Am I foolish to be chasing my 7 week chicks into the coop @ night?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by littleandlewis, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. littleandlewis

    littleandlewis Out Of The Brooder

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    May 30, 2011
    At what age can I just leave the coop door open so they can come and go as late or early as they want into their protected run?

    They stay up later then I do [​IMG] and so I find myself corralling them into their coop at night and locking them in.... tonight they really protested.

    We are about 60 degrees at night these days.
     
  2. Minniechickmama

    Minniechickmama Senora Pollo Loco

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    Sep 4, 2009
    Minnesota
    If you have a protected pen, then don't bother at this point. The weather is warm enough and they will go in if they feel like it.
     
  3. lauriej57

    lauriej57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 17, 2010
    Southwest Michigan
    I have a protected run, hadn't lost a chicken to a predator in over 2 years.

    The young ones go to bed alot later than I often do. My run is covered by 1x2 welded wired. One night a couple of weeks ago, it was warm, I had to be at work at 4:30 am, and I figured they would be ok.

    I didn't think. Instead of going inside at night, they were taking to roosting on top of the pop door, about 8 inches below the wire. I lost one that night, something reached in and pulled it out. There noise and peeping woke hubby up, otherwise I probably would've lost more.

    We corrected the problem, they go in at night, no matter what, and we put up a piece of plywood above that pop door.

    We put a piece of plywood up on the side of the run also, looked liked a bad situation, but I have a roost going across there, and we have a feral cat hanging around, and I noticed today that I have one chick who likes that roost, and leans against the fence, so the roost is coming down tomorrow.

    I don't have a problem in my other coop/run with my older chickens. Setup is the same, but a 6 ft high run, rather than a 5ft run, and the all go in at night, even with the coop doors open.

    Before you leave them out, just look at all of the options of a predator.

    I'm getting old and get up several times during the night. Since this happened, if I go to bed before they do, I set my alarm for just before dark, I figure I'll need a break, then I go out and make sure they are in.
     
  4. okhippie

    okhippie Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 28, 2011
    Keystone Dam
    Lauriej--so sorry about that lost chicken! And thank you for posting this info, we definitely need to do some reinforcements. I have left mine out several times, but remember to put them up with closed door almost every night. I think we have been lucky.
     
  5. Hot2Pot

    Hot2Pot Fox Hollow Rabbitry

    Feb 1, 2010
    West TN
    It is hard to anticipate all the ways predators can get your birds. Young birds have a bad habit of laying on the ground near the wire. I lost a couple of young polish that way, the coon bit their heads off. I put a piece of plywood about one foot square at the end of.the perch where the perch meets the wire. It is sort of a shield so the sleeping birds are safer. Also, I ran strips of plywood along the sides of the wire chicken tractor near the ground to foil grasping critters . Good luck keeping yours safe.
     
  6. lauriej57

    lauriej57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 17, 2010
    Southwest Michigan
    You are very welcome.

    I raised chicks last year in the same run/cop, and didn't have a problem, but this bunch roosts differently.

    I'm not sure where you are located, but here in Michigan, I like my chickens to go in at night. I had a bunch 2 years ago, that I let sleep outside on the roosts in the run, and I would come home from work around midnight, in subzero temperatures, a blizzard, and they would be outside on the outside roost. Took me a long time to retrain them!
     
  7. ChickiePieGirl

    ChickiePieGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2011
    My chickens all go walking up their ramp to the coop, promptly at 8:00pm, and I go and shut the door behind them. I open it for them every morning between 7 and 8 am.
     
  8. kerrysmommy

    kerrysmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2010
    My house :]
    all my chickens are about 1-2 and we still lock the up at night because we have so many predators that find someway in the coop
     
  9. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    Ours go in every night about 8:15 and I go out and slide the pop door down. They are in a run protected by 1/2" hardware cloth. It is better to use the 1/2" wire, but it is expensive. Most predators can reach through the 1"x2" stuff and grab one that is close as Laurie had happen. On the welded wire it is good if you can attach 4' high hardware cloth to it to prevent the preds from reaching in. It is always a concern and I don;t think you can have enough security. I was thinking about getting the Night Guard lights to add around the property to ward off the racoons and possible coyotes. Anyone have any experience with them?
     

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