Is it necessary to open and close the coop door in a penned environment?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jpowers5882, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. jpowers5882

    jpowers5882 In the Brooder

    Feb 28, 2011
    Hello Everyone.

    Happy Spring!

    My NH Reds are now a year old and the egg production hasn't event slowed since they started laying last August.

    I have a nice coop for them which is raised about 40 inches off the ground.
    The coop door opens into a 9x12 penned area where I used construction cloth on the sides and roof, and buried the sides down about a foot.

    My question is - Is is necessary for me to close the coop at night?
    Up until now, I've been running out there after dark to close the coop door.
    Then, in the morning I run back out there and open it so the hens can come back out.
    Lately, when I'm coming home from a late meeting I forget to close the coop door. But since the pen is secured, the hens seem to be fine with it, and happpy that they can come out as early in the AM as they'd like to.

    Thank you for your input.

    - Jim P.

  2. Mattemma

    Mattemma Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    I would close the coop up at night. I have forgotten to lock up and I was lucky. Just a matter of time before a predator starts trying to get in.
  3. ange92040

    ange92040 Chirping

    Mar 9, 2012
    Lockhart, TX
    I also have an enclosed run attached to the coop we use to do what you did run out in the morning and at dusk then one night I thought my son had closed them in and he thought I did, well we didn't and they were quite happy to come out when they wanted and they go in at dusk. We haven't had any problems *fingers crossed* so we will just let them be happy this way. Just make sure that everything is secure and you should probably be fine. I would use stronger material for your run because I don't know how strong construction cloth is
    Good Luck!!
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  4. jpowers5882

    jpowers5882 In the Brooder

    Feb 28, 2011
    Thanks. Construction cloth is netting made from strong metal with 1/4 in squares in it. It is used in venting for buildings so that no critters can get through the ducting. It is actually a lot stronger than poultry netting. I can't remember where I read about it, but it was recommended for chicken pens due to its strength.

  5. jpowers5882

    jpowers5882 In the Brooder

    Feb 28, 2011
    Thank you. I was wondering about that.
    If I don't close the coop door, some of the hens like to sleep with their heads poked out the door.
    Was wondering if that would be enough enticement for a raccoon or other predator to start digging to get at them.
  6. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

    May 11, 2011
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    Better safe than sorry!

    We have a secure run and don't have to close our coop up either, but we usually do. This past weekend, we installed a Pullet-Shut automatic chicken door on the coop so that we don't have to worry about it...especially so that our chicken sitters don't have to worry about it when we occasionally take a weekend trip or vacation.
  7. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    If the run is secure, they can be in the run at night. If the run has weaknesses, then it is safer to lock them in the coop.

  8. Chook-A-Holic

    Chook-A-Holic Songster

    Oct 5, 2009
    Central, N.C.
    I only close my pop doors when I'm doing chores or when there is extremely severe weather.
  9. Habibs Hens

    Habibs Hens Cream Legbar Keeper

    Mar 31, 2012
    London, UK
    My Coop
    my coop has a run bellow and coop sleeping pen at top

    my chickens go in by them selves

    i never close the coop hatch door as my run part is very secure and i have very heavey thick gauge welded wire mesh on run

    but depending on yr setup closing the door is a better option

  10. ChicKat

    ChicKat Crowing Premium Member

    Where I live, it would be more dangerous for the chickens to close them in the coop overnight. South Texas can get awfully hot and humid.

    My runs are attached to the coops, they are welded mesh wire, and they have about an 8" skirt. The pens are near the house, and we have two australian cattle dogs on the porch all night. On each run I have 'solar night eyes'. It's been about a year now, and no prowling pests have gotten any of my chickens.

    Strangely though, I did have one muddy raccoon paw print on one of the shades that covers the runs. Often we are away from the house with our dogs. I don't know if the raccoon crawled on during the night or day---but it was sobering. Snakes have been around the coops too.

    Heat in summer a definite problem, predators a possible problem, thus no closed coops here.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by