lock em' up or let em' out?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by rypie13, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. rypie13

    rypie13 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 6, 2008
    We have a completely enclosed pen and coop. For now our chicks are little, so they need a little warmth at night. In the future however when the nights are warmer, is it best to lock them up at night or keep the door to the coop open to the pen? My hubby is pretty positive that they are safe, I just don't want to take a chance- but I don't want the girls uncomfortable either!
     
  2. flip9109

    flip9109 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    my coop dosn't have a door on it. it is inside the pen which has a roof on it. I open the door to the pen and let them roam around the yard (6ft privacy fence all around) during the day and close it at night. they have access to the pen at all times.
     
  3. pixiechick

    pixiechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I say lock'em up! That's what I do. Better safe than sorry. Besides the more locks a can get between the cluckers and the genius coons around here, the better.
     
  4. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

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    What is the pen enclosed with? Animals like coyotes, dogs, weasels and coons can get through things like chicken wire.
     
  5. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Depends on your predators. If you have no nocturnal preds that will come round and have at your birds, then leave the door open.
    If you do have them, then locking them up is a safe bet.
     
  6. rypie13

    rypie13 Out Of The Brooder

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    We have a wood fence, then chicken wire with a treated base plate. We are in an established neighborhood in UT. (Lots of backyard chickens here!) The only real threat is the dogs, but most are in at night- and would have to go under our 6ft fence and then get to the coop. It is more of what I don't know that I am worried about. We have tied up all the seams in the wire with wire ties so very little gaps and have bricked all around the base of the coop too. I have never seen a skunk, but we know they are out there somewhere!
     
  7. S0rcy

    S0rcy Chillin' With My Peeps

    My chickens were much happier when I let them into the yard with us. They have lots of cover from predatory birds, we are able to keep a weather eye on them. They follow me around when I call to them. They get put back in their pen at night [​IMG]
     
  8. pixiechick

    pixiechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I see nothing wrong with letting them out during the day, especially when you're around, but shutting and latching a door in the evening takes so little effort and keeps your birds safer. Why wouldn't you do it?[​IMG]
     
  9. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Even in a nice residential neighborhood owls, possums, raccons and other critters do scurry around in the cloak of darkness and for the most part go completly unnoticed.

    Most people don't realize that chicken wire made today is not the same as made 50 years ago. A raccoon can tear through it if it really wants a chicken dinner. Chicken wire keeps chickens in. It isn't great at keeping other things out.

    Be on the safe side and make it a habit to go out at dusk and lock down the coop and shut the birds in until morning. There are so many sad stories of coops left open and thought to be predator proof only to find the entire flock headless and left laying on the ground - usually by racoons or possums or weasels.
     

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