location of feeder/water in coop????

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickenfeeva, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. chickenfeeva

    chickenfeeva Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Mar 30, 2009
    Holly Springs
    I am working on my first coop, and have never kept chickens previously. Do I need to plan space in the coop for a feeder and waterer? It will be a coop with an attached run (tractor). Do chickens need access to food at night or just water? I apologize for the basic questions, I just want to do it right the first time:D
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    86
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    If the coop will be pretty small, then you need to sort of plan a little extra room for the feeder and waterer (when you are calculating how many chickens it will hold), especially if they will be the 'usual' style that are plopped out there in the middle of the floor space. OTOH the larger the coop is, the less of a difference the space they take up will make. And in a small coop (small being like 4x8 or smaller, ish) you can tighten things up if you use a feeder and/or waterer that are on the wall rather than in the middle.

    Make sure they are not in the path of major traffic patterns, mainly chickens coming in/out popdoor and chickens jumping down off the roost, or you will have a lot of spilled food and water!

    As far as indoor or outdoor, it depends on your situation. They don't eat or drink at night (chickens are virtually nightblind, so can't see to get around in dim light and will basically just sit on the roost like potatoes from dusk til sunrise). But if you are not available to let them out at the crack of dawn then they probably *should* have water int he coop -- being small animals with a high rate of water throughput and further losing water in egg production, chickens REALLY need to be able to drink freely whenever they're awake. Food they can go without for a few hrs if need be although certainly it's kinder (and stirs up less grumpiness in them) if they always *do* have food.

    OTOH keeping feeders and/or waterers outside reduces spillage in the coop.

    OTO*O*H, feeders and waterers outside can end up 'serving' rodents and wild birds too.

    It's a personal decision, and what's best really depends on all the details of your setup and management.

    Does that help?

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  3. chickenfeeva

    chickenfeeva Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Mar 30, 2009
    Holly Springs
    I am usually up before dawn getting the kids (4) ready for school and such so letting the girls out of the coop should be no problem. I am thinking of mounting a flip top water tank (32oz) with a valve inside the coop. Any experience with how long it takes chickens to figure out a valve water system???
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by