Feeders and drinkers come in many sizes and are either robust plastic or galvanised metal. We prefer plastic as it is cheaper and easier to clean. They are light and portable so can be easily refilled and put away at night to deter vermin. Chickens are great scratchers and by choice would send their feed flying in all directions. So, a good feeder is designed to allow the chickens easy access whilst keeping their feet out. Pellets or mash will be given in the feeder. We recommend that free access is given to this throughout the day but some keepers prefer to just provide it in the morning and make the chicken’s forage for food for the rest of the day. As with so much of chicken keeping it is down to personal choice and experience. Mixed grain, maize or wheat is a treat for chickens, they love it. Given the chance some people will fill up on yummy sweets and snacks and then not be able to manage a proper meal and chickens are no different. They will always choose to eat grain rather than balanced compound food. So, grain needs to be fed as a treat and the best time is an hour or two before bedtime. A crop full of slow-to-digest corn will help to keep the hens warm on a cold night. Mixed grit should always be available and is best given in a separate grit hopper. Chickens drink a surprising amount of water. They drink little and often and so must have clean, fresh water available throughout the day. In winter ensure that the water remains unfrozen and in a hot summer place the drinker in the shade.