Is it safe to keep the coop open to the run at night

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Farmer Mike S, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. Farmer Mike S

    Farmer Mike S Songster

    Oct 18, 2012
    Glen Mills, PA
    My chicken coop has a run attached to the coop. The run has hardware cloth as its protection all around, while the coop part is mostly closed in. I got raccoons and foxes in my area, I was wondering if its alright to keep their axis to run open at night (I can lock them in the coop part), or should i keep them in the coop part

  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Crowing Premium Member

    Dec 22, 2009
    Have you had a problem with them bothering the chickens? I don't have chickens but I keep the coop door open for all of my ducks and geese unless it's bad weather.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
  3. I keep it open, and I've never had problems (I have quite a few predators in my area) My run is predator proof, so I don't need to worry.
  4. AlienChick

    AlienChick Songster

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    Depends on your predator load.
    I have a run attached to my coop as well and I leave my little coop door open 24/7.
    At night I just close up the door to the run and leave the coop door open.
    My chickens free range during the day and return to the coop at night.


  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    In my opinion, it depends on how much confidence you have that your run is predator-proof. I don’t know what materials you used, what techniques you used, and I sure didn’t watch you build it to see how well it was built. It has to be your decision based on how confident you are that it is safe enough for them.
    1 person likes this.

  6. aggiemae

    aggiemae Songster

    Mar 18, 2012
    Salem Oregon
    Our chickens seem to be calmer and quieter when the coop door is shut at dusk.
  7. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Songster

    Jul 1, 2011
    Colorado mountains
    We have so many predators in our area (bears, bobcats, mountain lions, raccoons, skunks, foxes, owls, hawks, pine martin...coyotes) I figure that closing the coop door at night is an extra level of predator protection. If some determined animal were test the outer defenses by digging or chewing, they then would have to break into the coop itself. While nothing is going to deter a really persistant bear, my coop has been break-in free for almost two years.
  8. lorain's fids

    lorain's fids Songster

    Jul 9, 2011
    New Jersey
    I do close the little coop door that leads into the run at night. My run has hard wire on it and I do believe it is safe BUT I wouldn't want to chance it. I don't know if racoons or other preditors came into my yard at night would they dig their way under and into the run to get at the chickens at night while they were sleeping.
  9. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Songster

    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    Mine is open all the time. I enjoy not having to go out often to open and close the coop pop door for the birds. They enjoy the freedom to go inside/outside. I also feel that with it open it provides good air movement in the coop. It all depends on your run construction and the predators in your area.

    It is rare but some dogs and predators can tear up a run or a coop. It all depends on your construction and materials. Woven wire will withstand the heaviest of attacks on the run but it may also need a smaller mesh with it to keep out smaller pests (scavenger birds that fly in through the woven wire and steal feed). My coop and run has to be pretty HEAVY DUTY since it is within an area with goats. Goats stand on fences and nibble on everything!


  10. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Crowing

    Apr 8, 2008

    The only times I've lost hens in the coop were when I didn't go down and shut the pop-door for whatever reason. A hard lesson to learn. We had owls fly into the coop for a snack TWICE.

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