How long in the coop?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by siouxbhoney, Jun 23, 2016.

  1. siouxbhoney

    siouxbhoney Just Hatched

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    I herd my chickens into their coop around 7 or 8 at night. There is no food or water in the coop. My hubs lets them out about 5am. Is this too long? Can I leave them in longer? We are about to install nesting boxes in the coop, so of course when they start laying they will go in the new boxes.
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I"m curious, why do you coop them so early? Why not let them put themselves to bed at sundown?

    I don't think the feed is an issue, but that's a good amount of time to go without water, especially this time of year. Rule of thumb is they sleep (and don't eat or drink) when it's dark, but it's light later now and the weather is so hot, they need to stay hydrated.
     
  3. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    I agree..The best time to close up the coop is once they have all gone into roost..With younger birds, I always have water and feed at all times Water is #1 to Chickens, then feed.
    Hot weather is hard on birds. The cooler the water, the better...
     
  4. siouxbhoney

    siouxbhoney Just Hatched

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    I'll try roosting them later. Our bedtime routine with our toddler is from 6-8 so it's been easier to put then up before we put him to bed.
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Oh, that makes sense, doesn't it.

    If you want to coop them that early, I'd try to put some water at least in the coop.
     
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  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    personally, I have mine in an indoor. outdoor set up, their choice. I keep the feed and water outdoors, because I think it keeps the coop drier, and I want a dry coop. A dry coop is a healthier coop.

    My run is attached to my coup, and my birds can go to bed as they see fit, and they can get up, while I have a cup of coffee. One does have to make sure that the run is predator proof too. After some experience, I have a totally enclosed run, over the top. I do let my birds free- range a bit out of the run coop set up, and if so, I do a head count and lock them up in the later afternoon, or before dark in their run/coop set up. They go up to roost at their own inclination.

    This eliminates the need for worry about enough time with feed and water, and by supplying sufficient feed and water, one can be gone over night or even two, with out much problems.

    Mrs K
     
  7. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    The thing is the nocturnal predators at night.
    I lock my coop up like Fort Knox once the sun goes down. We have fox, weasels, marten, coyotes and cats.
    Put away as the sun goes down and open up in the morning . Chickens don't spill much water and need it in the summer.
     
  8. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    ^^^ Yes, I agree night time predators - I have them all, that is why I said, the run must be predator proof too.
     
  9. siouxbhoney

    siouxbhoney Just Hatched

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    My chickens drink from a bucket feeder with nipples, so I don't think a smaller version of that would be too hard to make.
     
  10. AllynTal

    AllynTal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens go in to roost at dusk.....which here, at this time of year is between 7 and 8 pm. I let them out between 7 and 8 in the morning. That's when I get up, so that's when they're let out. I have water and food in the coop because I'm not getting up at dawn. I use nipple waterers and there's no mess. Even if there was, I use sand on the coop floor; so if it gets wet, it'll dry by itself.

    I think if you put them in at dusk and let them out at dawn, you don't need food and water in the coop. If you want to keep them inside a little longer in the morning, at least put water in the coop.
     
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