Locking up the "Girls"

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Roy Rooster, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. Roy Rooster

    Roy Rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi All, [​IMG]

    I am for the first time finding my self in a dilemma as a chicken keeper.

    For the past 7 months I have religiously put my girls to bed every night
    at dusk and locked up the coop.

    Tomorrow night I have to be somewhere and my husband also has an obligation and
    not one will be here to lock up the ladies till about 8:30pm. [​IMG]

    My question is will they be okay? The sun sets here at about 5:30pm.
    They do have a very secure coop and pen with a enclosed top.

    Am I just panicking or do I really need to be concerned about not being able to lock
    them up at sun down but rather a few hours after the sun sets? [​IMG]

    Thanks
     
  2. kcwazzu

    kcwazzu Out Of The Brooder

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    I've gone out a few times to open the pop door only to find I "forgot" to close it the night before. As long as the run is secure they should be fine.

    Keith
     
  3. epeloquin

    epeloquin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They'll be just fine. As long as your run is secure I wouldn't worry at all. There are a lot of nights we don't get their pop door closed until late. Once my girls go to roost they are there for the night. I wouldn't worry about it.
     
  4. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

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    I actually forgot to close the door one time. I still had coons around too. Hopefully all will be well. In the beginning I used to lock them up EVERY time I left the home. Now I just let them roam the yard and hope for the best each time I come home.So either leave them out or lock them up early before you go.
     
  5. Jay262

    Jay262 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Leave them inside for the day. There is no such thing as a predator proof run. They will most likely be fine outside but theres always a chance and nonthing will hurt them being kept inside for a day.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  6. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I guess the question is, how devastated will you be if tonight is the night that a predator discovers your chickens? If your run is very secure, then chances are they'll be fine. But there's always that off chance that a predator could get in. If you'd be a total wreck if one of your pets was injured or killed, then it may be best to lock them up early (or see if a neighbor could do it). I leave my pop door open 24/7, but I live in town with a large dog in the yard so I feel that lowers my risk of predation a bit. I understand that I am taking a chance, but for me it is a risk I am willing to take (same thing with letting my birds "free range" in the yard while I'm gone to work).
     
  7. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    If your run is absolutely secure, I wouldn't worry. I never close the coop doors at night, I just make sure the run doors are closed. Nothing can get in our runs (please don't let this be a jinx).
     
  8. cravenchx

    cravenchx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There are many nights I don't get to
    lock up before 7:30 or 8. As long as the
    run is secure.
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    There are no guarantees.
    I've had possums and coons grab a chicken from a coop when I didn't get home till after dark.
    I once forgot to close up a coop and a possum got in, ate the eggs and left the hens alone.(good thing there were eggs)
    One coop has numerous pop doors over different garden beds and into various pens. I realized one had been closed but unlocked for 2 months and nothing found out.

    If you give a neighbor a dozen eggs I'm sure they'll come over and close up for you.
     
  10. geoff40

    geoff40 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you do that every night, chances are eventually something will get them. For 1 time though, I think you'd have to have some exceptionally bad luck to have something kill them. I wouldn't worry too much. (ps I stress a bit when I can't lock mine up at dusk too, so I know how you feel!)
     

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