Closing up every night?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chickylou, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. chickylou

    chickylou Songster

    Jan 29, 2009
    Hi All,

    This is probably going to sound like a dumb question, but I'll venture out anyhow. I'm asking it because I know there might be times when schedule, forgetfulness of a chore, etc. hits us.

    Tell me, do you all close up the coop every night? Lift the ladder, close the door, especially in the summer with warm nights?

    Do you just make this part of your daily routine like taking out the dog? It seems that some who "free range" may or may not do this.

    Thanks in advance...hope it doesn't sound too silly. [​IMG]
  2. Jolyn

    Jolyn Songster

    Apr 5, 2008
    Northern California
    I always make sure the girls are locked up at night. They are not free rangers and are in a run that is very secure. However i just don't take a chance. I make sure their door is closed every night.
  3. azelgin

    azelgin Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    S.E. AZ
    Ours free range almost every day, unless we won't be home by dark to lock them up, or the mules (good chicken protectors) will be in a pasture away from the chickens.
    The run that is attached to their coop is predator proof (so far [​IMG]), so we leave the pop door open to that for them. Lets them get out of the coop in the mornings as soon as they like. In almost a year of letting them out to wander during the day, there have only been three times we have had to collect a chicken and return it to its coop. Chickens are pretty much helpless to escape any attacks during the night time, so we don't like to chance it by leaving the run door open. At dark, we feed the mules, close gates, count chickens and lock them up.[​IMG]
  4. antiquebuff

    antiquebuff Songster

    Feb 27, 2008
    Franklin, NC
    Every night of every day! If I don't something would have them in a heartbeat!
  5. #1California Chick

    #1California Chick Songster

    Dec 5, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    YUP!! Lock them up everynight!!!

    You don't say where you live - North or South, East or West, City or Country. What are the likely predators in your area??? All the night-time predators will KNOW when you don't lock them up.

    As Aselgin said -- Chickens are helpless to escape attacks at night. They become almost comatost on the roosts at night. You can come into the coop and put in new chickens, or you can move chickens from nests to the roosts and they don't even notice!!!!!!! So they are TRULY "sitting ducks" if a predator (dogs, foxes, raccoons, weasels, etc.!!!) gets into their coop!!!

    Read more of the past links under "Predators" and you will read many SAD stories!!!

    Good Luck!!


    PS If you keep your chickens in a coop, you may want to look into "Automatic Door Closures" (do a search under Coop Design). Then you don't have to be home to make sure that they are locked up tight!!!
  6. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member 11 Years

  7. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky they go, all doors latched down tight and everyone tucked in...every night, every week without question when the sun is gone so are they.
  8. mamabird

    mamabird Songster

    Apr 14, 2007
    App. Mtn's
    Ours free range throught the day, but are locked in at night and let out of a morning. So far, (in 3 years) we have only lost birds to hawks during the day = no night time casualties.
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I free range with no fences other than to keep them out of the gardens. I accept potential losses in the day, but get angry at myself if the door isn't closed in time and someone gets hurt or eaten at dusk. Every morning and every night, the door is opened after the day light is strong and closed before the sun sets. The good ol girls go home about 30 min before sun set and already roosting. Now those silkies though. They can be the spoiled pesky bunch alright.
  10. jacyjones

    jacyjones Songster

    Jun 9, 2008
    Aberystwyth, Wales
    My run is predator proof so that is shut at night and the pop door is open so they can get up when they want. I then open the run for them to free range when I go down to feed the horse in the morning. We have not had any casualties since we moved the chickens beside the stable - a fox would have to go past the horse and nothing has done that in the last 3 years thank goodness!

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