Making Sure Chickies Get Enough Food

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by yawningreyhound, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. yawningreyhound

    yawningreyhound Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi everyone! Marcia in Colorado here. Where it's downright balmy today. The snow is melting, the wind is calmish, life is good!

    When you free range your birds, do they go back in the coop to eat? Ours are outside today and just having the time of their lives. They're dust bathing, running hither thither and yon, will they remember to go back in and eat or do you guys move your feeder outside? I put a bucket outside for water. We're trying to switch over to the Chicken Waterer inside the coop, but so far only one of the 5 has figured it out. They were so thirsty last night that they drank for 15 minutes when I offered their normal source...I hope they get it today.


    We were getting one reliably since the move 2 weeks ago, but then she got frostbitten and stopped laying for 4 days...then she started again (assuming it was her...) a couple days ago.

    Then today we had two! And they were in the nesting tunnel which is basically where they all sleep, too. (instead of laying under the coop which is where every single one so far has been!)

    Thanks guys!
  2. DraigAthar

    DraigAthar Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2011
    Plainfield, NH
    I never move the food outside, they always come back in for it if they are hungry. But usually when they are out on pasture, they are too busy eating everything else besides their layer pellets! Usually what happens is they eat a little from the feeder in the morning, then range and forage all day, and then eat a little more from the feeder right before bed. I've never had any of them wasting away because they couldn't find the the food.

    I don't move the waterer either, but if it's going to be a hot day I will add a second waterer somewhere out with them. They like to gather under the trees on a hot day, so I'll stick the extra waterer by the edge of the trees.
    1 person likes this.
  3. yawningreyhound

    yawningreyhound Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh good, I'll leave the food inside (outside, the ravens will discover it and it'll be all over). The hens came out this morning into the run and just gorged on their food first thing, too! I didn't do a hot mash for them since it's so warm out (we just hit 50. which has been unheard of).

    I just WONDER what they're eating out there. I patrolled the area for inorganic matter with a magnet, but who knows what they're kicking up out there in the forest. They free ranged outside up the hill for months with no issues; hopefully our parcel is as inert. Just a mere 200 steps away.

    Yesterday they were in the run more than out of it; but today they are just having the best ol' time. My four greyhounds are watching them through the fence with mild interest (whew! I was a little worried that they'd be barking them); and my cat is also watching from the backyard, but with mild interest. The greys will never have contact with the chickies; but the cat will have to be supervised for a while to make sure he's not going to chase them. The birds are used to friendly dogs and a cat, so they're just looking at the cat like Oh, you're not Carmela...WHO are you? As long as they don't run, the cat will be fine. But there will be close supervision when kitteh is outside the fence.

    Chickens! Who'da thunk it?
  4. Janabell2000

    Janabell2000 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 16, 2014
    Midvale, UT
    I have never had their food inside. My birds always forage and eat their food and drink their water outside.
  5. annagarret

    annagarret Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 23, 2013
    Memphis Michigan
    My Coop
    I keep their food in the coop. Mine are outside today too....a warm 35 degrees here in Michigan![​IMG]I put some straw around the outside for them to walk on. They are Happy, Happy, Happy [​IMG]. I notice when they get hungry they go back in the coop. In the warmer months they free range all over our property and hardly eat their commercial feed.
    1 person likes this.

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