Winter feeding

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by kotwica, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. kotwica

    kotwica Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    24
    Apr 6, 2013
    I live in PA and our winters can be pretty bad. I made a coop for my chickens that has an attached run with a roof over the run. I keep the food and water outside, but was wondering if this is going to be a problem in the winter. I have electric in the coop, so I will have a heated waterer, but I don't know if I should still move the food and water inside the coop during the winter months... It will be really tight for the birds if I move the food/water inside, so I really don't want to do that, but if they will not go out in the cold to eat or drink, I'm concerned... Please advise [​IMG]
     
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

    20,569
    1,157
    391
    Jul 24, 2013
    I'd keep the waterer and feeder outside. You do not want chickens to be too confined during winter. Where I live, it also gets pretty cold (0 degrees or below sometimes), and I have my waterer outside. My feeder is also outside. I just change the water twice a day so that they can get some before it freezes. A heater in the water would help prevent freezing. Just make sure to check the water often to make sure that the chickens have some and it isn't frozen. Your chickens will probably be fine going out of the coop to eat and drink; mine do just fine.
     
  3. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,170
    102
    181
    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    I keep the food inside out of the weather and the water outside so spills aren't a problem. I use a bird bath heater to prevent freezing in winter.

    Even if it is cold out, the chickens will want to go outside everyday.

    Some report that the chickens don't go out into the snow. I cannot address that, because it doesn't snow routinely here.

    Chris
     
  4. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,319
    446
    221
    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    I keep feed inside out of the weather and to prevent birds from taking over the feeder.
     
  5. fallenangel79

    fallenangel79 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,022
    31
    122
    Sep 12, 2013
    Ohio
    I keep are feed and water out of the weather too :)
     
  6. DLV58

    DLV58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    250
    10
    81
    May 19, 2013
    Nebraska
    Hi, I will keep the girls food and water outside in the winter like I do in the summer
    this way the girls have to come out of the coop.
     
  7. humphrey farms

    humphrey farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    256
    6
    93
    Jun 28, 2012
    Naples Maine
    During our severe Maine winters I keep my water outside and refill a couple times per day. Their grain I keep inside so snow doesn't get into the food. I usually lay straw down in front of the coop to encourage them to venture outside and along the shoveled path from the mudroom to the coop. Onto this I scatter whole corn or BOSS to get them outside too.
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,530
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    If the feeder is protected from the wet, leave it outside. Cold really doesn't bother the birds much, they have a nice down coat that keeps them toasty!
     
  9. kschicks2013

    kschicks2013 Chillin' With My Peeps

    177
    17
    91
    Nov 19, 2012
    Fernley, Nevada
    I have my chicken coop in a large chain link enclosure. I have the waterer and feeder out in the enclosure which has a nice roof so the feed doesn't get wet. This is the first winter I will have chickens. I figured they have feathers and are healthy so coming out to eat and drink won't be a problem. I'm also going to put tarping around 3 sides of the big enclosure to keep any drafts from getting to them while they are in their enclosure or house. We also put a heat lamp in the chicken run which is attached to the hen house hoping it will keep them warm enough when it gets down to freezing. Do you think having the heat lamp is necessary???? I've read so many conflicting posts about whether or not to heat the coop or not. The actual hen house isn't tall enough to put a heat lamp safely inside where they roost at night, but it is sealed well enough against drafts. I put plastic over the windows to keep the heat in. I thought that if I pointed the heat lamp towards to entrance to the inside of the house it should be enough heat. Thoughts please. I'm in Northern Nevada where it does snow but it doesn't really get below zero. Last year the coldest night was 16 degrees Fahrenheit. It snowed but not a lot. With their enclosure covered the snow will not get in.
     
  10. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,319
    446
    221
    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    Don't heat the coop. That's an accident waiting to happen. Bed the floor to provide insulation from the cold ground and give them a window to capture solar gain during the day. Mine survive weeks of night below freezing just fine. They do blow through considerably more feed though. Keeping the water free flowing is my biggest PIA.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by