Chicken roosting outside at night

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bettythebird2, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. bettythebird2

    bettythebird2 Hatching

    Jul 19, 2008
    I am new to this forum and new to chickens. I live in NH and have 2 bantam Old English hens and one rooster, 3 NH Red hens and 3 Barred Rock hens. I built a 4 ft x 8 ft coop for them with a small door with ramp for them to go in and out to their run. The run is 8 ft x 8 ft and is extremely secure. It is 8 ft high with doubled wire on top. I buried welded wire all around the entire run and coop, 2 ft on the outside and 2 ft on the inside. The sides are one layer of chicken wire, one layer of 1/2 inch hardware cloth and one layer of welded wire! The entire bottom edge of the run is encased with landscape ties including the door. The chickens are now 5 weeks old. At first I was shutting them in at night, but over the past week & 1/2 I have left the hatchway open 24/7. They do go inside to eat and sometimes to roost or get out of the sun. They have taken to roosting outside every night, rain or shine. I am wondering if this is a bad habit?? Should I keep up a routine of them being shut in at night or is it ok for them to sleep outside? I am assuming and hoping that my design is fairly predator-proof, as I have seen or heard no sign of attemped access. Anyone out there who thought that they had a predator-proof run and found out the hard way that it wasn't? We are planning on vacationing for a week and filling their ample food and water containers and leaving the hatch open for them to go in and out of the run as they please. I appreciate comments from all of you "chicken people"!!
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD


    If you think it's pred proof, they can sleep outside if they like. Mine prefer to sleep outside. However, no matter how pred proof, it's always a bigger risk since instead of two layers to get though, there is just one.
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I like that mine are in the habit of going inside to roost. It just makes me feel more secure.
  4. First of all [​IMG] But I agree. I lock mine up every night. The one time this year I didn't withsome of my newer chicks i list almost half of them to a racoon. Now I know I will never make that mistke again.
  5. CATRAY44

    CATRAY44 Lard Cookin Chicken Woman

    Welcome !!!
  6. bettythebird2

    bettythebird2 Hatching

    Jul 19, 2008
    Thanks to all. This is a really cool site. Well, tonight all nine chickens are sitting on their outside roost in a thunderstorm, appearing to be happy as clams! I originally got them to go into the coop by turning on a light inside the coop. I think that I may start doing that again to get them to want to go in at night. I'd hate to see them freeze in our NH winter by staying outside all of the time. I am a little hurt by their behavior, as I put a lot of time and effort into building them such a nice coop! You'd think that they would appreciate it, but after all they are teenagers right now, so staying out all night goes with the territory.
  7. steven11788

    steven11788 Songster

    Jun 13, 2008
    hickory Nc
    hey you said they were old english and bantams, thats double. games them self sleep high up in trees. plus bantams almost can fly like real birds. i have two that got loose when i brought them home,finally tame enough for me to get a couple of feet when feeding, mine are Red jungle fowl, and sleep about 9-12 feet high, so its unlikly a predator will get them, but its possable [​IMG]

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