Do you lock your chicks in coop at night or leave in the run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by teresac, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. teresac

    teresac Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 18, 2009
    Blairsville, GA
    I am new to chickens this year. So far so good. We have 3 BR & 2 BO that are 8 weeks old. We put them outside a few weeks ago and all is going well. Our run is built around the coop and have been locking the girls in the coop at night. They are out by 6am & go in at 7:30-8pm. The door to the run to as secure as we can make it. They are in there all day while we are at work and no problems.

    We live in the N. GA mountains on 11 predators will be a issue. We have not had any problems so far. The question is, do we need to lock them in at night or can they stay in the run. I don't think anything can get in thru the door. I guess the question is, are they getting enough daylight.

    Please help!!
  2. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    It would only take one predator to make you chickenless. I always lock mine in at nite. I was told weasels can go through a 1 inch hole and most wire is that or more outside. They can dig and climb.
    Dogs can bite through chicken wire like it is almost not there. I have seen one little doxey go through hard ware cloth wire. He was determined.
    Best is safe instead of sorry. Good luck with your chicks. I live in the mtns of NC over in Franklin. Jean
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I lock them in the coop or tractor at night, for sure.

    I believe I have pretty predator-proof arrangements (heavy gauge 1x1 welded wire or chainlink, with aprons and tops and raccoon proof latches) but predators are stronger, more 'squeeze-through-able' and more persistant than we'd like to think and I do not want to encourage actual TESTING of the defenses. The coop is for sure more secure than the run.

  4. lunkerchicken

    lunkerchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am very new to this but from what I have heard and read in this forum, it's best to lock them up for the night.
  5. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    I always lock them in at night - too many preds are all too skilled at getting into runs, unless they are built like Fort Knox.
    I'm not sure I understand your question about whether they are getting enough daylight because it sounds like they are out during pretty much all the hours that the sun is up...
  6. ohiofarmgirl

    ohiofarmgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2009
    locked up tight - in a coop WITHIN the hen house. secure latches on the hen house and the coops (different kinds in case them scurrilous raccoons figure it out).

    then there is the fence around the hen house

    THEN enormous dogs go out there and mark their territory. nary a loss to predators this way.
  7. mtnhomechick

    mtnhomechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Mountain Home, AR
    Lock Em Up!!!
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Quote:I live near you in Mineral Bluff. I would always lock them inside the coop at night. You'd be surprised how easy it is for a predator to get into your run if you leave them out at night when most predators are afoot. You and I have all manner of predator.
  9. jubylives

    jubylives Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2007
    Central Iowa
    Yup, I lock mine up too. Helps put them on schedule if you are consistant when you lock them up and let them out.

  10. ChanceRider

    ChanceRider Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2008
    Somerset, CA
    My birds have access to their run 24/7. It's built of 2 x 4's, with 1/2" x 1" welded wire screwed into the wood. The sides, top and bottom are fully lined with the hardware wire. I dug down about 6" to completely cover the bottom of the run with wire and screwed it to the wood framework. If anything, I think my run just might be even more secure than my coop [​IMG]. I live in an area with mountain lions, bears, bobcats, 'possums, raccoons, dogs, etc. If a bear chooses to get into the run I'm sure the coop wouldn't be much more of an obstacle.

    Take all the precautions you can and do what you're most comfortable with.

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