Leave the coop door open at night???

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jaimepowell, May 3, 2011.

  1. jaimepowell

    jaimepowell In the Brooder

    Apr 23, 2011
    I have eight 7 week old chicks that are outside in a coop and have been weaned from the heat lamp. I have a nightlight that's on at night and their coop is open to a chainlink and chicken wire run that is completely covered. I'm struggling with leaving the door open at night or keeping it closed. So far I go out every night before it gets dark and close it and then open once I get up and around in the morning. They come running out first thing and I'm sure they've been up and around for a good hour or two already. Do you think it would be okay to leave the door from the coop to the run open all night? We are out in the country and I'm nervous that the small amount of light might attract critters.....

  2. ralleia

    ralleia Songster

    Mar 22, 2011
    Omaha, NE

    We started leaving the small chicken door (between the fenced run and the coop) open a couple summers ago. That ended promptly when I discovered a hen with her back ripped open in the middle of the fenced run. Something had scaled the fence, grabbed a hen, and failed to carry her back over the fence.

    You would have to be *EXTREMELY* sure of the critterproofing of your fenced run--buried hardware cloth, complete enclose--in order to leave that door open.

    You should also be willing to accept dead or missing chickens if the fence fails to keep something out.

    If not, then it's far safer to let them stay in until you roam out to let them run. Once in a while I may sleep in and then linger over my coffee and my chickens don't get let out until 10 a.m.--they're eager to be let out, but they aren't damaged by the confinement. [​IMG]
  3. fshinggrl

    fshinggrl Songster

    May 1, 2009
    the edge of insanity
    99% of the time I closed the door. Every now and then I would forget or was sick and just could not do it. You certainly can, but I was always afraid of what might go in, even though our coop is pretty secure (fencing).
  4. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Songster

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    Yes, i would certainly keep that door shut. . . for all the reasons stated above and more.
  5. Bizzybirdy

    Bizzybirdy Songster

    Apr 14, 2008
    North of Nashville
    No, no! Do not leave their door open! You will come out to a massacre sooner or later. I put some 4 month olds in a small pen with a dog house right next to my front door under a motion light and a possum/racoon went over the 4' fence and killed 10 of 16 the very first night, ripped the poor things apart... one pullet that survived lost her eye. [​IMG]

    Take the time to close them up at night.
  6. bburn

    bburn Songster

    Jul 9, 2010
    Delaware, Arkansas
    We went a year without a problem....now we are on the second one and have lost three hens. One was broody.

    So, lock your doors. They will be fine and you will get up and around earlier and earlier. I cannot sleep now if I have not closed the pop door! And I have a trap out right now and spent the entire day going over and renforcing the coops and runs. Will finish tomorrow but in the meantime you should see how I locked up tonight. Extra stuff in front of the pop doors and people doors.

    I am so bad that I went out and put mothballs all around the runs...where the chickens cannot get to them and then I came back in and got red hot pepper powder and sprinkled it around the runs. I hope it breathes it!!!! And that it burns and then it can't breathe. And then stumpbles into the trap and it closes and I find it in the morning!

    There. Lock your doors just to be safe and so you won't have to do this!
  7. Higins00

    Higins00 Songster

    Nov 19, 2008
    I too locked mine double up at night when I first got my chickens. I felt bad having them locked up in the morning and especially in the warm weather. I have left the door open now for 5 years and have only had one kill from a racoon because I had one scared chicken and she stayed alone on the ground up against the chain link fence. If you put your roosts in a place where if they decide to stay out for the night is safe and unreachable you will be fine. If they stay in the coop they will be fine. You just have to make sure you have hardware cloth fencing anywhere near where they would roost.
  8. jaimepowell

    jaimepowell In the Brooder

    Apr 23, 2011
    OK soooo glad I asked!!! I do worry about them as soon as I get up...my husband can't stand it! I will for sure be taking the time to lock them up each night!!!! THANK YOU!
  9. CAdreaming

    CAdreaming In the Brooder

    May 2, 2011
    Cherokee County, GA
    Interesting post. Being new to raising chickens, my husband & I were just discussing this issue tonight. We were thinking that it would be OK & allow us to go on overnight camping trips but after reading this post.... not so sure anymore!!
  10. jbeanblake

    jbeanblake Hatching

    May 3, 2011
    my chicks are still inside the house now, but will they be okay when they go out as the run, is covered on the top too?

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