Chicken food and water: inside or out?

alicate(SW Michigan, zone 5)August 17, 2005

I live in Michigan and have my food and water in the coop. Most pictures I see put the food and water in the attached, enclosed run. Which should I do? Obviously, during the cold it will be moved indoors. Will that confuse the chickens? Also, my hens don't eat until I go in at about 9pm to milk the goats. I guess they don't like the dark hen house. That's another reason I have thought about keeping the feed outside. Any ideas for me?


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cheribelle(Z5 IA)

I keep the feed inside the building where it's dry, and the water in the run where I can use the hose. All a matter of what's easiest.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 5:09PM
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Our hens never go inside during the day except to lay eggs or unless they're brooding.
We keep the food & water outside under a small overhang.
With the fresh air circulating, it keeps the smell down and makes cleaning the inside of the coop easier
I don't think it will confuse them. Their whole day is spent up scratching and looking for food.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 6:52PM
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HerringboneD28(z7 Central AR)

I keep both the food and water in the hen house. There - you now have three opinions with three different options. So basically do what is best for you and your girls and they'll figure it out.

Have you considered putting windows in your coop? I have one on each side and it's very light and airy in there. The girls go in and out a million times a day. That's what makes it so much fun watching them.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 11:03AM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

I keep the feeder inside the coop along with one of the waterers, but my coop is very open and bright. I leave the door open during the day and the chickens come and go as they please. I have two more waterers out in the yard.

If your birds are avoiding the henhouse during the day and not eating, that isn't good. Make sure that there isn't another reason that they are avoiding the henhouse, such as a mite infestation. If you can safely rule out mites, I'd say experiment with moving the food inside and out and see which works best for your girls. You may even end up with two food/water stations, one inside and one outside. :)


    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 11:37PM
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