Open top coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by rhodesfarm, May 17, 2011.

  1. rhodesfarm

    rhodesfarm In the Brooder

    May 16, 2011
    We are relatively new to chickens. We have guinea fowl as tick control and are thinking about introducing some laying hens to our farm. We currently lock our guineas into a large dog kennel at night with a covered top. But, we are considering making the kennel/coop into one with a partially open top so that the guineas can come and go as they see fit.

    Has anyone had any success with such a configuration? We have load of predators- coyotes, fox, and who knows what else on our 40 acres. So, my biggest concern is whether or not such things can scale kennel fence "walls".

    Thanks much in advance for any words of wisdom!

  2. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    Raccoons and possums can climb in. Owls and hawks can fly in.
  3. VelvettFog

    VelvettFog Songster

    Apr 7, 2011
    Yakima, WA
    You ever seen a 'yote jump? You'd need at least a 5' fence in my opinion, and then still ... I lock mine up tight as a drum at night - and let them free range all day.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:'Most everything can scale those walls. Raccoons, possums and foxes especially.

    You could keep out climbers with the right configuration of electric wire, at least "except at the times the electric fence fails, which they all do *sometimes*"... however there is absolutely no way to keep out owls/hawks and yet let the guinea fowl fly in/out.

    If it were just for daytime I'd say it probably isn't a super high risk to try it; but to leave the coop open that way at *night*, well, the odds are not in your favor. Certainly you might luck out for some while without losses (it is really a turkey-shoot WHEN a predator will hit) but as soon as one critter discovers the buffet, you're SUNK.

    GOod luck with your decision,

  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I wouldn't risk it if I was may find your chickens and guineas have turned into sitting ducks.
  6. rhodesfarm

    rhodesfarm In the Brooder

    May 16, 2011
    Thanks all! I was thinking that is what you all would say but I was hoping to be able to let the guineas come and go in the early AM hours as they please. I appreciate the advice!

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