Locking up the "Girls"

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Kuntry Klucker, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. Kuntry Klucker

    Kuntry Klucker Thekuntryklucker.blog

    Jun 9, 2010
    Tennesee Smoky Mts.
    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]

  2. kcwazzu

    kcwazzu Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 30, 2011
    Auburn, WA
    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.

  3. epeloquin

    epeloquin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2011
    Western Massachusetts
    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

    Aug 12, 2009
    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

    Apr 21, 2009
    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

    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    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

    May 18, 2009
    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

    Aug 7, 2011
    Piedmont of NC
    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

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    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

    Aug 4, 2011
    Boonies, NH
    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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