Locking chickens in coop vs leaving access to run?

KnightsMist

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Jan 18, 2019
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If you have a secure coop attached to a secure covered run (is that an oxy moron??), is it still necessary or advisable to lock chickens in the coop from dusk to dawn? Is there any benefit to leaving the door open to the run and letting chickens decide for themselves? Or is that just asking for trouble (ie predators) no matter how much you think your run is fort knox?
 

DobieLover

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If you have a secure coop attached to a secure covered run (is that an oxy moron??), is it still necessary or advisable to lock chickens in the coop from dusk to dawn? Is there any benefit to leaving the door open to the run and letting chickens decide for themselves? Or is that just asking for trouble (ie predators) no matter how much you think your run is fort knox?
I built my run to be as secure as my coop so I never close the pop door. They come and go as they please.
That said, they always sleep in the coop and lay in their nest boxes.
I open the door from their run to their 1/4-acre electronetted pen in the morning and lock it back up after they've gone to roost for the night.
 

Mrs. K

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Nov 12, 2009
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I leave mine open 24/7. Often times they are out and about when I get down there. It gives them more fresh air, more space, and more exercise, all good things. However, predators are going to be testing your set up just to make sure it is fort Knox, and more than once, have they succeeded on me. :barnie

But I fix it back up, do a little trapping, and try again.

Mrs K
 

FlyWheel

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Mar 19, 2016
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I lost two pullets to predators before I built their new coop and run. So I incorporated lots of protections into both, but between the two it's an open door policy. In fact the chicken openings don't even have doors. I figured anything that could get into the run would have no trouble breaking into the coop, "doors" or no.

I guess it was sufficient, I haven't lost a single bird to predators in the three years since.
 

rosemarythyme

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Jul 3, 2016
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In most cases I'd say coops are more secure than runs (a matter of cost - runs are larger and thus cost more to secure, and materials - coops are generally built of solid materials like wood, plastic or metal) so that's why locking up the coop is good practice for most keepers.

If you're confident in your run's security, then no you don't need to lock them in at night.
 

aart

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Nov 27, 2012
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Or is that just asking for trouble (ie predators) no matter how much you think your run is fort knox?
Could be.
Is your run also weather proofed?
If run is predator proof, and no wind can scream into the pop door when it's open, leave it open.
Curious as to why tho?
Pics of your coop and run?
 

Melky

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I trained mine to go up in coop at night with locking in. If they are in for night when pull feeders, I shut the door. If not they take themselves up. I have a roofed and secure coop/run. No predator issues meaning no deaths but dog has chased a few things off. I also lock in when particularly bad weather.
 
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