Coop open to run all the time?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickp, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. chickp

    chickp In the Brooder

    May 3, 2010
    Wasn't sure where to put this.....anyway, we are getting so close to being done with the coop and run! It is a little tikes coop with a 5 x 8 run off the back. My question is whether or not to make it so we can close up the "door" to the run. It's one of the windows out of the coop and is not huge, but I just wondered if there would be a problem leaving them access to the run all the time, even at night. The run is as secure as we can make it....hardware cloth all around and a foot of HC in an apron all around the sides, latches, etc.

    Thanks! I have a related but separate question too, so I'll post it in another thread....
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    If your apron is only a foot wide I would for sure lock them into the coop at night.

    It is a great deal easier and more common for a person to be convinced their run is 100% predatorproof than for it to actually BE 100% predatorproof -- browse 'something ate all my chickens last night" threads in the Predators and Pests section of this forum for all too many sad testaments to this fact.

    Thus, I would avoid leaving the popdoor open unless extenuating circumstances absolutely require it. And make it a good *predatorproof* popdoor, that can be latched shut and not pried apart.

    Good luck, have fun,

  3. Lorije1

    Lorije1 Songster

    Mar 13, 2010
    I have a different situation than a lot of people, but I leave my henhouse doors open all of the time. My house / run are inside of a privacy fenced yard which is inside of a chain link fenced yard with large dogs in it. The doors are regular "people-sized" doors. I do let them have run of my backyard (the privacy fenced area) throughout the day and make sure they are closed up in the run at night though.

    If there is a single fence around the coop / run, or no fence at all, I would probably recommend closing them in at night.
  4. helloroe

    helloroe Songster

    Jul 16, 2009
    Cetral FL
    I concur with what is being said. I used to leave the door open. Had a run inside a 5' high fence with 4 dogs running around it at night. Then I lost 12 chickens. Closed the door and the coon broke the window. Lost 18 in total. The coon would climb my neighbors tree and come to mine and down into the run. They are smart and strong.
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Close the coop at night.
  6. chica57

    chica57 Songster

    Aug 25, 2009
    My coop and run are really secure but I couldn't sleep unless that door was closed-don't want to tempt anything-besides all my girls are usually in there snoring away anyway with the exception of my Gladys who occasionally wants her xtra pet and "please carry me in" routine . I just feel that there safer .
  7. chickp

    chickp In the Brooder

    May 3, 2010
    Thanks y'all. It will pose a bit of a building challenge, but I want my girls safe, of course! It is behind a six foot wooden privacy fence and the top of the run will be covered with hardware cloth, with screws and washers. So I guess I thought that would be as secure as the coop.

    Is a foot of hardware cloth not enough? I had read lots of threads that said an apron was just as good or better than burying it.
  8. PJCluck

    PJCluck In the Brooder

    Apr 17, 2010
    Living Free in NH
    The coon actually broke the window? How high off the ground was the window?
  9. AnnainMD

    AnnainMD Songster

    Feb 1, 2010
    Eldersburg, MD
    I have yet to close the pop doors (they are open 24/7). I have a very large run covered completely in hardware cloth, with a 2 foot apron around it. All windows are covered (screws with washers to fasten) with hardware cloth. The 2 people sized doors (one to the coop and one to the run), both have locks. It's reminiscent of Fort Knox.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
  10. chickp

    chickp In the Brooder

    May 3, 2010
    Yeah, Annain, that's how ours is. Two locks on the people door to the run, one on the coop door (it is pretty small). But I think we can get the pop door closed if we need to anyway. Fort Knox is good, and we want chickens for a long time to come. [​IMG]

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