Removing food at night?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by FlyingtheCoop, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. FlyingtheCoop

    FlyingtheCoop Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 25, 2010
    Do any of you remove your feed at night and replace it in the morning, or do the hens need access to the food all night? I don't have a rodent problem, but the feeder takes up space during the night. They free range the backyard all day so it isn't a concern during daylight hours.
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    No, if they are sleeping on their roosts, they likely won't feed at night. Chickens aren't known for great night vision.

    You'll likely find that morning eating is something they expect and breakfast is the important meal of the day.[​IMG]
    So, what's the plan here. You gonna "get up before the chickens" and put their food out for them?
  3. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Quote:I never take up my feed at night. Mine stay on their roost all night anyway. I have not ever had rodents come in yet. Mice could make it into the run for sure. Rats not likely.

    I do keep water only outside in the run tho. I do not want to run risk of mildew or mold starting in the litter. Also I hated picking litter out of their drinking water all of the time so all watering is done outside. There are nipple watering devices tho that do the job nicely indoors or outdoors. But you have to train the flock to use them.
  4. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I have a permenant feeder inside the coop. I haven't had any problems with rodents thus far. I have hot wire at 3 inches & again at 18 inches. I have found dead mice that were trying to enter but got shocked. As mentioned the chooks are hungry after roosting all night. No problem their food is there. I also have auto pop door so no problem there as well. After all its the 21st century LOL. [​IMG]
  5. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    I see no good reason to ever remove feed from the birds unless I'm going to slaughter them. Unless you're going to go out in the dark to replace it so they can eat at first light it wouldn't serve any purpose.
  6. Casey3043

    Casey3043 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I put the feeder inside a metal garbage can that I keep right there in the run, after the chickens have gone to roost for the night. This is due to heavy feed losses to mice, and I was afraid rats would be next. In the morning when I let the chickens out at daylight, I put the feeder back on the chain.

    Yes, I go out at first light, not having any automatic doors. I can't sleep late anyway, so there it is. Dogs are anxious to go out, cats want to be fed.....

  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I keep my feeders and waterers out in the run (after 6-8 weeks of age). Then I remove the feed from the feeders, place it in a covered metal pail, and place it in the garage (at night).

    Works well for me!

    But I let them out early in the morning, and don't rush them to bed.
  8. ginormous chicken

    ginormous chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2011
    Elverta, California
    I was removing my feeder every night. I was worried about rats. I haven't had any issues and since I switched to pellets instead of mash the mess is A LOT less. I have stopped removing the food. The DH still does b/c he saw me doing it before. (Shhhh... don't tell him, j/k!) Until I see signs of rats, I am not taking it out.
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    For almost five years, they had feed 24/7. Never had a rodent problem. I know that they get off the roost and eat several times during the night because we have a baby monitor in the coop. After talking with a long time chicken breeder who rations the feed, giving them feed only once each day, we have started hanging the feeders up high when we put them inside for the night and lowering them in the morning. I don't see why they need to chow down at 3 a.m. anyway, not after they've been eating all day long. We probably have slowed down the feed consumption a bit just by doing that.
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    I also take food up at night, I do throw some Boss and scratch into their coop so when they get up before me they have something to tide them over till I let them out..

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by