okay to not have feed and water overnight?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Hideaway Farm, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. Hideaway Farm

    Hideaway Farm Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 2, 2012
    My meaties are in a makeshift coop and having food and water in there is a pain in the neck (it was put together fast and on the cheap, thus not very efficient). It gets dark around 7:30 right now, and I open their coop at around 7:30 am, so that is 12 hours with no food or water. It occurred to me that they still have about 4 or 5 weeks to go and the days will only get shorter...

    Is this a bad idea?
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Sorry I don't know meaties but I definitely give my chickens water 24/7 through the winter (in the summer I sometimes will remove the water from the coop if I let them out at the crack of dawn).

    This is owing to as you said the shorter days and I feel the few hours they are outside is not enough to keep up a healthy water intake.

    Meaties can eat themselves to death from what I have read so pay attention to the ones who have raised them LOL- hopefully they will post.
  3. Salt and Light

    Salt and Light Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2008
    Osteen, FL
    I don't think they'll die from dehydration but they will probably be stressed. Maybe there's a workable solution other than going without water.
  4. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2011
    Northwest Indiana
    Not having feed would be fine, but I'd be concerned about the water. They drink so much! Most of the time they're in the coop will be dark, so you wouldn't need a huge source, but should probably have something in there with them unless you're going to make sure they're out of there before it gets light.
  5. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    They will be asleep most of the time that it is dark. If they are asleep, they aren't going to be drinking.

    My ducks and turkeys are locked up at night without water and it has never harmed them. The ducks rush out to play with the water first thing in the morning, but the turkeys supervise my morning chores before they drink, so they can't be too thirsty in the morning.

    My Cornish Cross were raised with food and water 24 hours a day because they had to be kept locked up. As soon as I turned them out to range, the crows killed them. I had a 5 gallon vacuum waterer for them that I kept filled. Cornish Cross drink a lot.
  6. Hideaway Farm

    Hideaway Farm Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 2, 2012
    Thanks for the advice, everyone.

    The morning after I posted this I came out to open the coop "hatch" and they had already pushed it open themselves, lol. All were eating and drinking as it had been dawn for about 30 minutes already.

    So last night I decided to experiment and not put the hatch in place at night. As it is they are in a double walled enclosure and if anything like a raccoon got in there they would have no trouble opening the door anyways, so I figured it wouldn't really increase their risk.

    So far it is working fine. I just wonder if they will go outside if it is dark, even if they are thirsty. The days will get shorter...
  7. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2012
    Tickfaw, Louisiana
    I have 4, one year old CornishXRock cross I raised last year and harvested as needed, instead of at 8 weeks. They live in the barn with the rest of the chickens, ducks, turkeys, and geese. I do not keep water inside the barn as ducks and geese are very messy when it comes to water and it would stay very sloppy if I did. They are let out at dawn every day and the doors are closed and latched every night after they put themselves to roost about dark thirty. The ducks are always the last to go in, when they see me coming. So my meaties have done well without having water overnight for a year. The 3 hens and 1rooster that are still with us are in molt right now, but as soon as they start laying again, I plan to try AI and see what the outcome produces. It would be nice to be able to have perpetual meaties without having to buy 25 at a time and slaughter them all at once. I do not slaughter them at 8 weeks either since at about 12 weeks they are the size of miniature turkeys and still tender and succulent. I just got 50 on Yesterday, I male and 49 female,1 dead and 1 that died soon after arrival, from Meyers hatchery. [​IMG]I was hoping for at least straight run, but that's the way it goes, when you catch a special, sometimes!
  8. NovaAman

    NovaAman Overrun With Chickens

    Meat chickens should have feed freely available for 12 hours on, 12 hours off. If you are concerned with water, get a piglet waterer that you can mount on the wall. Much less mess this way. I did my meat birds in the summer, they only time they had feed readily available was when they were bity chicks. But when they hit about 3 weeks, they went on to the 12 on 12 off with the food. I always kept water available for them though.
  9. milleryardchx

    milleryardchx Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2008
    Washington State
    I feed my meaties once in the morning and it last them till evening but they have access to water 24/7
  10. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2008
    I'm so confused. Has anyone actually seen a chicken drink at night? They are all but comatose in the dark. Why would it be useful, much less important, to have 24 hour access to water?

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