In coop or in run?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by IamDavesWife, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. IamDavesWife

    IamDavesWife Just Hatched

    Feb 4, 2017
    I've tried to wade through many threads.....but I can't find the answer I'm looking for. We are new to chickens. We're are nearly finished with our coop construction and will be picking up our chickens in a couple of weeks. We will have 4 hens. Does the food and the water go in the coop or in the run? Seems like it takes up a lot of room in the coop, but if they are shut up all night can they go without food and water all night? I'm afraid I'm making all of this much harder than it needs to be.
  2. Lucyluvchickens

    Lucyluvchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2017
    Dripping Springs, Texas
    Honestly, I have feeders and waters inside and outside the coop, I have a small feeder and water inside the coop and a larger one outside. Sometimes people worry that they will attract animals especially raccoons. And that might make it less safer for your chickens. But you can always have it in your coop so they can go inside the coop to get the food and water. It's really up to you.
  3. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls Read. You will learn something. Premium Member Project Manager

    Jul 31, 2015
    Houston, TX
    My Coop
    I have to agree...
    I keep my food and water inside the coop...during the day my chickens freee range but still have the option to go inside the coop to get food/ water..
    I do pick the feed up each night but leave the water although I can't say for sure that they actually drink any water at night.
  4. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 16, 2015

    I want to encourage my birds to be outside as much as possible.

    Once roosted at night they aren't getting down for food or drink.
  5. Ol Grey Mare

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

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    This is one of those questions that you can ask 10 different chicken keepers and get 11 different answers - the reason being that there simply is no one right or wrong answer, but rather a matter of finding what works best for you, your coop setup and your flock. If space is tight inside the coop, then outside for feed/water makes more sense. If the weather is frequently nasty enough to make birds more comfortable inside and space is not a concern, inside may be the better option. These are just two examples of things that can determine which is the best answer for a given keeper/flock. Birds at roost (dusk to dawn) do not eat or drink -- they fill their crops with food in the later afternoon/evening and then digest that feed during the overnight hours while on the roost - then refill the crops when they get moving again in the morning.
    2 people like this.
  6. 40kfevvers

    40kfevvers Just Hatched

    Jan 5, 2016
    I am probably in the same position as you, with little space in the coop and four hens. I have food and water outside for when I let them out in the morning. To not attract rats etc at night, I have the food in a bin with a drainpipe in its side (where the hens access the food) with a screwtop for closing it at night. Works very well, even prevents spillage.
    1 person likes this.
  7. chameleon

    chameleon Chillin' With My Peeps

    As some have said already, chickens don't eat at night. There are a few things you would need to take into consideration though.

    Will you be locking them in the coop at night? If so, you would want to probably keep some food in the coop for if they wake up before you let them out. Otherwise if they can move freely between the run and coop at all times you don't neccesarily need food in the coop.

    Is the run, or part of the run sheltered from the weather? If the run is sheltered and your chickens have access to it, I find my chickens prefer to be outside during the day and don't go into the coop until they want to roost, having food on the outside only is fine. But if you have extreme weather and there are days that your chickens prefer to stay inside, you would want to keep food and water inside too.

    How often do you want to clean out the coop? If your chickens spend a lot of time in the coop you will probably need to clean it a lot more often, where if they spend most of their time out in the run, I find the coop needs very little cleaning.

    So it depends on the size and style of your coop and run and also on your personal preference. If you give us more detail about your coop we can give you more specific tips. But in the end you will probably find that you will need to make adjustments as you go along until you find what works for you.
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    IMO the biggest issue is keeping the feed dry, and preventing rodent access to it, which means making it unavailable at night.
  9. LilJagsFarm

    LilJagsFarm Just Hatched

    Dec 9, 2016
    We keep both food and water outside in the run. It is covered so things stay dry. For me the biggest thing is keeping the coop as clean and dry as possible. From time to time I will toss some scratch on the coop floor so they help turn over the bedding. Access to food and water overnight doesn't seem to be an issue since they basically roost from sunset to sunrise anyways.
  10. micah wotring

    micah wotring Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 6, 2015
    WV boy here!
    I have tried several different things (most of which have been mentioned already) and what I've found works best for me is to have water inside and out and to throw feed outside in the run. They are more friendly towards me because I mean food with this method. They also tend to waste less because I'm only giving them however much they'll eat. I like to keep water inside because this gives them access to water when I have them locked up (I sometimes lock them up before dark). I have water outside because there is room for a large tub which I and/or my chicken sitters don't have to re-fill as often.
    So, it really depends on what works best for you. I say try it a few diff ways and then decide.

    Make it a great day!


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