Water and food - inside and out?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by keakels, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. keakels

    keakels Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2011
    I am new here, and we are the proud parents of 24 4 week-old chicks (RIRs, PBRs, and Missouri super 365 layers.) We are having such fun, and hubby is building a garden shed/chicken palace - almost done. We're ready to get the kids out of the brooder and into their coop this week. We are working on figuring out the outside feeding and watering, and hubs wondered if they need food & water inside as well. I said I didn't think so, as they will be outside all day until dark (until winter.) Please help this new chicken mama!

    I have been lurking on the forums for months, and want to thank everyone for all that I've learned. You all have been so helpful [​IMG]
  2. jtr

    jtr Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2011
    well it is really up to you but i would leave them inside untill they are aloud to go outside all the time. if you lock them up at night put it in at night and leave it in in the day until they figure out how to go in and out when they figure that out and its warm enough at night you can leave it outside thats what i do
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    [​IMG] Glad you decided to join us! [​IMG]

    You will find that people do it either way, or even both. Some things to consider.

    They poop a lot. The more they are in the coop, the more you may have to manage the poop. With quite a bit of space for each chicken, that may not be a big deal, but if space is tight, it might become one. It is not a problem for me since I have lots of room but I'll just mention it.

    Where you have chicken feed, you will have mice. Some people take up their feed every night to try to avoid mice, but I think they will spill enough food to attract them anyway. Where do you want the mice? In the coop or outside?

    Some people feel they are spending a lot of money feeding wild birds if the feeder is outside. I certainly notice that when there is snow on the ground.

    Chickens can go a little while without eating or drinking when they first wake up, but they really should not go too long. Do you like to sleep in on Saturdays? When you leave on vacation, do you have someone reliable to open the pop door fairly early?

    Some people don't like to water inside bacause they are concerned about getting the bedding wet. Whether that is a concern or not depends on your circumstances. I don't worry about a little water, but when I water in the coop, it is up high enough that they don't spill that much anyway.

    How are you planning on keeping the water thawed in winter? You may want a different set-up in the winter than summer.

    The feed needs to stay dry. Can you manage that in the run?

    After you try one thing for a while, you may decide to change. That is usually not a problem.
  4. keakels

    keakels Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2011
    Thanks for the info. During the summer, we plan on letting them out into the run early in the morning and bringing them in at dusk. I would imagine we will do that all year except when it is frigid and snowing (I'm in northern Missouri.) We will definitely have water and food outside at all times, but was wondering if we needed it inside as well since they'll only be there from dusk til dawn and will most likely be sleeping.
  5. mcf3kids

    mcf3kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2011
    I've been wondering this myself - I put my 4 week olds (22 of them) out in their coop last week. I have food and water in the coop and also in the enclosed roofed run. Once they are a bit older I am planning on taking it out of the coop to encourage them to go out and plan even when the weather is not the best. I guess it seems to be a balance of what feels right for you and your flock. Good luck and I will watch to see what more experienced chicken owners will say.
  6. Aemelia

    Aemelia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2011
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    I just put my 11 week old teenager chicks in their coop and run a week ago. I started by moving the food and water with them the first night but since we haven't added a door yet I found that they get up and take themselves out in the early AM and back in on their own right at dusk. Wow! So I have started leaving the food and water out in the run full time. They have access to both areas all the time right now so I don't feel like I'm withholding anything from them and plus once they go in at night they cuddle up and go to sleep and don't seem to move until morning.
  7. jlynnet

    jlynnet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2011
    I have food and water in the coop all the time. The chicks are out during the day in their run, but I see them go in and out all day. At night we lock them up just in case something tries to get in. The food stays clean and dry on the inside. I have the water off the floor a few inches and it stays pretty clean. I'm just starting to give them treats outside in the run. Every morning they are waiting for the door to open.
    Today a raccoon was lurking and they all ran inside until it left! When we are outside they watch us. So curious!!
  8. patman75

    patman75 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Winter- Food and water (heated water base) inside
    Summer - Food inside and water outside . water stays cleaner outside because the chickens dust bathe in the deep litter inside the coop.
  9. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    I'm new here too, and wanted to tell you how we did our feeders and watering. We feed and water in the coop and in the run. Some mornings were just too cold to let the youngsters out when we first put them in the coop and felt it better to have food and water there. Also, in case we woke up late and did not open the pop door onto the run early enough, they could still eat and drink. The run waterer I just changed today to a 5 gallon bucket with chicken nipples. That has to be much easier to keep clean. As long as that works well the coop will get the same type of waterer.

    I can tell you that on a hot day the girls will go inside the coop and eat and drink there. Sometimes they go up on the roosts in the middle of the day to catch a nap. Nice to have water and food in there for those day they want to either sleep in or stay out of the heat.

    Hope this helps.
  10. Given that the nights here will often not get cooler than 75, water and food will go in. It will be moved out in the morning and back in at night, unless it's raining and then it will stay in. I, personally, would hate for something to happen that would prevent us from getting them to their food and water in the morning, whether that's sleeping in or something unforseen. They will be buttoned up tight and secure at night. I wouldn't want to leave the food and water out in the run and encourage animals overnight.

    Just my .02; ymmv.

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