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Where do you keep food/water?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Mcc112311, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. Mcc112311

    Mcc112311 New Egg

    Mar 7, 2016
    The coop and run are finally predator proofed so it's time to move my 10wk old girls outside full time. My question is-where is the best place to keep the food and water? We live in New England so moisture in the coop will be a problem. It,s a small hen house above a small run, which leads to a large enclosure. I was planning on putting the food and water outside the hen house but still in the main coop-but will they be okay without food and water all night? [​IMG]
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Generally I place the food inside the coop and the water outside. The birds will sometimes get thirsty overnight. I'm planning on putting a nipple watering system in the coop itself so they won't experience this issue. While I don't trust nipple waterers as their sole source of liquid since studies show birds watered like this consume less water overall, I think it will be ideal inside the coop only as it means they will have adequate water overnight should they get thirsty, but still able to drink a normal amount when they are let out during the day and have access to basin waterers. Nipple waterers also prevent most wetness and spills from occurring.

    So yes they can go overnight with no food or water, but having the food inside the coop and water outside (and optionally a no-spill waterer inside) is often ideal.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  3. Mcc112311

    Mcc112311 New Egg

    Mar 7, 2016
    Thank you so much! Husband is working on the no spill waterer now for in the coop and trying out the main one just outside.
  4. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Actual consumption use or a waste/consumption combined? No doubt nipples save water in regards to waste and evaporation and this could certainly make one believe they are 'consuming' less, but I argue that they consume the necessary and proper amount for proper bodily functions...

    Can you link the study you reference, I'm real curious how they conducted the study and measured overall consumption of water in regards to feed intake per individual chicken as the amount of 'dry' feed intake necessitates the amount of water intake, as does the ambient temps... To do this would require weighing immediately before and immediately after every drink to determine actual consumption and after every eating to average it out against feed intake, as well as recording ambient temps and factoring that in... If the chicken 'pooped' during the eating or drinking process that would have to also be immediately collected and weighed with no lose, a small error in any of those measurements could lead to a huge error in assumed water consumption...

    A lack of proper levels of hydration would be noted by chickens 'craving' water as well as illness and lose of egg production, stunted growth and what not, things I argue people that use nipples exclusively for water simply don't observe...
  5. room onthebroom

    room onthebroom Overrun With Chickens

    May 4, 2015
    We keep the food & a nipple waterer inside the coop. It gets hot here more than cold, so we keep regular waters randomly throughout the yard as well.
    1 person likes this.
  6. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    The study can be found here. Upon reviewing it (it has been a while since I've read it), they did calculate for evaporation but not for waste, and also I did notice that it was mostly heat which affected water consumption; during cool or cold periods consumption became similar. Of course one should think that the hot summer would be the most important time for birds to be able to easily consume water.

    I would argue that even if they are consuming all the NECESSARY water they may not be consuming an ideal amount. The amount required to keep them alive and generally healthy may not be the same amount that would allow them to function and produce in an ideal way. Additionally I would think that the amount of work required to obtain water from nipples vs. basin/bells would potentially be taxing to the bird, since it is not a natural motion. Here is part of the "Results" portion of the study regarding this...

  7. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm curious what do you suspect is stopping them at 'necessary' and not allowing them to continue to 'ideal' when the water is fully available for them to consume as much as they desire anytime they desire?

    I think 'work' is a little exaggerated in this instance, one could easily argue it's also stimulating activity that removes boredom and has a positive effect, must like a suet or seed block does vs a bowl of crumbles they can gorge on rapidly...

    Pecking is a natural motion, chicken peck for food and they will peck for water droplets on surfaces as well... Sure they might normally drink from open water in the wild (as would humans) but that doesn't equate to alternative methods necessarily being an unnatural motion... If one is to equate a chicken reaching upwards for a nipple to be unnatural then one could also suggest that a watering bowl that is elevated above the ground on a brick (as most people do) where the chicken has to reach upwards is also unnatural, correct? So we should all be burying our water bowls at ground level?

    After reading the study ( https://ps.oxfordjournals.org/content/76/7/944.full.pdf+html ) I find much of the above speculated results to be taken out of context or a speculated expansion of what was actually determined from the study in question, surprisingly bad science for a published work...

    The short of it the study did not point out that the chickens have difficulty drinking from nipples, or that they posed any negative effect I find that to be pure speculation and opinion by the authors of the study, as their own results show that in lower temps the chickens consumed more water from the nipples this is 100% contrary to their conclusion... One could agree that they had difficulty drinking from 'high' water nipples when they are panting, and thus if one is using nipples they should reduce conditions that increase panting and that the nipples should be at a lower height... The mere fact that their own data showed more consumption from nipples then the cups as the temperature decreased, invalidates their conclusion that it's difficult for them to drink from nipples, as it's totally contradicts the conclusion and points towards sloppy study and bad scientific practices...

    IMO when you include the fact that the study was clear that waste was not calculated or measured at all, that fact alone mostly invalidates the study or at best makes the results factually unreliable as the entirety of the extra water they claimed was consumed could actually have been waste water that was never consumed at all... Every chicken owner knows that if you give chickens open water they will splash and waste it to not account for this in a study of water consumption is simply unbelievable...

    I also have to really question why the nipple water consumption was higher in cooler temps then the 'open' water source at that same temp? To me this suggest that if the chickens actually desire a higher amount of water they are fully capable of getting it from the nipples and the nipples do not limit consumption or cause a hardship... You can't simply ignore the data that doesn't fit the proclaimed conclusion as they appear to have done with this study...

    The study also never determined what the 'ideal' level of water consumption actually was or is, thus there is no way on can concluded that the chickens on the nipples were deprived of their 'ideal' amount of water at any time...

    I do understand that you might not like nipples and that is fine, but I find the claim that chickens will suffer and not get the 'ideal' amount of water when using nipples to be almost entirely speculation and not based on fact...

    I linked the study's full text, I personally find the study to be flawed on many levels, but anyone is free to read it and come to their own conclusions if nipples actually deprive chickens of their ideal water consumption levels...
  8. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    You make a good argument. A lot of those points did not occur to me before. Also, I meant to link the full study in my original post - I forgot to do it before actually clicking submit, lol good reason not to post on BYC when I'm in a hurry.

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