Locking up the birds

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by GUSRENTIT, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. GUSRENTIT

    GUSRENTIT Out Of The Brooder

    31
    0
    32
    Nov 29, 2011
    Pueblo West, Co.
    Howdy, I've been reading a lot of posts, and I see that most of you lock up the chickens at night and let them out in the morning. Is this to protect them from predators? I plan on making several large tractor type coops, that will be predator proof. So I figured I could let them free to go in or out 24 x 7. Any advice? Thanks, Gus
     
  2. LoreenH

    LoreenH Chillin' With My Peeps

    413
    2
    121
    Jul 10, 2009
    Oregon
    We have a lot of raccoons and opossums in the city so I lock mine in the coop at night to keep them safe, otherwise they have the run of the backyard from whenever my husband opens the pen until dusk. I have seen an opossum and the neighbor saw a raccoon recently but none have broken into the pen so far; the pen is not predator proof but the coop is.
     
  3. giggleboxfarm

    giggleboxfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    115
    1
    101
    Apr 29, 2011
    Central KY
    My original coop was meant to be a tractor but its heavy lol. It is pretty predator proof. The bottom is 8x8x3, covered in chicken wire - the bottom too. There is a small door in the back below the doors to the coop. The coop part is 4x8x2-3 (roof slants) might be 3-4. We have a hole in the floor that has a ladder down to the run. At the time I'd meant to bring the ladder up nightly, but I hated to lock them in such a small area and it turned out to not be necessary. In theory, we could have predator problems because its only chicken wire, but its been almost 2 years.
     
  4. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

    7,480
    180
    298
    Feb 12, 2009
    Ohio
    I too tried to make a tractor for cooler weather. It was fine the way it was, then I had the bright idea to put sides on half and a lid that lifts, nice tractor, but it doesn't move now, way too heavy. Our john deer mower won't even pull it now. So much for bright ideas.
     
  5. GUSRENTIT

    GUSRENTIT Out Of The Brooder

    31
    0
    32
    Nov 29, 2011
    Pueblo West, Co.
    Thanks for the advice! BTW mstricer, My John Deere will pull it, it's a full size 410C 4x4 back hoe, LOL
     
  6. americanvalkyrie

    americanvalkyrie Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,056
    55
    171
    Nov 20, 2011
    Reno, NV
    We're about to build a better coop/run for that reason. SO FAR nothing has gotten into ours, but I used chicken wire, so it's not a guarantee. The new one will have hardware cloth, and the run will be fenced by some wire racks that a friend gave to us. We have raccoons and skunks in the city, but we also have a lot of people with gardens that are wintering over, and no snow layer yet. So maybe when food gets scarcer I'll have to worry more.
     
  7. giggleboxfarm

    giggleboxfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    115
    1
    101
    Apr 29, 2011
    Central KY
    My project right now is building smaller tractors for breeding. They are only intended to hold 3 maybe 4 total. Thus far I've got 2x4s for the bottom frame and pvc hooping over to hold up the fencing. This is my guinea pig and we haven't quite figured out the coop part. I haven't firmly decided whether to wire the floor. If I don't, then I need to close them into the coops at night - which means they need to be a little bigger and it'll be heavier. If I do.. then they can't get to the dirt and bathe.
    decisions decisions..
     
  8. sgtmom52

    sgtmom52 Birds & Bees

    This is why I lock mine up at night. This picture was taken inside of my run which is covered in aviary netting.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. redhen009

    redhen009 Out Of The Brooder

    15
    0
    22
    Dec 21, 2011
    If I were you I would lock them up at night simply because I'd rather be safe than sorry. Chickens won't get up or move around too much at night because they can't see well in the dark. I always lock up my coop at night because I don't want uninvited guests in. Like I said earlier, the chickens don't go anywhere at night so they wont be upset if you close the door up at night.
     
  10. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    5,532
    183
    273
    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    My birds never free range. They would be coyote dinner in less than 24 hours.

    Day time fencing is not covered (so far), but should keep out anything approaching at ground level.. The only threat from the air is bald eagles and so far they haven't been interested.

    At night, they are shut in a covered run. I've got Great Horned Owls to protect against and raccoons, that so far haven't been around during the day.

    Many predators aren't fussy about night or day. They can hunt any time. So you have to know what is in your area and what time of day they are likely to be a problem.

    Another reason to lock birds up at night is to get them to lay in the coop before they are let out.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by