Overnight Water in Coop a Necessity ?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Lost Pine, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. Lost Pine

    Lost Pine Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 20, 2016
    Smithville NJ
    I'm a newbie to BYC's but love it. I have a 4x4 coop with 4 hens in it and was wondering if water is needed overnight. They just seem to make a mess out of it, and they get plenty of water through the day. It is November and I'm in NJ. I know there are a lot of nipple feeders I could build for the coop, but probably won't get it done before winter.

    Your thoughts ......................
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Chickens want to eat and drink when it gets light, and I'm not out there at dawn, so I've got water and food in the coop. If the waterer doesn't leak, and is up at shoulder height for the smallest birds, there's much less mess. Mary
  3. TeeMom

    TeeMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2016
    I originally always had water in the coop, but I have nipple waterers and mine leak. They're much better when we replace the nipples, but never perfect and I found they were making a huge mess. We put a waterer just outside the coop door and they have two others on the property (they free range). They seem to drink up just before they go in and right after they leave in the morning. I don't feel like it's made a difference other than keeping the coop completely dry. BUT, my kids are up every morning at 6 a.m., so the coop is opened up early without fail every morning before the sun is up.
  4. Abby32922

    Abby32922 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 7, 2016
    Hi, and welcome to BYC!!! In my opinion, chickens ( like all other pets ) should have constant access to water. We use nipple waterers and they work great! All you gotta do is order or buy them ( I think we got ours at Tractor Supply Co. ), put holes in the bottom of a bucket, and fill it up [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Unless there is some light in the coop or a full moon with big windows, chickens won't come off the roost at night. They can't see in the dark. They need food and water in the morning but not during the night because they can't find it.
  6. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 26, 2016
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    I have water on a homemade heated base[​IMG]and feed on a hanging feeder[​IMG]in my 4' by 5' coop 24/7. Chickens should have access to water a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset and whenever there is artificial light or moonlight shining through the windows. Always have at least one vent open year round, to allow moisture and ammonia to escape. GC
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
  7. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    For years I haven't supplemented light in my coops to extend the daylight during winter to promote laying. This year I've decided on doing so. I've always kept food and water out of the coops for lots of reasons, mostly because they aren't needed while the chickens sleep.

    In the middle of the night the other night, which is not an uncommon time for me to suddenly get major brain flashes, it occurred to me that the light will wake my chickens and they may need water during those two hours before sunrise. Duh.

    So I had a couple sets of vertical type nipples and I found some plastic containers and in minutes, had a waterer for each of the two coops.

    The only issue with keeping water inside a coop at night, especially in deep winter, is that if they leak, it will increase the humidity in the coop, presenting the danger of frostbite.

    I solved the problem by placing an old, very shallow cake pan under each waterer. The water in the drip pans gets emptied before nightfall, and the bedding, which is sand, stays dry.
  8. critterkeeper25

    critterkeeper25 Chillin' With My Peeps

    We also live in New Jersey. In the beginning, when we first got our chickens, we kept water in the coop. But that winter our BO hens, and our RIRS developed frostbite. So we invested in an automatic door which has a light sensor so it opens at first light, and moved the water outside. No more frostbite.

    We also have a home made water defroster that uses a thermostatic outlet. It keeps the water from freezing.
  9. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 26, 2016
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    That's great, I have the same setup, homemade heater base with thermocube. Vents are the key to having water in the coop, to allow moisture to escape.[​IMG]GC
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2016
  10. eagrbeavr

    eagrbeavr Chillin' With My Peeps

    I vote no, not necessary. Only critters using it at night are none you want. Take the vermins water source away or cover it

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