Where to put...?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by skastarscare, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. skastarscare

    skastarscare New Egg

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    Hallo all, I'm currently designing my coop/hen house/run but I'm conflicted. I've seen some designs that have the food and water inside the hen house where they sleep, and others only in the run area. Do I put it in both areas, only in the run? Only in the house? When they free range do I put some waterers and fOod bins out where they are? Is it better to use filterd water, or is tap okay? I eventually want to go to rain water bins but I need to see the best and proper way to do so.
     
  2. ThePamperedPullet

    ThePamperedPullet Chillin' With My Peeps

    You should always have water available to them where ever they are. That is the most important. Feed depends on surroundings. If they have plenty of forage area then feed is not necessary except as a supplement. We have feeders under covered areas in the free run area so they dont get wet if it rains. Free range chickens will generally not lay as well as pen kept because of the difference in nutrition from strictly layer feed and forage foods. But free range chickens are generally healthier. Tap water is fine for them if you have good water. Chickens will drink out of mud puddles or where ever they find water.
     
  3. jafo

    jafo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] When ours are out running around, they drink from the dogs bowl or a mud puddle 60 yards from thier coop. They also lay eggs in the doghouse, when they're "down there" It has hay inside. When they're up closer , when they "feel that special fullness" they leave the gang and go to the coop like good girls. Do thier bizness, get a bite, and a drink and off they go!
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I give mine unfiltered tap water. That way they get trace minerals they may otherwise not get.

    You'll find there is no clearcut answer on where to feed and water. Some of the things I'd consider.

    If you feed them in the coop, you might wind up feeding fewer wild birds, thus saving feed.

    If you feed them in the coop, they will spend more time in the coop, thus increasing the amount of poop you need to "manage".

    If you feed them in the coop, the spilled feed could attract mice and rats. It will in the run also, but most people can handle them out there better than in the coop.

    If you lock them up at night, I think they do need access to water when they wake up unless you let them out as soon as the sun comes up. I don't think having feed in there for them is as important.

    How often are they confined to the coop? Do you have weather they cannot go out to eat and drink?

    They need access to water all the time they are awake. I find if it is in the run and they are free ranging, they will go back to the run to get it when they need it.

    If you have a really hot climate, I'd be a lot more inclined to give them easier access to water. For most of us, I don't think this is a consideration, but in some climates it could be important.

    Wherever you put the water or feed will cause them to hang out there more, thus increasing the poop in that area. Maybe you want to fertilize certain areas?

    Hope this helps and hope others chime in with other considerations.
     
  5. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just move the feed and waterer into the coop at night, and move it back to the run in the morning when I let the birds out. I only put about 1-2 days worth of feed in the feeder at a time, and top it off in the morning. Then I dump out the water on yard plants and fill up with fresh water every morning.

    I keep the feeder inside a pan so I can clear away old, spilled feed that could go mouldy.
     
  6. Toast n Jelly

    Toast n Jelly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Great idea putting the feeder inside a pan. I'll use that idea. [​IMG] I do put a pan under the waterer inside the coop, saves the floor from getting wet when they bump into it.
     
  7. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use some old clay plant saucers, turned upside down, to put my waterers on and keep them up a bit above the level of the bedding. I just thought of putting the feeder inside a pan this morning. It worked beautifully! Clean up is going to be a breeze tomorrow morning.
     

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