, after that it's just 1 feeder in the coop. No food left out after dark = fewer pest issues.

Thanks for the reply - I hadn't thought about food being left in the run attracting pests. We live in the suburbs but there are plenty of opossums and raccoons!
 

MANNA-PRO

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