My chicks are only a few days old BUT


10 Years
Nov 16, 2009
Midland, TX
When they are old enough to go outside we have built them a coop. My husband says they will let themselves in at night and out in the morning so he doesn't want to lock their "door". I told him to do it so predators don't get in.

What do you do?


10 Years
Jul 14, 2009
The Beautiful Pacific NW ,WA
My chickens have a wire run and I don't close the run door at night. they do put themselves to bed. we don't have a big predator problem but if predators are a problem in your area i would suggest you make is closeable.


10 Years
May 11, 2009
Cincinnati, Ohio
There are two ways to approach this -- let him "Live and Learn" which might not turn out so well for the chicks... or INSIST. I have a friend who lost so many flocks, not just birds, flocks, to predators that a number of local breeders who won't sell to her.

If he doesn't lock them up at night is isn't a question of "if" the bad guys will get the hens, but "when". Responsible owners take care of their birds.



11 Years
May 23, 2008
Peterborough, ON
I have a really un-predator proof hasp on my popdoor lol that I'm sure a raccoon could open if it felt like it, but I do lock them up at night. We haven't had a problem yet, but I think one deterrent when locking up is to close your run door too. I see a lot of people around here not closing their run doors, but locking up their chickens at night, I think your run is your first line of defense if you have chickens and you lock them up.

If that made any sense, and you stuck through the whole thing... I am so proud of you LOL..


10 Years
Aug 8, 2009
Teays Valley, West Virginia
We lock our door at 9 pm, long after they have gone to roost. We open the door to the run at 9-11 am in the winter and about 8 am in the summer, so that the Roo doesn't disturb anyone's sleep. We also keep the gate to the run closed.. especially since we provide fresh greens and snacks in the run daily.

We found it very important to lock them up (or you could get an automatic door on a timer) Predators have nothing but time on their hands, and I suppose it just all depends on what your chickens are worth to you. Ours are our babies... and it sounds like you are quite attached too!

You get my vote on this one! I say take the few minutes to lock them up!


10 Years
Dec 21, 2009
Our flock is about 7 weeks old now, and are in a secure and covered run, and we have started leaving their door from the coop to the run open all night and they are just fine. As long as they are feathered up, they will be able to keep plenty warm.

Just for reference, an adult chicken generates as much as 135 BTU's of heat per hour, so if they have well developed, clean, dry feathers they will be well insulated. More chooks die of too much heat than freeze to death...

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9 Years
Feb 23, 2010
Pleasant Shade, TN
I am a newbie and not taking ANY chances ... I am going to keep them locked tight at night. I can only imagine what kind of nocturnal predators are out there. And I have heard from to many people on BYC all the predator problems.

I am just building my coop right now and I am going through all the frame work making sure no cracks, drafts or other opportunities for any thing to get into the coop (like snakes, mice or creepy crawlies )


11 Years
Apr 9, 2008
Minneapolis, MN
My Coop
My Coop
No way would I leave my door open all night. And I'm in the city -- you'll be surprised at the action that's going to be attracted to your backyard once you add a chicken-dinner-at-the-waiting...

Well, your husband is right - they will put themselves to bed at night. But unless your run is bomb-proof, and I mean REALLY reliable, then you will need to go out and close/lock up their door. Besides, they're sleeping at night. Going out in the morning to open a pop door will take, oh, 30 seconds - not a big price to pay for piece of mind.

Believe me, there are plenty of folks here on the BYC that don't lock up the chickens at night, but there are also lots of people on the pred forum saying they never thought an attack would happen to them either...
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