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Do chickens have to be locked in their coop at night?

Discussion in 'Where am I? Where are you!' started by Kim4810, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. Kim4810

    Kim4810 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2016
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    I am new to the site and don't have any chickens yet. I hope to get some in the next few months, after I do more research and ensure that I can care for them properly. I live in Lake Mathews, which is near Corona and Riverside. Can anyone tell me about bringing chickens into their coop at night? I am wondering what others do if they go on vacation. I will have a coop and a large, very secure, run for them. I know my nieghbors would feed, water and check on them daily, just twice a day might be a bit much to ask. Any thoughts, suggestions would be helpful. It's not like I take many vacations, but I must figure this stuff out before adopting babies into my family. Thanks, Kim[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2016
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Overrun With Chickens

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    Lots of people use automatic coop doors. They work on a light sensor, and you can program most of them to open an hour after dawn (to avoid peak coyote time) or close after sunset (to give them all time to get to the coop for roosting). To answer your title question, yes, chickens need to be kept in a secure, predator proof location for nighttime hours.
     
  3. CTKen

    CTKen Monkey business Premium Member

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    Hi Kim and welcome to BYC - great to have you join us. You've asked a good question and forward thinking (not necessarily my strongpoint [​IMG]) is great.

    If you have a coop that is Fort Knox secure then its not 100% necessary to have your flock closed in the coop on a night time, but that also depends on temperatures and weather. I do know that you can buy automatic coop doors, so you set it to close and open whenever you wish. As long as set such a door to close, lets say 1 hour after nightfall, then your flock will already be inside the coop. Personally, i would close the coop door - just for security (or the sense of security of your flock).

    CT
     
  4. CTKen

    CTKen Monkey business Premium Member

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    Pipped me to it!
     
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Overrun With Chickens

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    I posted just before you! lol
     
  6. Kim4810

    Kim4810 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the info, but do the chickens know to go into the coop around sunset on their own. I don't mind training them with treats or something, if they will do that on their own if I am out of town for a couple of days. My kitties come when I shake their treat bottle. Of course I always give them treats when they come into their room (they have their own sleeping room, spoiled just a bit), they have run of the house most of the time.
    Thank you all for your help. I'm so excited to get my babies. I sure hope my research finds that I would be a good chicken mama.
     
  7. potato chip

    potato chip Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    Yes, they do. When I got my new house, I had to put them inside the first day or so, just so they knew it was "their house", but after that, they just "head to bed" when it gets dark.
     
  8. CTKen

    CTKen Monkey business Premium Member

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    Yep, they will know when its bed time, don't worry. Mine free range the garden but they are always in their coop at dusk. Not sure if you are planning on getting chicks or adults, but if you are unsure, I'd suggest getting point of lay chickens (5-6 months old) as it will save you getting a brooder and heating source made, and then waiting ages for some eggs. Also, the learning curve is not as steep when one gets almost mature chickens.

    All the best
    CT
     
  9. Brookliner

    Brookliner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would keep them in the coop for 3-4 days when you get them if they are mature. This is to let them know where their home is. Then they should come in at night when it starts to get dark. Let them come and go from the coop to the run for a week after that before free ranging them. Make sure that there are no predators.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
  10. Kim4810

    Kim4810 Out Of The Brooder

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    That is wonderful news, that they know to go to bed. I don't think I will be free ranging them much. I feed 5 stray/wild kittens (almost full grown now and yes I did trap them to get them fixed). I don't think it would be a good idea to have the chickens out even when I am out with them. We have an acre of land and even though I would be outside with them, I would be worried they would be too far from me to protect them. Do cats bother chickens (I would think they would)?
     

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