Do I bring them in at night????

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MrsH527, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. MrsH527

    MrsH527 Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm building my first coop ever and I'm loving the ideas on here. Once question I do have (along with the many more I will probably think of after posting this) is, do I need to physically put my chickens inside their coop at night or will they go in there by themselves when they're ready? Also do I need to shut the coop door. The run attached to the coop is secured and there are no openings for anything to get in there easily. They'd have to do some chewing and digging to get in. if the coop is fully enclosed does it really matter? Thank you for your advice on this matter. My husband and I are really excited about our new project.
     
  2. Ducclelover10

    Ducclelover10 Overrun With Chickens

    Yes, you have to put the chickens in their coop, after they get used to you putting them in their, they will go in by them self.
    What is your run made out of? Wire, plastic fencing, hardware cloth?
     
  3. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They should go in on their own at night. You can shut them in (depending on the size and layout of your coop) for the first three days so they get used to sleeping there and know it is home. Make sure your roost bars are higher than your nest box. If they are not roosting inside, put in them each night and they should get used to it.

    Shutting the door would really just be to keep out predators or to help them stay warm. If neither is an issue then you can leave it.
     
  4. Ducclelover10

    Ducclelover10 Overrun With Chickens

    We had to train ours to go in at night for several weeks! I guess you just have smarter chickens!
     
  5. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I shut mine in for the first week so they really had no other option. Once sleeping in the coop was routine they never deviated.
     
  6. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I would shut them in at night unless your run is seriously Fort Knox. Many predators can and will rip right through many materials to get in as well as dig under. If your run is 100% hardware cloth with a wide apron you might be ok.
     
  7. cinch920

    cinch920 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I get new chickens, I leave them in the coop for a couple days. After the 3rd day, or whenever you feel ready, I open the coop so they are able to roam alittle. After a couple days of being locked in the coop, they will know where home is. As the day begins to get darker, they should begin to start mingling towards the coop and by the time it is dark they all should be inside. I personally would shut them up at night to be on the safe side. If you feel like they will be ok, then don't worry about it. It's up to you. Good luck with your hens =]
     
  8. MrsH527

    MrsH527 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much for all your advice! THis is really eggciting for us! hahaha (my first chicken pun!) The run is going to be an "A" frame structure with hardware cloth across it so it doesn't have an open top. The coop which is attached to the back side of the run and will be a house shaped structure. I'm doing a plywood floor and the only door in is through the run. It should be fairly secure, but I think I'll still put them inside physically. I'd rather be safe then sorry, especially while they are small. We haven't built the coop yet so we're holding off on getting the chicks until the floor is all that is left to put in. I figure once we've got the chicks, we've got about 4 weeks to put the final touches on.

    I'm not too worried about predators in my yard. My dogs have definitely chased off anything big. I've got 3 amazing dogs who are all very sweet with other animals. My Bulldog, Hemi will probably turn into the protector of the chicks (an upgrade from protecting my friends guinea pigs), Sasha, my oldest Pit Bull always becomes the mother to smaller animals, and Nahla my youngest Pitbull will not be allowed near the chicks. She is very sweet, but rambunctious and I can see her trying to climb the run sides. I'm putting a fence around the run as well to keep nahla from turning into a gymnast.

    I'm really stoked about these new additions to our family!
     
  9. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Be aware of the bottom as well. I live in a very urban are and have very few predators at all so I wasn't worried about anything digging in but my bantum chickens could dig out! It was a surprise the first time they showed up on my door steps. I added a base of pavers around the bottom and it stopped the problem. Chickens dig a lot.
     
  10. MrsH527

    MrsH527 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 4, 2013
    I knew I forgot something. I'm doing chicken wire on the run floor. I'm gonna bury it about 2" into the soil so they are walking and scratching on dirt, but they are protected from underneath. Thanks though! I agree this is very important.
     

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