Can I leave the chicken door open if the run is totally secure?


In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 9, 2009
Our coop is inside a run that is totally secure on all six sides. Do I have to close the chicken door to the coop at night if it's not that cold out? Or must I close it to eliminate drafts? The coop is 3 x 5.


10 Years
Dec 26, 2009
Willow Alaska
I live in Alaska and never close the door to the coop unless it's -30 or colder. My chickens do well. My coop is secure, fenced in and covered with fish net, nothing can get in.
Hope that helps..........Nancy


13 Years
Apr 15, 2008
Dunlap Illinois
I leave mine open - my run is protected by a hot wire - the coons still get in every now & then though so I'm planning a cover to the run.

You really only need to close the door as protection from cold winds and predators. If you are comfortable with the secureness of the run you shouldn't have any trouble.


11 Years
May 14, 2008
NE Wisconsin
I think it's up to you, and whether or not you feel comfortable doing it. Our duck run is fairly secure, and sometimes we leave the coop door open at night. Nothing has happened in over a year, but we have had an owl swoop down and grab a duck.


10 Years
Jun 22, 2009
Oklahoma County, OK
I still like to do a nighttime check on the girls. I would only sleep well knowing the pop door is closed and locked even though they are surrounded by run and electric fence. I open it up and let them out around dawn anyway and like doing a early morning check. For the ten minutes a day that this requires, I simply consider it good peace of mind and I have a good look at everything at the same time. No problems to date but I just like it this way. So does my daughter who like to go out with me at night. The girls get "time to go to bed" pets and they seem to enjoy it also...they sure sound happy.

I have noticed that when the door is left open, they cluster tightly together at the corner farthest from the door. Once that door is close, they are relaxed.
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Mother of Chickens
10 Years
Feb 23, 2009
Our coop is freestanding in the middle of a run. The run is secure on all four sides and on top. Sides are buried very deep and so predators cannot dig their way in either. Coop has no floor and just sits on the earth in the middle of the run. We've never closed the door to the coop. The coop's chicken door has long pieces of clear vinyl strips hanging down from the top of the doorway and the chickens just walk right into the strips which easily brush apart so the chickens can pass through the doorway. It's just to cut down on drafts. I have an opening in the roof of the coop for ventilation. The opening is four inches wide along the entire length of the coop. This winter had some nights that went down to 19 degrees Fahrenheit and the chickens did fine. When the weather warms up next month, I'll take the plastic strips off.


10 Years
Apr 10, 2009
Flagstaff, AZ
How did you "teach" the chickens to go through plastic strips? Sure would be nice not to have to worry about opening and closing that coop door in the winter time-especially when I am not around and my family has to care for the chickens....I do leave the pop door open during the summer.


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Ontario, Canada
First, a 3x5 coop is real small to be leaving the door open in wintertime if you get cold winters, much different than doing so in a big coop. (I don't know where you're located?)

Second, it is much easier to feel certain your run is 100% predatorproof than to actually have it BE 100% predatorproof. Browse the "Predators and Pests" section of the BYC forum to see how many threads involving "Something Ate All My Chickens Last Night!" come from people who were positive, absolutely totally positive, that nothing could possibly get into their runs if they left the popdoor open at night. Except, something did.

It's a personal decision; I just want to make sure you're aware of the realities of the situation.

Good luck, have fun,



Mother of Chickens
10 Years
Feb 23, 2009
I understand your concern about teaching them. I was worried about it too when I first taped the strips in place. I waited until they were both out of the coop and then taped the strips in place. Later in the afternoon, my alpha hen, HennyPenny, was determined to get back to her roost when dusk approached and she just head-butted at the doorway and the strips parted like the Red Sea for her. Scaredy-cat ChickenLittle will follow HennyPenny anywhere, so even though she was reluctant to go near those scarey looking strips, she couldn't bear to be parted from her Leader and after a ten-second delay, she walked right on through. Neither of them have been bothered by the strips at all since then.

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