Covered run if cooped up at night?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Garden Gal, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. Garden Gal

    Garden Gal Songster

    Apr 11, 2009
    I'm very new at this; the coop is about done and we are getting ready to start the run and order chicks. [​IMG]

    If the chickens are locked in the coop every night, is it still important to cover the top of the run? I would still have to do something to prevent / discourage hawks, but was wondering if the idea I saw on this site which used the old cd disks suspended over the run would be sufficient for this?

    On another note, should chickens be locked up every night, even in the summer? (If not, then of course this answers my question about not covering... )

    Thanks in advance for the help.
  2. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    We lock up our girls every night no matter the season. The saying is, "Everyone loves a chicken dinner". Predators are here year-round.

    The purpose of keeping a run covered is twofold but can vary in effectiveness: keep things out & them in. Keeping them in is easier than keeping things out (if that's an issue).
  3. Garden Gal

    Garden Gal Songster

    Apr 11, 2009
    Duhhh... hadn't really thought about keeping the chickens IN!!
  4. Cara

    Cara Songster

    Aug 30, 2007
    I'd cover it. Building a coop is a pain in the butt, but it's best to make it as secure as you can while you're building it. It's good for peace of mind too. In my experience if I or my husband plan to finish something later, it never gets done.
  5. purecountrychicken

    purecountrychicken Songster

    Sep 11, 2008
    Gray Court, SC
    I dont lock mine in at night,,never seen the sence in it. They all go inside at night and get on their roost and stay. As far as covering the run,,,my run isnt covered and I havent had any problems.
  6. chilling in muscadine

    chilling in muscadine { I love being disfunctual }

    Jun 8, 2008
    muscadine, al.
    Cover your run, I have had hawks fly down within 5 feet of where I was standing to go after a chicken. Its just not worth it and the first time you go out and find something has hppened to your birds you will be kicking yourself since the whole thing could be avoided. The peice of mind is well worth it to.

    I don't lock mine in at night but that is because my runs are secure and I have a dog living pretty close to each of my coops. If that preticular dog barks at night I am out the checking it out. We recently had to shoot two foxes coming in to try for a snack. There snacking days are over.
  7. gallusdomesticus

    gallusdomesticus Songster

    Nov 14, 2008
    Lynn Haven, FL
    I close my girls up in the coop at night. I had a stray dog dig under my fence and get four of them that had gone to roost before I went out to close them up one evening. Additionally, we have owls in the neighboorhood that could get them at night.
  8. chickensioux

    chickensioux Songster

    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    I lock up my girls every night no matter what. Always better safe than sorry. We have a large run area 50' x 80' so it is hard to cover. How large will the run area be? Windmills, large or small deter hawks. If you can cover it, I would. We have a windmill and the hens can run under the coop. We also have a large tom turkey that seems to deter any and all predators.
  9. jenni2142

    jenni2142 Songster

    Jul 16, 2008
    South Carolina
    I didn't cover my run at first, my chickens never wanted out. One day 3 dogs showed up, they couldn't get in but ran back and forth scaring the chickens until one panicked and flew out. I only saw missing hen, I caught them at it the next day when my roo decided to sacrifice himself to save the girls. I rescued Jack( thanks to hubby for the gift of the 22 that I complained about at the time) and no more dogs. I bought deer netting at Lowe's 7 x 100 feet for $13. 2 rolls and my run is covered, now for the first time I see hawks too. better safe than sorry.
  10. azelgin

    azelgin Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    S.E. AZ
    Ours free range during the day. They go back in the coops at night, but have access to their closed runs. The runs are covered. Hawks seem to leave them alone, but the neighbor has lost all her ducks to owls during the night. I use electric fence wire for predator deterence. We have coyotes, bobcats, foxes, bears, cougars and skunks around here. Despite others opinions, I find the electric fencing satifactory for our situation. Yes, we have chickens around here somewhere. I guess they're camera shy.
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