Leaving my chickens overnight- should I keep them shut in the coop until I get back?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by liz_s, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. liz_s

    liz_s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2010
    Washington State
    Hello!

    I'm going somewhere overnight this weekend. Depending on the advice I (hopefully) get from this post, I'll either be leaving before or after I put my three girls to sleep that night, but regardless I won't be returning until the afternoon of the next day.

    My coop isn't super big, but it's big enough that they comfortably hang out in there when it's too cold and they don't feel like coming out. The door to it is the size of a doggy-door. It's attached to a run that I can close so it's predator-proof. I can put food and water in there.

    I'm not sure if I should close the coop that night with food and water in there and just let them out the next afternoon, or if I should leave the coop door open overnight but close the run. For the first option, I just don't know how they would react to not being let out (they free-range in my backyard during the day). For the second option, I'm concerned that it's too cold and they might not fare well with the open door.

    I would appreciate any advice on this! It's the first time I've had to leave them overnight in the winter, and I am at a loss about what to do.

    Thanks!

    Liz
     
  2. Morrison CoupeDeVille

    Morrison CoupeDeVille Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 17, 2011
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    I'm also not sure what is best but we have always added food and water and shut them inside the coop and ours do great! :)
     
  3. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 16, 2012
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    The safest thing is to leave them in the coop. They are always in the coop at night, and you will come back in the afternoon to let them out of the coop.

    I think if they have food and water they will be fine.
     
  4. liz_s

    liz_s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2010
    Washington State
    Thanks! I was definitely leaning towards leaving them in the coop, and you guys have made me feel much better about doing it. I appreciate it!

    Liz
     
  5. Make sure they have plenty of ventilation if you lock them in. But most important, lots of fresh water and food. Of course you know that but had to say it.
     
  6. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 16, 2012
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    How did it work out?
     
  7. darin367

    darin367 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    don't know where in washington you are, i'm 20 miles from olympia..... i have 7 week olds in my coop and attached secure run..there is not even a door on my coop,, just a 2ft.x 2 ft. hole so they go in n out when they want... the cold is not a problem for them and it gets into the 20's........ they've been outside with no heat for 2 weeks......... so if your run is secure i'd leave the door open....
     
  8. DanEP

    DanEP Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2010
    Cadiz Ky
    They will be fine in the coop with food and water, just be prepared for the stink eye your gonna get for being late lol.
     
  9. liz_s

    liz_s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2010
    Washington State
    Well, good news, they all made it! And DanEP you were right about the stink eye! As soon as I opened up the door they all ran out. It was hilarious! Darin367 I'm in Spokane, and it was pretty windy last night, so I'm glad I left the door shut. As the weather gets warmer (hopefully) I will definitely be leaving the door open!

    Thanks for the advice everybody!

    Liz
     

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