Bed Time


6 Years
Apr 18, 2013
Longside, Aberdeenshire
Hi, I'm just new to having chickens and this may seem a dumb question. I normally put my girls in at night when it is starting to get dark, around 9pm. But what should I do if I'm going out in the evening or want an early night? It seems mean to shut them in early but it would be much safer.
I have a couple of questions. Do your chickens ever go roost on their own around dusk? Do you have a fairly secure run attached to your run or do you let them free range all day?

My coops have secure runs and the chickens only free range with supervision because we have lots of predators around here. They go roost by dusk on their own and then I can can close the coop pop door later. Occasionally I will put them in early and close the pop door if I won't be able to do it later.

I guess that is why the automated coop door was invented. It works on a time or has a light sensor.
I agree it depends on your predator situation. My girls free range during the day and go to roost on their own. I go close the door to their secure run later. But I live in a suburb, have dogs that protect the girls and don't have that many predators. If you're in the country with a lot of raccoons or other predators, or if your girls won't go to roost on their own, your situation would be different.
They do go in on their own at night and I usually just close the shutter. They do also have a secure run which I use for when I'm at work all day, only one day a week. We have a coop with a small run and an extra run which I attach for during the day if I'm out. The rest of the time they are in a fenced of area for just now. I have only had them two weeks so worried about letting them out any further. We have a very big garden but it is not fenced. We live on the edge of a village with two fields either side of us.

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