1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

"dumb" question from soon to be new chicken mommie (hopefully)

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by canesisters, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. canesisters

    canesisters Songster

    Aug 18, 2011
    Ok - this may be a dumb question, but I was rambeling on to someone the other day about how I was ancious to start working on my coop/run so I could get it filled up before cold weather hits - and I mentioned that I plan to let the girls out in the morning and put them back up in the evening. I was told that this was impossible since it's dark when I leave in the mornings and I'd just be stirring them up for no reason.
    I know there could be issues with dark-skulking critters, but my coop is going to be inside the fenced in yard and although I've seen signs of things in the barn and pastures, I've never seen anything inside the yard with the dogs. Also, my dogs have helped me raise many little baby things (kittens, possumms, birds, etc) so I'm not worried about them messing with the girls either.
    So here's the dumb question. Can I open the coop at the crack of dawn and leave the girls free roaming all day (till 3 or 4)??? When I see people talking about letting the hens wander the yard, I assume they're just loose. Am I supposed to only let them wander when I can stand out there with them?????

  2. NotSuperWoman

    NotSuperWoman Songster

    Aug 14, 2011
    My Humble Manor
    This is what I do. I wake up at 5:30 am and the first thing I do is start my coffee brewing and open the coop run to let them free range inside my fenced back yard. They come back in about noonish when it gets hot, and come out on their own as it cools down.

    I honestly do not see a problem with it. They have a place to hide under bushes from hawks and other air predators. They have access to food and water.

    [​IMG] from another novice!
  3. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Welcome to BYC. Yes, you can open it and close it whenever you wish. A predator will eventually get them one day. I let mine out daily. Just this morning a hawk swooped down after one of my Hamburgs but I scared it off. I lost a big Barred Rock hen to a hawk this past January.
  4. dichotomymom

    dichotomymom Songster

    Mar 19, 2008
    Dayton Indiana
    Mine are out all day provided I'm home (I don't stay outside with them). I've had losses but I consider it minimal compared to the value of raising them free range. Their eggs and meat are delicious and they help cut down on bugs (lawn and garden both)
  5. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms Premium Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    On the Farm!
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Louisiana!!

    Not a thing wrong with what your planning on doing!! I live in the country and have numerous predators and haven't lost one yet. Now I'm not saying you will never loose one becuase it's just a matter of time that it will happen but I agree with dichotomymom it's worth the chance!! [​IMG]
  6. wava1vaughn

    wava1vaughn Songster

    Jun 24, 2011
    Cairo Ga.
    Hi from Ga. You can open the coop in the morning and close it in the evening . Some people put automatic doors on the coop so you don't have to worry about it. The chickens will come back in usually before dark. If you have a predator problem you might want to have an enclosed run for the chickens. We let ours out at 7am and usually put them back in at about 8pm. Of course the coop is open all day for them to go in and out. [​IMG]
  7. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Crowing

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    [​IMG] and [​IMG] from Ohio. So glad you joined. We all take a chance letting our chickens free range or be in an outside pen without being covered but I think the chickens are much happier when allowed to roam a little. [​IMG]

  8. weimarmama

    weimarmama Crowing

    Jun 4, 2010
    My Coop
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Alabama. Glad you joined us. I agree with everyone else. We let our chickens, ducks, & geese out in the morning & they go back in in the evening. We haven't had too many losses, but, even so, it's worth it to see them free ranging & enjoying themselves. Good luck [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  9. CarlaS

    CarlaS In the Brooder

    Aug 13, 2011
    [​IMG] to BYC from MN! [​IMG] I Open mine at really early when i get up and the close it when it's dark, or just before.
  10. Skitz

    Skitz Skitz15k

    Nov 11, 2008
    Welcome to BYC!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by