Is 5 am to early to let out of coop?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LegHorn-BusHorn, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. LegHorn-BusHorn

    LegHorn-BusHorn Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2009
    Near STL mo
    Now, I know it sounds silly, but with the temps in the single digets all week, I just need affirmation that they will be fine. I have to go back to work tomorrow. I guess I'll I will have to hope the eggs won't freeze because I won't be home until 4:30 pm. [​IMG]
  2. eggsrcool

    eggsrcool Sussex Fanatic

    I would have thought it would be fine. What temps do you get at 5am?

    If its too cold out they will stay in the house.
  3. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2008
    Portage County, Ohio
    Not too early if they really need to go out, but do they? If they have room in their coop to hang out inside, why not just leave them in? I'm home most of the day and on really cold days, I just leave the door shut because they don't enjoy going outside anyway.

    If they are used to going out anyway,don't mind the cold too much, and they do go out even in the winter, sure, open it up! My only worry would be that night time predators are still out and about that early in the winter since the days are so short and it's still dark then. Do they have a pen or do they free range? In the end, it's your call really, chickens do well enough in the cold usually but if there's room in the coop, that may be better for a bit.
  4. fowlmood

    fowlmood Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 28, 2009
    northern Michigan
    I understand, I have to go back to work tomorrow too. [​IMG] That means my coop will be opened up about 6 am. Since it is still dark out, the chickens usually have no interest in leaving the coop at that hour of the day. The ducks tumble out immediatly and start playing in their pool. When I get back home around 3:30, my chickens are usually outside playing/scratching in the snow. When it gets below zero like it has been this weekend, I have gotten frozen eggs by the time I get home to collect eggs. It is usually a little warmer in the coop and probably warmer yet in the nest box full of straw so sometimes I'm lucky and the eggs are fine. Anyway, I open my coop before I go to work and let my chickens decide if they want to go out or stay in. They come and go all day I suppose.
  5. busbees

    busbees Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 18, 2009
    This is good to read! I am getting ready to build a chicken house and get some chicks this spring. My wife and I both work full time. During these winter months, we often both leave for work before daylight. I was wondering whether it was okay to open the house early (still dark) or to just leave them in all day. I have seen a few references to automatic pop doors- haven't really researched them. If the food and water are checked before bed, is it pretty safe to assume they will be okay until the following evening?
  6. Stephanie-n-Hayden

    Stephanie-n-Hayden Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2009
    I have the same issue. I leave for work before it is daylight and I have worried about the preditor situation. Our coop is preditor-proof, so is the run to a certain extent. The only way for a preditor to get into the enclosed run is to dig under. So, needless to say, I am alert for any signs of tampering. So far so good. But I have been worried that with it still being dark in the mornings that I will open the pop doors and then something will dig in and get into the coop while I am away. Not too worried now with the ground being frozen and all. Nothing could dig under. But once the weather warms up a bit it is a concern of mine. I am just waiting for summer!!! It is SOOOOO much easier to take of farm animals in the summer than in the winter!!
  7. chickenshagg

    chickenshagg THE ALPHA ROO

    Apr 18, 2009
    St. Charles, MO
    Hello LegHorn-BusHorn, As you can see I'm just west of St. Louis but still considered St. Louis. My coop is not heated and I often have to open it up before I leave for work which is usually before 6am. This past week with my boys being off from school I just waited for them to get up and had them go out and open up the coop around 10am. Now with school starting back again I will be out early to open up. I have been bringing in their water at night and then in the morning refilling it with hot water so it does not freeze up right away.

    I have noticed that they stay inside more when it is cold although when I let them out to free range, which I have these past few days, they stay out in the yard all day long only returning to the coop to lay and then again in the evening to go to bed.
  8. gkeesling

    gkeesling Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 24, 2008
    Hagerstown, IN
    My chickens don't free range, but have a run that I've preditor proofed as much as I reasonably can, or at least care to. I leave my coop pop door open all the time. I have a light on the timer for the coop and the run that comes on at 3:30 a.m. My hens can decide if they want to go out or stay in. When the weather gets down to around 10 degrees they mostly stay in unless I go out and spread some treat of some kind around the run for them to eat. When I get home I'll collect all the eggs. some will be frozen. If they aren't cracked we will put those in the fridge and eat those ourselves rather than selling them.
  9. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    I would be much more worried about predator than about temperatures. We open up about 7, but they don't come out now till about 7:30. And even in the single digits they will be fine outside unless it is snowing sideways (in which case they won't come out anyways...) I would make every effort to make sure that your run is predator-proof including--skirt or buried wire around outside, wire over entire top of run, smaller wire up 2' on the sides, strong latches with backup on all doors, perhaps even hot wire around the run and coop.
  10. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I'm a real worrier with my girls, but I do open their pop door to give them the option to go out every day (so far). This morning was our lowest (4 degrees I think), so I waited till 9:00 to let them out (no Since we have the auto. door, I'm gonna' keep it set for this later time until nights are back up around 20 at least... But I would open the door before work if I didn't have it (just got it a few weeks ago...for those considering one, they're great!).

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