Coop open to run all the time?

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

  1. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:You really don't need hardwarecloth for an apron. 1x1 welded wire is FINE, and even 1x2 or 2x4 mesh will keep out the very vast majority of diggers. Because they are heavier gauge they will also last longer before rusting.

    Good luck, have fun,

  2. lovinlife

    lovinlife Songster

    My chickens free-range during they day, but if I don't let them out, they are in a 10'x20' dog run with a secure chicken wire top over the entire thing. I don't have a real "coop," it's more like a pen with roosts in it. If the run is secure, they don't need to be secured in the coop at night, unless you are in an area where it gets nasty in the winter and they would need to be kept in the coop for protection from the weather.

    If you're in a warmer part of Georgia, they should be fine without the coop shut at night.
  3. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Quote:Yup yup, but mine in 2x4 welded wire.

    Yup again! Mine has at least a 2 ft apron all the way around. My "coop" are plastic playhouses. I need to raise 2 of them up on to platforms. I'm to fat to try to crawl into them down on the ground! My 3rd is up on a plastic pallet covered with 1 inch X-plywood covered with vinyal fooring. Popdoors that are open 24/7 are actually framed with 2x6 deckboards on both sides of the chain link making them actually part of the playhouse when completed. We have shaked pulled and tried to pull this frame from the chain link and the playhouse. Won't come apart no matter how hard we tried. It's got 3 1/2 deck screws holding it all together.
  4. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Songster

    Aug 21, 2009
    I had my hubby build a completely roofed Forte Knox that a raccoon would need a chainsaw to get into. Its a complete hen house and run design with 1/2" hardware cloth on all sides even under then entire run. Its 2x4 construction, has a motion light and is inside our private fenced yard. We have a large dog but she sleeps in the house so not a constant deterrent. If you do not have such a secure building--lock them in! Better safe than sorry.

    Back off you predators!! [​IMG]
  5. ekemily

    ekemily Songster

    Mar 8, 2010
    Fairhope, AL
    On one of my coops, my pop door is open 24/7. My run is secured with heavy fencing on sides and top with a 3 foot ground apron. The fencing sides are also buried about 6 inches with concrete for added stability. I have double locks on all doors. We live in a rural area on acreage (not a typical backyard in a subdivision). We have many predators, but I have never (knock on wood) had a predator get in. I also sprinkled liberal amounts of our buck goat's hair all around. His smell is NOT appetizing.
    On another area of the farm, I placed a smaller coop inside the buck goat's pen. The coop is not closed at night. I have had NO problem with predators for years, and it is not secure. I have 6 older chickens in that area. They free range over the acres during the day.
    I know, I know, here it comes.... "you're asking for it" or "one day you'll go out there and they'll all be gone" However, it has worked for us. If the buck goat happens to pass away.... I will be getting those chickens in a run pretty fast.
  6. olliecatch

    olliecatch Chirping

    Feb 1, 2010
    Olympia, Washington
    Our coop is open 24/7. The only time we have closed our little door is when we were trying to get the young chicks to stay in at night. Other wise its open all the time. Our run is pretty predator proof. We have not had any problems. We have had our chickens over a year and half and we live out in the country. Now I hope this doesnt come back and bite me in the a**!!!!! [​IMG] [​IMG]
  7. elmo

    elmo Crowing

    May 23, 2009
    Quote:You're not relying on that chicken wire roof for protection from night predators, are you? Chicken wire should be fine to keep out hawks and such during the daytime, but it won't keep out a hungry raccoon at night.
  8. Beckymca

    Beckymca Songster

    Jul 4, 2010
    lol, I live 7 miles from Fort Knox, just had to chuckle at the posts!!
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I would just like to point out, meaning this *constructively and helpfully* please understand, that a year and a half of not losing any chickens to predators doesn't really mean anything. A year and a half is no time at all, and plus predation is a very lottery-style process.

    A thing to contemplate about taking an "oh well hopefully this'll be enough and if it isn't then I'll beef it up for the next flock" is that once predators have TAKEN chickens, it becomes a whole new ballgame. There is at least one predator out there, sometimes more, that KNOWS it's worth gettin' in there, and they try much harder thereafter and teach their children to try harder and teach others by example and so forth and so on.

    Just a thought,

  10. TyrannosaurusChix

    TyrannosaurusChix Songster

    Jul 13, 2010
    Savannah, NY
    i guess im a bad chicken mama.. its just not economically possible to roof 400 ft of run. i used to close them up and open the doors but stopped for a trial run( fil lives in the same areas and has had chickens years longer than i have and no problems having his open 24/7)

    so far my chickens are liberated and acting happier than before.. if thats possible [​IMG]

    I would be devastated if i lost chickens to a predator.. im just hoping it doesnt come to that because i cant dig out 400 ft ad redo all my posts and such and roof it ad buy hardware cloth etc.

    but im interested in building some hoop coops and will use it on those.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010

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