Night-time lock up=How long?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by talkin turkey, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. talkin turkey

    talkin turkey In the Brooder

    Jun 13, 2008
    I have been currently been putting pieces of plywood over my chickens holes that lead to the run. I am doing this because I read that you should do this when you first take your chickies out to the coop so they can get used to where to sleep. My question is how long do I need to be locking them in at night?[​IMG]
    Thanks- Turkey
  2. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    Hmmm....well, I never covered the door so they couldn't get outside, but maybe I can be of some help. When we put our chicks outside, I just put them in the coop, and let them wander in and out whenever they wanted. They go inside the coop by themselves once it's dark outside. We usually close them up in the coop around 9 at night, and let them out first thing in the morning.
  3. rodandbrandy

    rodandbrandy In the Brooder

    Jan 14, 2008
    We do the same thing! [​IMG]
  4. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    I usually leave them locked in for a week then begin letting them out about an hour before dark for a week. After I know they will go in by themselves at night I let them out in the mornings. Usually, at least in my yard, new birds, especially chicks, won't go back in on their own to begin with. I have to go out and put them in until they understand the routine, but leaving them up till they understand where home is really helps. I also keep all feed inside, to get them to go in to feed (as well as to keep it dry) and their water outside, to insure they also go out and not just sit in the coop all day. Yes, I've had it happen. [​IMG]
  5. talkin turkey

    talkin turkey In the Brooder

    Jun 13, 2008
    thanks. I have been locking them in for a week so far. They are big chickens so I think I will leave them out tonight and see how it works.

    - Turkey
  6. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    All of mine, no matter what age, always get locked away in the coop from sundown to sunup, I've never had a predator attack this way.
  7. talkin turkey

    talkin turkey In the Brooder

    Jun 13, 2008
    I have a run for my chickens. They are not free range. I guess I should have told that in my post.

  8. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I think the different answers are because some people are thinking free range and you actually keep yours in a run.

    I think it's always a good thing to keep them locked up inside the coop for a few days before even letting them out into the run. That way they should learn to roost inside.

    If you decide you want to free range then you want to keep them locked inside the coop and run for a couple of weeks before actually letting them out so that they know to come back to the coop at dusk.

    I would never leave chickens outside (even in a secure run) at night. I would highly encourage you to lock them up inside and let them out during the day only. Predators are so good at what they do ... you will be far more likely to lose chickens if they are not locked inside at night.
  9. talkin turkey

    talkin turkey In the Brooder

    Jun 13, 2008
    ok i will try putting them in every night

  10. antiquebuff

    antiquebuff Songster

    Feb 27, 2008
    Franklin, NC
    We lock up every night and let out every am. We are just so afraid of predators. We used hardware cloth all over but we just wont take a chance!

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