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how does this idea sound?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Gazinga, Nov 2, 2008.

  1. Gazinga

    Gazinga Chook Norris

    ok, i have to work night shift some times and dont want to put my chickens up when i leave at 3pm for work. However, i worry about them with the coop door open all night for obvious safety reasons as wwell as to keep the upcoming cold out.
    My DW ha an idea to put up a plastic or rubber screen over the coop door. One like a walk in refrigerator plastic screen thiat hangs in strips, do you know what i mean?

    anyway, would the chickens walk though it? can you teach em too? I know it wouldnt help with safety, but it would help with the cold i think.

    Any ideas or sugestions?

  2. farmergal

    farmergal Songster

    Jul 21, 2008
    Nor Cal
    Do you live in an urban area or in the country? After losing 23 babies to an evil fox (and seeing TONS of coons and skunks around here at night), I don't think I'd trust a flap door after dark for even a minute... those predators come quickly, and suddenly, and can kill an entire flock in one night.
    (Heck, I'm so paranoid that I actually LOCK my coop up at night, like with a key, just in case coons learn to use doorknobs. Someone who keeps poultry around here had a coon open a latched cage door once.)
    Maybe you could build a mini-porch (hardware cloth/floor) so they have a bit of access to the sun and outdoors instead? Course that requires more time and $$...
  3. bheila

    bheila Songster

    Feb 8, 2008
    Kent, Wa
    Quote:I did see someones coop on here that had their door set up that way. I don't see why it wouldn't work. You'll have to let us know how long it takes your chickens to get used to walking through it.
  4. LilBizzy

    LilBizzy Chicken Storyteller

    May 20, 2008
    I did see posts where people have hung strips of plastic over the pop door to keep out wind. I believe they did it in steps, adding a strip at a time for the chickens to get used to.
    The thing to remember is- if the chickens can get in, so can a predator. I have a secure, totally enclosed run,have never seen signs of any predators, and I still lock the girls in at night because if ever a predator DID get in, I'd feel like a terrible chicken mommy. Years ago we had a horrific raccoon massacre in what we thought was a secure run.
    This time of year, it gets dark pretty early. So locking them up at 3 wouldn't really be so horrible. Tonight, mine were in bed at 5.
    We spend so much time and money on them, it seems wrong to not keep them as safe as possible- protect our investment. The sun porch idea might be a good alternative. It would also give them a place to play when the weather is bad.
  5. coffeelady3

    coffeelady3 Froths Milk for Hard Cash

    Jun 26, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    If I'm not mistaken, there's automated door closers. You just set a time and the door shuts by itself. I don't know how much they cost, or where to find them, but they are out there.
  6. momma's chickens

    momma's chickens Songster

    Mar 10, 2008
    I have strips over my pop door. I do think this helps with the cold. I used two clear plastic car floor mats and stapled them together with a heavy duty stapler. Then I screwed it to the coop. The chickens were funny with it the first day but they figured it out fast enough.

    This does not help with predators but the I feel the run is fairly secure and since the pop door goes into the run, I think it is okay.
  7. iajewel

    iajewel Songster

    Oct 22, 2008
    Corning IA
    I have been wiped out a few times due to preditors. Leaving the coop open would scare me to death. The automated door sounds ideal, and if you figure in all the money you have invested, it may be a very good investment.
    I have a dog that is very good with my birds, but will go after coons and smaller varments. She is a (don't laugh) a Standard Poodle. So not keen on birds persay. She has kept every bird I own alive longer then any other method I have used. I lost NO chicks this year, after they left the brooder. That is a first for my 20yrs on this ranch. I don't have tops on any of my pens. I even have Flemish Giant rabbits in a 25'x25' pen with no top. In Iowa, with hawks. Closing a gate around here is rather silly when the top is open. The dog has really made all the diffrance in the world.
    Just a thought, if the gate thing isn't possible for you.

  8. Gazinga

    Gazinga Chook Norris

    well, i dont get home untill 10 am and then have to leave back to work at 3 pm, so it would only give the girls about 5 hours of outside time if i locked them up, i dont feel that is very nice of me. Their pop door leads into a very secure run area, and yes, i know that no run area is perfect and there is still a predator risk involved. I dont like the automatic door openers and closers, they all seem like "chiken gilotens" (sp?) to me.
    I think i want to try this plastic flap method, i will let everyone know how it works out
  9. Omran

    Omran Songster

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    I would build a run for them if all possible that way at least hey can stay out when you go to work and you fell good about it, but you got to make a real preditor proof run..

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