Do I close the coop at night?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chicken-Peep, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. Chicken-Peep

    Chicken-Peep New Egg

    Feb 28, 2013
    So right now, I have 15 week old chickens (standard size). They are in a huge run and coop, The run is all sand and their coop is lined with sand at the bottom. The coop has a front door, back door, and window (with a screen on it). So heres the questions-
    In the summer should I close everything? Leave a door open? Leave just a window open? What about in cold weather? When it rains should everything be closed? Or will it cause too much humidity? Sorry about all the questions! I'm a newbie! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  2. Bellatrixed

    Bellatrixed Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2013
    It depends entirely on how secure your yard is. If a predator such as a fox or raccoon gets inside a coop, it is capable of killing everything.

    If the yard is predator-proof (that means nothing can get over or under) then you don't need to close the coop at night. If the yard is not predator-proof then they will need to be locked in overnight.

    As an example, I plan to let my chickens roam a large fenced yard during the day, but at night I will herd them into a predator-proof pen that leads into a coop. The door between the pen and coop will be left open since the pen is just as secure as the coop.

    Chickens always need ventilation, but how much varies on the exact setup. With rain, as long as the main area where the chickens live is kept dry, it should be okay. Most breeds of chickens do surprisingly well in the cold, too.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
  3. Chicken-Peep

    Chicken-Peep New Egg

    Feb 28, 2013

    There are a lot of predators around but the run is pretty much predator proof. I'm not going to chance losing them so I'll definitely close the coop at night! So I should keep the window open? Iv'e been closing it completely but if I left it open I don't think rain would get in it....
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I would cover the window securely with hardware cloth and leave that open, provided it does not allow for wind to blow directly on roosting birds in the winter. It's never good to shut up a coop completely with no air circulation. In cold climates this results in condensation and frost bite. Leaving doors open at night is very dangerous unless you seriously have a Fort Knox run. Hardware cloth all around and over it and a wide apron to prevent digging under. Otherwise, as Bellatrixed said, it only takes one predator to get in and potentially wipe out a flock overnight.

    In summer they may get too hot in the coop even with the window open. A lot of people will install a box fan in a window or elsewhere in the coop to keep hot air moving out.
  5. webpony

    webpony Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 10, 2013
    I once had a run I thought was secure - there was one 3-4 inch gap in wire (must have been cut by weeding and sure enough something pushed thru and took a few hens! Never know.
  6. amnich

    amnich Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 6, 2013
    You should try to get advice from someone who uses sand in their coop also. I use sawdust, so I make sure my coop stays open just about all day until my chickens go to bed at night so that there is no moisture buildup in the sawdust. I don't know how much moisture sand retains, which would determine how much air circulation you need. Generally speaking, the more ventilation the better. High humidity can cause respiratory illnesses in chickens. I keep my coop open (doors and windows) all day in the summer, and keep windows open at night if it is particularly hot out. In the winter I try to keep the coop open for at least a few hours each day even if it is cold, but more if the weather is nice. Also if you plan to leave your windows open, make sure your screen is installed securely! My chickens knocked the screen out of place once.

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