Newbie question about locking the coop up at night...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Sundayknight, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. Sundayknight

    Sundayknight New Egg

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    I was wondering if it is really necessary to lock the chickens in the coop at night? If my run / coop area is safe from preds, do I need to go lock them up each night, or will they just go into the coop, and come out in the morning? I am just curious about the reason for locking them in every night.
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I lock mine to keep predators out
     
  3. Californichicken

    Californichicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Our run is just as safe from predators as our coop but I still lock the girls in at night. If we don't close the hole in the floor (where they gain access to the coop), they all sit in a circle around the hole with their necks craned down the hole, waiting to see what might come up the hole. Not a very nice sleeping environment. If your chickens don't mind, your run is TRULY secure and it's warm enough that you don't need to close the door for heat, I think it's alright to leave it open.
     
  4. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's for predator protection. Even if your run is very secure, usually a solid coop is even more secure...and predators can't even see your chickens inside.

    Because I live in a place with hot summers, my summer coop/run is roofed, but open on three sides. I just made it as secure as possible with 1/2 inch hardware cloth, double reinforced the seams, hardware cloth apron, etc.
     
  5. chickbea

    chickbea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2007
    Vermont
    It depends on how secure you think your run is. My run is covered and surrounded by electric fencing, so I do leave my coop door open all night long. However, if I know that something is on the prowl on a certain night, I may go out and shut the door (but the girls don't like it - I hear them yelling to be let out first thing!).
     
  6. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There was a post not too long ago about the same exact thing--you might want to look for that. You would be amazed at what predators can do to get to your chickens, especially if they are visible, like roosting in the run...Tear through chicken wire, squeeze through 2" gaps, climb over any fence, pry open door edges, undo latches, etc...MUCH easier to make a coop predator-proof.
     
  7. M To The Maxx

    M To The Maxx Baseball+Girls=Life

    Jul 24, 2009
    Lutz,FL
    LOCK IT UP NO MATTER WHAT. YOU WOULD BE SURPRISED HOW ANIMALS CAN GET IN PLACES.
     
  8. Peeplperson

    Peeplperson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My coop is inside of the run which is totally enclosed with 1/2 inch hardware cloth. I have a doorway between the two, but never close or lock it. The chickens always go into their roosts at night, and use the nesting boxes to lay. I feel pretty confident that my chickens are safe. And so far, so good.

    I think it depends on the precautions you took when building your structure.
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    It is quite a lot harder to 100% predatorproof a run than it is to 100% predatorproof a coop. And it is incredibly easy and common for people to THINK their run is predatorproof when, in reality, pile of bloody feathers out there one morning.

    Those who do not believe me, browse the Predators and Pests section of BYC, and note how many threads about "Something Ate My Favorite Chicken(s)!" are coming from people who, by their own admission, were SURE nothing could possibly get in.

    And then remember that when YOU are sure that nothing can possibly get in.

    JMHO,

    Pat
     
  10. glassparman

    glassparman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have even seen a video of a Coyote standing on the roof of a poorly constructed coop. He was pouncing up and down to make the tin roof cave in.

    I lock mine up every night in a coop constructed with the same process for building a home . . . 2x4 walls, plywood roof with asphalt shingles.

    I have lost several chickens to Bobcats . . . they were smart enough to pry at the chicken wire until it came loose from the side of the coop - drive through chicken dinner!
     

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