Leaving coop open to predator proof run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Blackcatsrule, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. Blackcatsrule

    Blackcatsrule Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 28, 2011
    I'm in the process of designing our backyard coop & run. We plan to attach a small run to the coop (probably raised) that is very predator proof. In this case, would we need to shut the chicken door to the coop from the run each evening when the chickens go into the coop to roost? Can they have outdoor access all the time?

    And if we can leave it open then could we leave their water and feeding stations under the coop rather than inside?

    (We also will let them out further in our yard when we are around.)
  2. claudicles

    claudicles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    I don't close up my coop. My run is pretty secure and the girls take themsleves in at dusk so i could but i don't need to.
  3. krcote

    krcote Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2008
    Concord, NH
    We have a very safe coop and run, we do not close the pop door. In the winter, food and water is kept in the coop. I use a heated dog water bowl to keep the waterer from freezing. In the spring, the waterer gets upgraded to a bigger size and moved outdoors. Food stays inside because it is a hopper style that holds a 50# bag of feed at a time.
  4. KrisH

    KrisH Chillin' With My Peeps

    Might I suggest that the coop is not preditor PROOF, but Highly preditor RESISTANT. Humans can be preditors too as well as bears and the like.

    No offence meant, just covering the "Knock on wood" aspect

  5. Blackcatsrule

    Blackcatsrule Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 28, 2011
    Thank you both. I've been designing this in my head and suddenly realized I probably don't need to close them in each night if the run itself is very safe. That'll save us some room inside as well, if we can keep the food "downstairs" (under the raised coop). We rarely get freezing temps. here, so no worries for me about frozen water. Phew.
  6. wava1vaughn

    wava1vaughn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2011
    Cairo Ga.
    Hi from Ga. [​IMG]
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    If you are going to have your pop door open, I would recommend doing some aproning or burial of fencing to prevent digging predators from entering. Also wire on top because racoons and weasels can climb. Weasels can enter anything larger than 1/2 inch, as can rats. Both eat chickens.

    So it really depends on how predator proof you want to make it and how much $ you are wanting to spend. A lot of folks just don't want to cover every square inch with 1/2 inch hardware cloth, which is what it would take. That is why so many close them up at night. Also some people don't have the predator problems that others do, for whatever reason.

    I don't make my run very predator proof at all. Some of my run is just plain old chicken wire!!! (Which makes most BYC'ers gasp at the thought because raccoons can tear through it in a New York minute.) But I close them up at night.

    You will have to decide how gung-ho you want to be with the fencing, is all. So in the end it is cheaper to just close them up. I myself am considering one of those fancy new-fangled automatic door openers for the pop door.

    I like krcote's setup. Notice the hardware cloth lining the bottom of the walls. This kind of thing is important since raccoons can reach right through the larger holes of welded wire fencing and grab chickens. They play tag team and chase chickens back and forth to get them up against the fencing. In broad daylight.

    So yes it can be done.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2012
  8. Blackcatsrule

    Blackcatsrule Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 28, 2011
    Ah yes. That thought crossed my mind today as I was taking my walk and saying my hellos to 2 groups of backyard chickens not far from my house... if people ever steal chickens if they can easily get to the coop. Perhaps people who are adamant about NOT having "farms" in urban areas. Luckily our back yard is fairly secure with a locked gate, but yes, nothing is perfectly safe.

    I was just trying to make clear we're making the run secure from racoons and hawks etc, so hopefully we do it well enough that we never have a problem. :)
  9. Blackcatsrule

    Blackcatsrule Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 28, 2011
    Wow... such quick responses! I love this forum.

    Plan is for a small run attached to small coop (3 hens) that is wrapped in 1/2 inch hardware cloth which is also buried around all edges. Most of it can be made from materials we already have. The hardware cloth will probably be our only expense up until... feed, bedding, the chickens themselves... lol.

    When we let them out into the larger yard, we'll be around. Perhaps at some point we'll be inspired to build a larger run.

    Thanks for everyone's input!

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