My coop is underway...question?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chickenkate17, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. Chickenkate17

    Chickenkate17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2010
    The coop is over half way coming soon! I have a question, my chickens will be mainly free range and then brought into the coop/enclosed run at night. Do they need to be locked in the coop?? (e.g., does the coop area need a door??) Will having an open door mess with their sleep cycle or anything?? Thanks, I'm a newbie!
  2. walbarbsa

    walbarbsa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 1, 2008
    Castroville, Texas
    We were all newbies, at one point. But no, don't worry about the open door. Some of my chickens roost on top of the coop, in a tree, etc. None of my coops even have doors. When I had only a few chickens, I had a small coop with a door and I brought them in at night and closed door....then I forgot a couple of problem. Now I have doorless coops. Fortunately, though, I don't have any predators out here that the dogs don't scare off....though there was one drunk human.....[​IMG]
  3. Chickenkate17

    Chickenkate17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2010
    Thanks!! Drunk human.....must be a funny story....
  4. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    Depends...there are predators everywhere, even in town. Coons, possums, rats, weasels, martins, bobcats, even snakes! I definitely would have a door that could be closed and locked (coons are VERY handy with their paws!) I don't mean with a key, but a secure latch of some sort. Not to mention owls, cats, dogs. If you are willing to face the possibility of losing every chicken you have...then sure, go ahead and leave the coop open. You will probably get by with for a while (how long depends on where you live) OR, you could lose them all in one night. Just read a post on here earlier about that happening to someone who left their chicks in a chicken tractor the very first night and something got one of them. So, you help you decide, type in predator in the search box and read some of the horror stories of chickens with their heads or wings ripped off or completely missing, or just killed and left.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2010
  5. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    My Coop
    We generally close up the coop at night but when we're on vacation we leave it open. The neighbor kids feed and water them while we're gone but we don't want to burden them in having to come over at night to close up.
  6. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    If your run is totally enclosed and predator-proof you might get away with it. I made a pvc hoop style run totally covered with wire (not the chicken wire, but 1x2 welded wire) with 2 feet of wire staked down to the ground around it so nothing can get under. I would feel pretty confident in leaving my chicks in that over night as that is what I have been doing for 3 months now, and I know we have coyotes as well as all the usual predators. But if I am home, they will be shut in the coop, with the door closed.
  7. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2008
    Portage County, Ohio
    I have a wall across the width of the coop made of a 2x4 frame with hardware cloth and a wooden screen door inside the coop, across the width of the building to block it off so the large main front door can be left open, so the hens aren't smothered with locked up doors. I got the screen door at Lowes I think, and covered it with more small mesh hardware cloth so the girls were safe from predators. The open section is where I have a brooder pen and some feed bins and buckets with grit and oyster shell etc. It is a very satisfactory set up... I'll have to go take some pics!

    I've had raccoons make attempts at the divider, they've left a pile of poo or two to show they were there. The hens were grumpy but safe!

    The hens are locked up behind the hardware cloth, but the door of the coop is open for air. The pop door is closed and latched from the inside, my hens free range during the day but get locked up tight at dusk.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2010
  8. OregonChickenGal

    OregonChickenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    Central Oregon
    I always close the coop door at night. I'm always up by 5am to open it up again. You never know what's going to get in there some how at night. Even if you think it's predator proof, it happens.
  9. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    May 6, 2010
    My Coop
    Hi Chickenkate17, you should read the last couple days posts over in the predator section. It's very typical and will give you an idea of the types of bad things that might come after your birds at night. Living in the city also offers no special protection from predators. It's best to think about these potential issues as you're building your coop. Good luck with finishing it up.
  10. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    If you're confident about your run being secure enough and/or there not being any predators in your area, I'd say leave the door open. In the summer I leave my chickens' pop hole open cause the sun comes up at 4am and they like to be up and about long before I would be waking up to open it for them!

    I just started shutting their pop hole at night again recently cause I have a rat that runs in and out stealing food all night long. I'm hoping that by depriving him of the food he will go elsewhere...

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