do I need the door closed?


8 Years
Feb 18, 2011
So my flock puts themselves back in the coop at dusk every night... so cute. Their little door opens into a very secure run (made with cattle wire panels, hard wire cloth, bird netting over the top, etc) my question is: do I need to close their door at night or can I just let them be? They are VERY anxious to get out in the morning when I let them out. I am asking because we are going out of town for a few days and I have a girl coming over to check on them, but I don;t want them to be locked in the coop if she doesn't get over here right away.
If I didn't close my door here I wouldn't have chickens in the morning. Just about every predator out there likes a good chicken dinner.

My coop and run doesnt sound as secure as yours and I never close the door between them. I also set out a pre-emptive strike against predators with traps out all the time. It all depends on your predator (including neighborhood dogs) situation. I think only you can decide this one for sure. Maybe make friendly with a neighbor this week and ask for their help?
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Sound solid, what predators do you have? I don't keep a door on my hens all the way out to the fenced pastured, the turkeys are still tweens so they are restricted to a enclosed run similar to yours. I would not worry, given your set up, about a door if they were here but it's your turf and your predators to fight and ultimately your choice
We have four 10- week old hens, and they're in a temporary house inside a very secure pen -- made out of hardware cloth and 2x4's. They've been out there for weeks now, and everything is fine -- but if you only have netting over the top of your pen, I wouldn't trust it to keep them secure at night. (We have flagstones or rocks around the bottom of the pen, and chain-link fence around 3 sides -- and we're in the city, so skunks and raccoons (and dogs and cats, of course) are our main predators.)

I'd ask your chicken-sitter how early in the morning s/he can make it, so your girls aren't too unhappy . . .. It does mean a twice-a-day visitation schedule, though . . . .

Good luck!


PS This is our first time keeping chickens, but the person who built the pen is a good carpenter who wanted to keep her turtles safe -- and she built well!
thanks for the advice... We live in the city and I have not seen much in the way of predators (I know they are out there...lurking...) We are going to give it a try tonight, before we go out of town, so I can keep an ear on them.
Bird netting will not keep raccoons out. I would lock them up. We lock ours up at dark every night, if we are going to be gone we either ask a neighbor to lock them up or we leave them in. Better safe than dead

I do know of people that don't lock their girls up at night and don't seem to have many losses - they all have dogs on their property. I think this keeps raccoons and possums away, but that is just a guess.

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