am I keeping them inside for too long?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by suburban, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. suburban

    suburban Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 13, 2010
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    My 2 chooks are locked in the coop from about 6pm to 6.30am. Is that too long?

    What is the natural time for chooks to go to bed.
    It's summer here now (Oz) and is light until about 8pm and light again at 5.30am.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
  2. Melinda35

    Melinda35 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do not think that is too long. I try to let mine out as soon as it is light out and then lock them right when it gets dark. I would think that as long as they have plenty of room to move around and food and water they should be fine. There are some people that can only allow their chickens a few hours a day to range. They will put themselves to bed when they are ready. I have some that go in the coop and get on the roost an hour before dark. As a matter of fact one that wants to go to bed early will sit up there and sing like she is calling everyone to bed. They ignore her though.
     
  3. LivinNewDreamInND

    LivinNewDreamInND Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think that if they are going into the coop willingly by 6pm it is not to early. I think to early is better than to late, it is safer with predators anyway. My chickens only wish they were in Oz and could stay out 12 hrs a day. Mine have been cooped up for 2 weeks due to the nasty freezing cold and wind here in ND, USA!
     
  4. suburban

    suburban Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 13, 2010
    Perth, western Australia
    They don't really go willingly. I have to put something tasty in there for them. One will go in straight away. The other I have to catch usually and put her inside.
    I don't really know if they have enough room. They are growing so fast.

    Don't think I could handle freezing cold weather. I don't know how you do it. I wouldn't want to go outside either.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
  5. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

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    when its really cold out my chickens dont ever get the option of going outside. I keep them in the coop for their own safety and to try and keep the coop warm. They have lots of room in there and I give them extra treats like cabbage on a string when they are cooped up
     
  6. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    Last summer mine stayed out as long as there was light - around 9:30pm - and got up at the first rays of light in the morning - around 5:30am. I leave the coop door open and they come and go as they please, since I don't have to worry about them not being warm enough. Is there a reason you need to lock them up when there is still so much daylight left? When winter comes your days will be a lot shorter and they won't want to be out longer so if you can let them stay out now, it wouldn't be a bad idea.
     
  7. suburban

    suburban Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 13, 2010
    Perth, western Australia
    The reason I was putting them in at that time was so my son could make that his job. He goes to bed at 7pm so bath at 6.30....

    We are learning as we go.

    Tonight I waited and they went in by themselves eventually by about 7pm. (I'm repeating myself in another thread, sorry)

    Do you then lock yours in at 9.30pm or does the door stay open all night?
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
  8. pontoosuc

    pontoosuc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've got the sunset calendar on my computer desktop.

    That's when they naturally want to go in to roost, so about 15 - 30 minutes
    before sunset I let them free range (when it's warm).

    Now that's it's cold (or this morning, frigid at 7ยบ) I open up their
    run and they just come around to the front of the coop which is a large shed,
    and I have out some feed, scratch and water. They fill up before they head to
    the roost.
     
  9. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:In winter, once they're all in, I close the door. However in summer I left the door cracked open just enough for them to come and go, as I was afraid they'd be too hot in there with it closed (small coop). I understand though about wanting your son to be involved. What about if his job is feeding or collecting eggs instead? Also, keep in mind that the time it gets dark is constantly changing throughout the year. The chickens don't care what the clock says - they'll just go in when the light is fading. So there may be times of the year when your son can be the one to go out and close the coop and it will still be well before his bedtime.
     
  10. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Many people lock them up at night, but I never do any more, as the dogs chase off the critters. (You should have heard the ruckus outside at 4:30 AM today.)

    In your situation I would find another chore for the child, and lock them up myself after they went in on their own. I wouldn't want to teach him that it's OK to make them do something just because it's convenient for me.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2010

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