Close up coop at night?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by tammayrend, May 6, 2009.

  1. tammayrend

    tammayrend Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2009
    Ann Arbor Area
    I'm a newbie and have a quick question about closing up your coop/run at night. We have a backyard coop with completely enclosed run, do I need to close the girls into the coop at night? They instinctively know to go inside, so should I or shouldn't I close the door of the coop?

    Thanks!
     
  2. mamaKate

    mamaKate Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2008
    SE MO
    How predator proof is your run? If something can dig in, there's a risk. Also, raccoons have been known to spook chickens out of the coop and kill them through the fence.
     
  3. Peeplperson

    Peeplperson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2009
    Napa
    I'd also love to hear anyone with experience. We purposely built the coop with a self contained run so we could be gone for an evening without putting the chickens in jeopardy. We're trying to have user-friendly chickens [​IMG]
     
  4. tammayrend

    tammayrend Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2009
    Ann Arbor Area
    I guess "predator proof" becomes subjective. It has tough gauge mesh but not a true "bottom" attached. Even I have difficulty opening the hinged top - LOL...

    Here it is:
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Peeplperson

    Peeplperson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2009
    Napa
    I should mention that we have 1/2" welded wire underneath the run and coop. We had it overlap by about 3 " and I 'sewed' it together with baling wire (which has led me to the conclusion that any wire can be barbed wire:celebrate) Ants & worms will be lucky to get through.
     
  6. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I live in a pretty urban/suburban area with little problems from predators. I frequently don't close up the the run till hours after dark. They free range unsupervised all day long while I'm at work.(In the winter long before light). The run is chainlink with a chainlink floor and cover. No popdoor. Fenced yard.
    I guess I do everything wrong, but have only ever lost 1 chicken to a predator, and that happened at 3pm on a hot sunny summer day within feet of me and I never saw or heard anything. I think it helps that I have lots of trees, shrubs and a deck for them to hide under. Also the predators around here must be vegetarian. The raccoons will walk past the chickens to get to the cherries. The possums stopped living under the shed since I got chickens. and I have to protect the stray and feral cats from the hens. Neighbors dogs just ignore them. Now I don't come close to saying this is a good idea for most chicken owners, just works for me. All you have to do is read for a few minutes to see that protection from predators is a major problem. You'll need to decide for yourself what you can live with and what's best for your chickens. Good Luck.

    Imp
     
  7. mamaKate

    mamaKate Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2008
    SE MO
    That looks safe to me- and really pretty. It's the basic style that I'm planning to build if I ever get around to putting my spoiled house chicks outside. I also want to be able to briefly slip away or come home a little late without calling a pet sitter.
     
  8. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    If it doesn't have a bottom then something could dig under the run part and get your birds.

    I put electric fence around the base of mine because it's portable. If your run is permanent you can bury fencing to prevent dig-under.

    I still close my coop after dark though. Since I only have 6 chicks, and I'm just planning to keep 4 hens - I can't "afford" losses!!!
     
  9. k2chickens

    k2chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    New Castle, Indiana
    Your coop is very cute and I love the paint job your chickens look pretty safe in there and from your description it doesn't sound like anything can really get in or out! I think you shouldn't really be worried but if you start to see signs of any predators around the area or hear your neighbors talking about raccoons or anything in their garbage just close them in for extra safety!
     
  10. Debi214

    Debi214 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 6, 2008
    Richmond, VA
    My coop was like yours.....with the attached run and all.........only the coons figured out how to open the dang door to the run. The coons will be punished if I can get them!!!!! I had these girls for over a year and never had to close the coop door! Well everyone else now gets locked up tight and I actually think they like it (I am sure they saw the coons kill my hens).
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2009

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