Lock the door at night? Or not.....

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Leisa1968, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. Leisa1968

    Leisa1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2011
    Asheville, NC
    My chicks are 10 weeks old and now that they are FINALLY putting theirselves to bed at night in the coop, I have been locking them in. The problem is that they are going to bed about 5:30pm now because of the time change and it getting dark. I do not get out there in the mornings until about 8 or 8:30 to let them out. On nights that temps are in the 40s should I leave the door open to the run or close them up. They are in their for about 15 hours without food or water.......is that ok?[​IMG]
  2. ScottyHOMEy

    ScottyHOMEy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2011
    Waldo County, Maine
    How tight is their run against predators that might then go in through the open door?

    Close them up at night. Keep at least water in the coop for them. Feed if your/their schedule dictates it.
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    My run is built like fort knox along with my coop and still I could not sleep if I did not lock my chickens up for the night. As for no food for 15 hours, in the winter, that is too long. Chickens need to go to bed with a full crop and wake up and refill it to stay warm. The heat they produce comes from the feed. So if they are locked up for that long, you really need to leave them food so they can recharge in the morning. Chickens drink tons of water a day and it is not healthy to not allow them access to water when they are awake. My girls head right for the water after getting off the roost bar in the morning. So definitely leave them water in the coop along with food if you are unable to let them out earlier. [​IMG]
  4. Leisa1968

    Leisa1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2011
    Asheville, NC
    k thanks! I will go out now and put water and food in with them. I thought I should lock them up but I wasn't SURE. Thanks for the advise. Their coop is pretty secure but I have heard that racoons can chew through chicken wire. Their coop is in the middle of our goat pen, enclosed by itself, the goat pen has electric fencing around it (to keep bears out) but I'm still a little nervous about not locking them.......so they WILL be locked in at night. Thanks:D
  5. KarenP

    KarenP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    You made the best choice!!!
  6. Sassafras

    Sassafras Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2011
    Pretty much anything can bust through chicken wire. It is just made to keep chickens IN, not anything out unfortunately.
  7. Leisa1968

    Leisa1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2011
    Asheville, NC
    Thanks for the advice:)
  8. Mommy 2 Wee Ones

    Mommy 2 Wee Ones Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2011
    North Texas
    Is your coop big enough and have beams that you can put the hanging feed & water in there for them.
    That is the last thing I do before dusk, is refill their food & water. During the week they free range from 12 noon - bed time, unless we are going somewhere, then they get sent to their run. On weekends, 8 am - bed time, but I have two containers of water in the back yard for them, and every 3 - 4 hrs, I toss out treats to them. They get sent to bed about 30 - 45 min before dark, so they have a chance to eat some pellets & have another drink before hitting the roost.
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I agree with the decision to have food and water in the coop for them when they wake up. They are going to be hungry ans thirsty when they wake up. If they are hungry especially they can get into some bad habits relative to feather-picking and such. I can get kind of peckish myself if I'm hungry.

    I do not agree that 15 hours is too long of itself. There are plenty of people living south of the USA/Canada border that will have 15 hours of darkness where the chickens cannot see to eat, let alone teh nights our friends on Canada have. They will do fine. There is no need for people that live where there is that much darkness to panic or worry about providing light. Just have food available for them when they get up.

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