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Closing coop overnight in summer?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by techiebabe, May 11, 2016.

  1. techiebabe

    techiebabe In the Brooder

    Jan 20, 2016
    London, UK
    Hello! Quick query:

    My five ex-batts are now very well adjusted and doing "hen" things. At night they trot into their coop & put themselves to bed. But with the summer dawn, they are awake at 4am tapping on the door to be let out. Sometimes one of us is up then, but more usually it'll be around 7am.

    Their coop opens directly onto a fox proof & covered run, part of which has a sun shade, and their run is where their feeder & drinker are (among other things).

    When should / can I leave the coop door open overnight?

    I figure that in cold weather, they need it shut to avoid draughts. But in summer, will that matter so much? Plus, they might want to get out in a hurry to rehydrate if it's warm.

    The coop is probably at maximum capacity (tho my hens seem to fit fine, and don't bully each other) whereas the run is spacious.
    I haven't noticed any problems from making them wait til we get up, but would like to pre-empt any possible issues. We've only had them for 2 months so it hasn't been warm before.

    Automatic opener is not an option as the pop hole slides sideways, not up, and there isn't any room between coop and run entrance.

    Advice welcome! Thanks!

  2. 0wen

    0wen Songster

    Mar 25, 2016
    Southwest Virginia

    A lot of people, myself included, use this style of open air coop and never close to interior coop/huddle box. I've considered closing it in winter since I have mostly small bodied chickens up-and-coming, but still uncertain if I will. If your run is secure, I don't see a problem with keeping it open.
  3. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Crowing

    Oct 21, 2015
    No where Nebraska
    As long as your coop opens into a secure run, you are right there is no reason to close it. Just be sure your run is secure, digging animals are a danger too!
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    As others have said - just be very sure that your run is truly secure - including wired roof. We use homemade auto doors here on two of our coops, but I still will leave their pop door open on the hottest evenings just for a bit more air movement. Get in the habit of examining the run weekly to make sure all is in order. I do keep water inside my housings, because I have a fear of something happening where they don't get let out, and them not having water. Would a small bowl fit inside??
  5. techiebabe

    techiebabe In the Brooder

    Jan 20, 2016
    London, UK
    Thanks for the replies! That sounds good, I was worried about the draft if I left it open, but it sounds like that's not an issue (at least in summer).

    Yes, I'm sure the run is secure, my builder who created it told me I could keep Tigers in there... And he was right! It is, let's say, over engineered :)

  6. If you have predators that can/might access your flock, you are taking a huge risk leaving to coop open at night. Locking the birds up at night is a primary defense against predators devastating your flock at night.
  7. BruceAZ

    BruceAZ Songster

    May 18, 2016
    Valley of the Sun :)
    same here

    i didn't create the door for my coop either (probably have to for the winter.. but for now it will help with ventilation in 100's degree heat

    if you live in the city with the neighbor only 20-30 ft away.. beside dogs and cats .. you don't really have to worry about other predators

  8. Victoria-nola

    Victoria-nola Songster

    Oct 10, 2011
    Southwest Mississippi
  9. BruceAZ

    BruceAZ Songster

    May 18, 2016
    Valley of the Sun :)
    it will depend on where you live

    one size doesn't fit all

    i went overboard because of the tips on predators when raising chickens.. but it was not needed for my area..

    but better safe than sorry-- so do what you think is best for your chickens
  10. Toddyboy007

    Toddyboy007 In the Brooder

    Hi guys -
    I had the same dilemma at the start if the summer and have left the pop hole open right through without any issues.
    Question is now - when should I start closing it again to avoid draughts??

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