New coop...going out of town

ssramage

Songster
8 Years
Mar 8, 2013
76
80
124
St. Simons Island, GA
Question for the experts here... we're about two weeks into having our coop. Our 3 chickens are doing great. I have been manually opening/closing the coop door into the run each day/night, but we are going out of town for the weekend.

Should I just leave the door open all weekend? The coop seems fairly secure, only concern would be digging into the run. We have not had any predator issues so far.
 
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room onthebroom

Animal-a-holic
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
May 4, 2015
12,421
116,621
1,557
100 Acre Wood Pooh Corner, USA
Question for the experts here... we're about two weeks into having our coop. Our 3 chickens are doing great. I have been manually opening/closing the coop door each day/night, but we are going out of town for the weekend.

Should I just leave the door open all weekend? The coop seems fairly secure, only concern would be digging into the run. We have not had any predator issues so far.



I would definitely not leave the coop door open. Some people do it, but for me, its not worth the risk. There are lots of different types of auto doors out there that not only work great when you're out of town, but are also extremely convenient for every day use. If an auto door is not an option, maybe there is a friend/family member/neighbor/kid from church/petsitter that could come by twice a day to let them in & out.
 

JurassicBawk

Songster
Jun 23, 2016
284
546
161
Hixson, TN
My chickens don't sleep inside their house, which is securely inside the 10x10 coop. I'm talking built completely under my deck, against my house, 3 layers of protection/hardware cloth on the chainlink panels plus hardware cloth on the ground for a digging skirt, inside a fenced yard, with dogs that will alert at night. They sleep on top of the house, only going inside it during really bad weather or to use the nest box. If you know that your full coop (meaning house and run) is actually secure, then you can probably chance leaving the house door open with them secure inside the coop.

However... a friend went on vacation and left her 6 chickens at home with a relative that went by and let them in/out. It was a small starter coop with an open run. She came home to only 2 surviving chickens, as something figured out that there was a chicken buffet with nobody watching it during the day/evening. So be sure, or be prepared to lose some. Everything likes the taste of chicken.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
15,758
30,198
1,052
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
If there is no other option and you feel the run is fairly secure, yes you can leave the door open. If at all possible have a neighbor or friend stop by and just open and shut the door.

Consider installing an auto door in the future if you do travel with any regularity. I rarely travel but we have one for peace of mind on those rare occasions, and so that we don't have to rush home to shut the door at sundown if we're out at dinner or whatever. I wouldn't add it right now since you don't have time to install or test one.
 

imnukensc

Crowing
May 22, 2017
1,633
3,615
319
SC Midlands
I never shut the pop door from the coop into the run, but my run is completely covered and quite secure. My chickens free range daily on a little over 2 acres from about 9:30 AM when I let them out of the run until they put themselves to bed at night and I close up the run. When I am gone for a few days they have the fairly spacious run and I am certain they still feel confined in it. I would never lock them in the coop for even a day. That's what works for me, my climate, and my chickens. YMMV
 

blackdog043

Crowing
Feb 19, 2017
2,348
3,919
396
SE PA
Can you post a picture of your set up?
Is there enough food and water inside the coop, if you would lock them inside?
Is your coop big enough and vented enough to keep them locked inside?
If you feel comfortable about leaving your coop door open while your away, than I say go for it, but I would get an apron around the whole thing asap, to stop any potential diggers.

I never close my coop up, it's always open to the run, even when I'm gone for a week at a time, with no one looking after them. It's all 1/2" hardware cloth, with a solid roof and I have an apron running around the coop and run. I really don't worry about anything getting inside. They also have plenty of food and water to last them, I have two feeders and waterers for 18 chickens.
 

Cacique500

Songster
6 Years
Jun 2, 2013
441
118
181
Atlanta, Georgia
A picture would help. If your run is really secure you should have no problem leaving the door open. I think you said you were concerned about digging around the edge of the run. You can lay down a 18" to 24" strip of hardware cloth around the perimeter (and hold it down with landscaping staples)...that should prevent anything from digging in.

20150614_184550.jpg


You can see here how I laid down the hardware cloth when we were building the run. Grass has grown up through it now so you can't even see it. I had a high end auto door on it but kept having issues, so now they have free reign to go between the coop/run day and night. No issues whatsoever with predators getting in.
 

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