Do chickens need food at night? - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-30-2010, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are just finishing up our chicken coop/tractor. The top level is enclosed and had two nesting boxes. The bottom is fenced in with chicken wire. I plan on putting the girls upstairs at night and closing the door to the downstairs part.

The question is, since their food and water containers are int he downstairs, outside part, the won't have access to it at night. So, do they need food and water at night?

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Old 08-30-2010, 03:48 PM
 
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I haven't lived with chickens in many years, but I do know they go into 'rest' mode with nightfall. As long as they are well kept and well fed chickens, they will sleep while the sun is down. They do not eat or drink in the night. In the wild, they just roost up in a tree till predawn. Often times chickens will stir very early, like up here in the NW as early as 3 am in the summer... As long as you allow the birds access to the water and food for the day, I think you will be fine. Of course, it depends on where you live and the climate. If it is hot, you may need to make arrangements to put water upstairs in a pan... especially if you aren't up with the dawn. ok now some others that are actually keeping chickens now may be more helpful

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Old 08-30-2010, 11:50 PM
 
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I agree with karika> i have chickens and like pp said they go into rest mode with the sunset and wakeup with the dawn.so they wouldn't be eating or drinking at night. the question is how hot is it and when would you be allowing them access? if its hot or you can't get to it til late in the morning then i'd provide water with them at night.
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:58 PM
 
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we don't keep food or water in the coop with our chickens. they don't seem to mind.

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Old 08-31-2010, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We are near Houston, Texas, so it does get really hot. I am able to get up and let them out really early, like 5 or 6am (thanks to my kids), so I think they will be ok.

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Old 08-31-2010, 03:42 PM
 
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just to be clear, does the area you are locking them up have roosts? I wasn't sure if you were locking them in the nestboxes or not, because you do not want them to sleep in the nest boxes.
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Their inside area, upstairs, has two nesting boxes on the ends, and a common area in the middle. I think I'll put a small waterer inside the common area, just in case they need it. And yes, we'll put a roosting pole in the common area.

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Old 08-31-2010, 11:56 PM
 
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Always good to be cautious but if you are ALWAYS getting out there 5-6 in the morning then I think they'd be fine.
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Old 09-04-2010, 12:07 PM
 
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i think i'd do like you said and make sure they have access to water. food isn't necessary at night, but i'd let them out early even if they had both.

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