should i keep my feeder and water inside the coop?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by WVjoe, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. WVjoe

    WVjoe In the Brooder

    Dec 27, 2012
    should i keep my feeder and water inside the coop or outside the coop? I was thinking i should keep it inside where they can get at them when they want but i have never had chickens before and thought i should ask to make sure. thanks guys.

  2. GoldDogsMom

    GoldDogsMom Songster

    Aug 10, 2011
    Indiana, PA
    Welcome to BYC and the wonderful world of chickens!

    Personally I keep water both in the coops and in the runs. Food is only in the coops so that it doesn't attract critters at night. The coops are securely closed at night when everyone goes to roost.

    Best of luck with your birds!
  3. chfite

    chfite Songster

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    I keep food inside away from critters and rain. I keep water outside, so that any spills don't make a mess.

    Considering how sluggish chickens are in the dark, I doubt that they either eat or drink at night.

  4. x2
  5. AVintageLife

    AVintageLife Chirping

    Jun 7, 2012
    New Hampshire
    I keep food, oyster shell, grit & water inside and treats & water in the run. The waterer inside is up on blocks and hasn't caused any mess so far.
  6. JackE

    JackE Crowing

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    I keep the food and water inside. I'll put an extra water fount out during the warmer months. Keep the food inside, or you will be ringing the dinner bell for all the wild birds in your area. Plus all the mites and other nastys they carry. Not to mention, the rodents the outside food will attract. Chicken feed costs enough already, without supporting the local wildlife population with it.
  7. AVintageLife

    AVintageLife Chirping

    Jun 7, 2012
    New Hampshire

  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    You’ll find that different ones of us do different things for different reasons. There is no right or wrong way, just the way that you choose to do it.

    Some people feed outside to keep from attracting rodents into the coop. Even if I take the feed up at night, my chickens will spill enough in the bedding to attract mice but some people report success doing this. Feeding outside also gives them less reason to be inside. They’ll poop less inside and more outside so you might have less poop to manage. It’s easier to keep the feed dry inside the coop with a lot of runs.

    Some people feed inside because they find they are feeding a lot of wild birds outside. Chickens are going to wake up hungry and to a lesser extent thirsty. If you don’t always open the pop door and let them out to the run when they first wake up, it’s good (not absolutely necessary as long as you don’t get ridiculous about this) for them to have something to eat and drink when they wake up.

    I feed and water inside and outside. I don’t always get down there at the crack of dawn to let them out. My coop is big enough so that is not a problem. The college-age girl that takes care of them when I go see my granddaughter doesn’t always get there real early either.

    I usually have mixed age chickens in there. The younger ones usually separate themselves from the older ones so they don’t get picked on so much. By having feed and water both places, the younger ones can eat without challenging the older.

    Some people water inside to help with freezing problems, especially if they heat the water. I use black rubber bowls for water so I can just stomp the ice out and refill them. If I set those in sunlight, they stay thawed a lot longer even in freezing weather.

    I’m sure there are a lot of other reasons some people do it one way or the other. Like I said, there is no right way or wrong way, just the way you choose.
    1 person likes this.
  9. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut

    Dec 16, 2011
    Good info Ridgerunner!

    I keep mine inside. I do have a problem with mice nesting underneath the waterer where the heater is. But then again, I'd most likely have that problem if it were outside. My chickens don't like going outside in the winter months, so they wouldn't have ready access to feed and water if it was outside.

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