Winter feeding, sweet feed and snow!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by beeksnfeet, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. beeksnfeet

    beeksnfeet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This will be our first winter with our girls. We have always kept their feed in the coop along with water both inside and out. After reading so many posts it seems most people keep their food outside, not in. We have found a feeder on this site we want to make but will not have room in the coop for it.....our girls have gotten much bigger then we expected, and we ended up with 1 more then originally planned, you know, chicken math. The coop will be a 'close fit' on nasty days. Planning on an addition this spring. My questions are, do we need to have food/water both inside and out & is it ok to feed them a 12% sweet feed as a treat? A friend has given us a whole bag he is not using. And finally, will chickens eat snow? :)
     
  2. Janet Pesaturo

    Janet Pesaturo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I keep the food inside, all the time, because I do not want to attract wild birds, squirrels, etc. I always have water inside coop, and when my birds go out for the afternoon, I put another waterer outside under a tree.
     
  3. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    I usually feed/water outside when I can even in the winter (and the wild birds aren't too bad), but will inside if there is too much snow or wind or rain... Would you be able to keep the big feeder outside and just put a smaller feeder or something inside on nasty days?
    With the 12%, as long as it isn't medicated it should be fine as a treat, ours scavenge dropped food from the cows/horses routinely.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Your feed just needs to be in a dry place. Doesn't matter to the hens if it's inside or out.

    If your coop space is getting tight, also remember vertical space! Put extra roosts in the coop to give them more places to get out of each other's way during bad weather.
     
  5. Janet Pesaturo

    Janet Pesaturo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A droppings board under the roost will increase floor space.
     
  6. beeksnfeet

    beeksnfeet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our girls are in an inclosed run/coop area. I should not have a problem with other creatures getting at the food as the run is totally fenced. . . .top, bottom and sides with hardware cloth and cyclone fencing for the bottom buried in the dirt. I wish I could let them free range or have a bigger space for them, but it is not possible. They seem happy enough and do have plenty of room outside with a roost in the run and another in the coop for night that runs the length of the coop. Nesting boxes were attached to the outside to give them more room. I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best through our first winter together. Thanks!:D
     
  7. Kernel Cluck

    Kernel Cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you have and enclosed run.. I would cover the run with heavy, clear plastic sheeting. This will expand their space by allowing them to be in the run even on cold windy days. Remember.. its not usually the cold that gets the chickens, its the drafts. If the run is cold, but draft free, they can use the while thing as living space and have room to have some personal space.
     
  8. beeksnfeet

    beeksnfeet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes I could keep the feeder we have right now inside and just make the big one for outside. DH built one with a PVC pipe and made a small tray for the food to fall into, but they are getting soooo messy and spilling way too much on the floor. I can use that one when days are too cold and just leave the other in a dry corner for everyday! After reading your post I did try some of that sweet feed and they loved it. Thanks!:)
     
  9. Kernel Cluck

    Kernel Cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here is a picture of what i did last winter. I made frames and stapled plastic sheeting to them and then attached them to the screened part of the coop. It quadrupled their "space". Oh also, food inside, water wherever they hang out most of the day.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. beeksnfeet

    beeksnfeet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow!!! What a good idea. Love what you did. Our coop and run is nested behind the shed and surrounded on three sides by the shed on the left, and 2 stockade fencing panles on the right and back sides, so covering them with plastic would work and doing what you did would work for the front of the run and the entrance door! Thanks for the pics!:D
     

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