Closing pop door at night

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by EasterEggDrew, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. EasterEggDrew

    EasterEggDrew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fairly new to chickens, here. Got four day-old pullets in August, and they're now healthy young chickens. Built a coop and a covered run (snow territory), and the run is surrounded by heavy 1" mesh wire, pretty impenetrable by anything less than a bear.

    Every morning I go open the pop door, to let the chickens out to the run. Every night I go out (sometimes more than once, if they're hanging out late in the run), and close the pop door behind them, making sure they're safe in the coop. Then I ask myself, "why?"

    What's conventional thinking, here? Should I even bother closing the pop door at night, if their run is secure?

    Here's a photo taken during construction. It's finished now, but I keep forgetting to get another photo.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    My coop and run combo, built on an old foundation, so dig proof.[​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] It's 1/2" hardware cloth, with 2"x4" woven wire on top, stapled in and then screws through the wood strips into the framing. In winter, two layers of clear plastic over the lower 6' of the open walls, with the top left open for ventilation. Exterior doors with locks. The pictures were taken after construction before cleanup, and it's still not stained, so practical rather than pretty. Love it! Mary
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    That's a cool coop/run...nice job on the roof valley and slopes.
    I don't see any ventilation in the coop tho?

    14ga 1x1 is pretty impenetrable if well fastened.......rats, smaller weasels might get thru....raccoons could do a reach thru if birds are pinned against wall.
    So probably lower risk to leave pop door open full time.
     
  4. EasterEggDrew

    EasterEggDrew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The ventilation is a 1.6 sq.ft. triangle cut into the roof of the coop, under the run roof (in the peak area, to minimize draft).

    Not sure I follow your logic on lower risk of leaving pop door open, tho. Coop is impenetrable, run probably almost so. I wasn't even thinking of rats and weasels, as I've never seen them here. Our sightings are mostly fox, ground hog, racoon, etc.
     
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Rats and weasels are nearly invisible, until they turn up. They are everywhere, and love chicken feed, eggs, and chicken. Mary
     
  6. Trish1974

    Trish1974 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Better safe than sorry. I'd lock 'em tight.
     
  7. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I never close my pop door..it's open 24/7 and year round. They can go from coop to run at will. My run is a hoop run made with cattle panels, chicken wire draped over the top and firmly attached to deter small birds, overhead predators and squirrels, then I have a heavy duty hardware cloth skirt and apron up the sides and extending out about 2 feet. My dog tried digging under and broke and bloodied a toenail. She never bothered the chickens again, even when they were free ranging. Hardware cloth also goes up the side of the coop and again, extends out about 2 feet.

    Just because we don't see predators doesn't mean they aren't there, as @Folly's place has said, and smaller ones can create just as much havoc as big ones. When we were staying at the Ronald MacDonald House in downtown Denver, we saw a family of raccoons coming out of the storm drain - downtown!! I live in a rather rural area of Northwestern Wyoming. I KNOW we have predators here......I've not seen them here in town but I'm not going to take any chances, either. So I check the perimeter of my coop and run constantly, looking for any signs that something has been investigating or trying to get it. I look for weak spots that have a way of cropping up - loose wires or connections between the protection and the setup. small gaps that can occur as the setup settles, that kind of thing. They say to build it like Fort Knox. I say even Fort Knox has surveillance, monitoring and guards in addition to the protection built in.
     
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    aart has a link to a very good article about coop ventilation, please check it out. It looks like your coop needs much more ventilation and natural light. Mary
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Excellent place for ventilation.....but no other openings, for light in winter and more airflow in summer?

    Yeah, sorry, I wasn't very clear...what, you can't read my mind?....haha!
    I meant, lower risk than many runs.......not lower risk than locking in coop at night.
     
  10. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Happens to me all the time,@aart - my tongue gets in front of my eye teeth and I can't see what I'm saying. <sigh> [​IMG]
     
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