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Do I need to close up my hens at night with the coop / enclosure I have?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hypersquirrels, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. hypersquirrels

    hypersquirrels New Egg

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    First time owner here of two girls :) I wanted to know if its necessary to close their coop door with the setup I have bought / extended. I will preface it and say we do have a lot of raccoons but I have built their enclosure with that in mind. I have the proper hardware cloth wire, I have buried the wire with an apron effect. The raccoons do attempt to dig at night but once they hit that wire they stop. Here are some pics:

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    I just don't know if by leaving that coop door open if it'll entice the raccoons more to try and get in. As of right now either me or my wife will close that sliding door on the coop at night and open it in the morning.

    So what do you think? Given that the coop is in the enclosure do I need to still close that coop door or should I just leave it open and let the hens go in and out as they please.
     
  2. BruceAZ

    BruceAZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Valley of the Sun :)
    nice looking coop/run you have there

    how many chickens do you have?

    if your run is secured.. there's no reason to lock the coop

    i have a small coop/run combo ( 4 3/4 ft x 8ft) with no predator around here so i didn't create a door for my chicken coop

    the chickens will go out at 5:15AM and in at 7:38PM each day on their own it's more convenience for you that way

    if you want them to lay.. they will need about 14 hours of sunlight.. so if you are sleeping in until 7-8 AM.. they lost a few hours..

    so i would say there's no reason to lock them up if the enclosure/run is secured
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  3. hypersquirrels

    hypersquirrels New Egg

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    Thanks! :)

    We only have 2 hens right now and yes we lock them up when its sundown which is like 820. We don't get up till like 8Am so yeah that probably isnt enough sunlight. We have noticed something wrong with their egg production. They BOTH haven't laid in 6 days.

    We do have raccoons around here but I am pretty sure they can't get in. I made it that way. I did observe a raccoon last ngiht investigating the pen but he just walked away from it when he made a pass. I would like to leave the coop open and let the chickens come and go as they please but we obviously don't want them to get injured or killed. Its a tough call :-/
     
  4. BruceAZ

    BruceAZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Valley of the Sun :)
    if you secured the run then there's nothing to worry about

    but for extra protection you can add something around the base of the run to prevent them from digging in .. (2x6x12 wood?)

    and your hardware cloth stapled down pretty good? maybe 1/2-1 in apart?

    if you need hardware cloth..

    this is the cheapest that i know homedepot has a roll that is half the size of this for $54.. while you get 2x the size for $3 more here
    http://www.amazon.com/Gilbert-Benne...1463965345&sr=8-1&keywords=1+2+hardware+cloth

    if you need staples.. wal-mart also have some.. at a cheaper price than home depot as well

    [​IMG]


    i don't see any perches/roosting bar in your run.. you can add some 2-3 in for them to fly to if need.. i don't have racoon but can they jump? 2-3 ft up in the air?
     
  5. hypersquirrels

    hypersquirrels New Egg

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    Nice thanks for that info. Yeah that hardware cloth is stapled down pretty good. I was thinking to actually lay bricks over it to make the coop look a little nicer since its in the yard however if I do that would the vermin try and dig behind the brick or would they just not even try.
     
  6. SueT

    SueT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Why not lock them in at night anyway? Extra protection just in case.
    I had raccoons trying to get in my outer pen, and I trapped 2 in 2 nights, relocated them 5+ miles away. No one has tried to get in since.
     
  7. BruceAZ

    BruceAZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Valley of the Sun :)
    i see.. you are going for the visual appeal

    true.. bricks will work.. i'm curious how much it will cost for cover around your run..

    i think those 2 in thick 2x8 bricks should be sufficient.. it's heavy enough


    if you putting bricks down on the ground for visual appeal. that's kind of like pavers around here :)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  8. hypersquirrels

    hypersquirrels New Egg

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    The reason I wouldnt is that all of a sudden our girls have laid eggs in 6 days and I am nervous that we may not be letting them out of the coop earlier in the morning. Me and my wife will let them out 730 / 8. If I left the coop door open for them they would just come and go as they please. Thats really one of my only reasonings.
     
  9. islandgirl82

    islandgirl82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would continue to close the coop at night. Better to have too much protection than not enough and when predators know there's easy prey around, they will continue to come around until they've found a weak spot to break in. Dusk and dawn are prime times for them to be snooping around so waiting until 7:30 or 8 isn't a bad thing at all. I don't really understand what their egg laying has to do with letting them out of the coop. If they've been laying them in the run, they'll just start laying them in the coop instead which should make collection easier for you anyway.
     
  10. BruceAZ

    BruceAZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Valley of the Sun :)
    it's up to you.. just do what you think is best for your chickens


    i didn't realize it before but they need 15 hours?? i don't think this is possible..

    sunrise at 5:18pm and sundown at 7:38pm..

    for the winter i would let my chickens rest (again it's a personal preference)

    oh.. and please share a picture after you put the bricks around the base of the run. i would like to see what it will look like :)

    http://www.nutrenaworld.com/knowledge-center/poultry/lighting-in-winter-for-poultry/index.jsp
    [​IMG]
     

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