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early bedtime to protect against predators?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jennifer0224, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. jennifer0224

    jennifer0224 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2015
    Placer County, CA
    Hi, i am new and awaiting my first chicks to arrive this week. I have a predator-proof coop but open chicken run, so was curious when i should put my hens to bed at night. In the Summer, the sun doesnt set until 830 or 9, but in the Winter, do i need to put my birds to bed at 5 (when the sun sets) to protect against racoons?? That seems much too early. What time does everyone put their free-ranging hens to bed when they dont have an enclosed run? Though we will free range, we only have a quarter acre lot, in the suburbs, so its not like the birds can go very far.

    On that note, when do you let your hens out in the morning? Sunrise?

    Thanks so much for the information, i could not find this info on the forum, but that is probably because i wasnt using the correct search words!
     
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    Chickens will go to their coop before it gets dark. Most anyways. In the summer they will go into coop in late afternoon or early eve. In winter , they will go in when it starts to get dark. It is all natural. Let your chickens out as soon as it is light outside, or convenient for you. Your chickens will be in their coop before raccoons start their nightly journeys. If you see a raccoon in the daytime, it is better to be careful, because he may be sick. Just think that chickens go with the flow as to the amount of daylight they get. In nature they cant do anything to make day longer. You can add electric light into their coop if you wanted them to lay better during winter short days. They will not lay in the dark.
    AND ALSO A WARM [​IMG]
     
  3. jennifer0224

    jennifer0224 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2015
    Placer County, CA
    Thank you for the explanation! That clears things up a lot. I will let them tell me when they are ready for bed then.

    On a whim I decided to check out a new feed store today and ended up picking up six chicks. So my adventures are starting a bit earlier than expected :-D
     
  4. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    What breeds did you get? Just curious. and pullets cockerels or mixed?
     
  5. jennifer0224

    jennifer0224 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2015
    Placer County, CA
    I got only females (I hope!). My neighbors are too close for a rooster.

    I picked out three Welsummers, and my kids picked out the other three... a Golden Laced Wyondette, a Light Brahma, and a Rhode Island Red. Do you think those are okay for first timers?
     
  6. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    Sounds just great. They will make nice colorful lawn ornaments as they forage in your yard. In the summer time when I sit in the back yard, drinking a cold ice tea, my girls all come around me and like to be in close proximity. That is my reward for keeping chickens as pets. Life is good. [​IMG] Your children will enjoy petting them on their laps. When they are handled early on, they tend to grow into docile pets. Just remember to tell your children to wash their hands after handling chickens and before eating. Not sure how old yours are.
    WISHING YOU BEST.. [​IMG]
     
  7. jennifer0224

    jennifer0224 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2015
    Placer County, CA
    I have a pre-schooler, a toddler, and an infant, so you're right . . . Hand washing instruction will be a must :)

    Thank you for the well wishes, and for the advice!!
     

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