Pullets in transition: no food at night?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Firefly, May 7, 2007.

  1. Firefly

    Firefly Chillin' With My Peeps

    163
    0
    139
    Mar 26, 2007
    Connecticut
    My 6 (almost 7) week old pullets have been spending their days in their new coop and run, but I'm still bringing them in at night to have them sleep in a brooder box in the greenhouse. The problem is, the box is getting small for them. It's fine for sleeping, and I keep the chick waterer in there at night in case they need a drink, but is it okay if they don't have food at night, just until they're in the coop full-time? The problem is when I do put the feeder in there in the morning it is always so caked with shavings that they can't get to the food anyway, and I feel like I am wasting feed.

    I've been using a min/max thermometer to monitor the overnight temps in the coop and it's still getting down as low as 40 in there at night. It is 7'x13' with 6' high ceilings-- I just don't think 5 pullets will generate enough heat to warm it up in there (and no electricity yet for a heater-- that's being installed next month). They are pretty much feathered out but I'd rather not risk it-- in another couple of weeks it should be fine temp-wise.

    So will no food at night while they're "in transistion" be okay? [​IMG]
     
  2. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    I believe growing chicks and layers do best when given free choice 24/7 feed, water, grit (and oyster shell when they start laying). There may be some birds in your flock that are low on the pecking order and may not eat until the others have gone to roost. If they don't have access to feed, they won't get the nutrition they need to grow properly and healthy.

    Can you put a large cardboard box in the hen house for them to sleep in? Or possibly build a smaller area out of some bales of straw with a cardboard box for a top. This would help hold in some heat for them.

    if edited, probably for typos...
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2007
  3. Firefly

    Firefly Chillin' With My Peeps

    163
    0
    139
    Mar 26, 2007
    Connecticut
    That's an excellent idea about the straw bales-- that is definitely do-able. Thanks for the suggestion!!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by