Pop Door and the necessity to close when inside a secure run.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Knoble Chickens, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. Knoble Chickens

    Knoble Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 17, 2017
    Spanaway WA
    I did a quick search, didn't see a answer that was satisfactory.

    How necessary is it to close the pop door at night if the run is reliably secure? I am looking at a auto opener like ChickSafe, but the near $200 price is a bit steep. With the possible predator threat at my place being relatively low, and my run that I am constructing being, in my mind, secure enough to keep out any possible bad actors, do I really need to spend the money? I don't believe I can be reliable enough to know I will be there when I need to to let the cacklers out every morning, and remember every night to close it up.

    Your thoughts and experiences will be greatly appreciated!
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    If your run can keep out all comers, there is no need to close the chicken door. The more ventilation the better.

    Just make sure there are no openings in the run over 1/2", diggers can't get in and nimble fingers can't work latches.
    I assume you're covering all the run including roof with 1/2" hardware cloth.
  3. Knoble Chickens

    Knoble Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 17, 2017
    Spanaway WA
    The run will have a sheet metal roof, and 1/2 HC throughout. Gate latch on run door with carabiner lock is the only way in, besides egg door that will have two barrel latches. No foxes or coyotes can get in yard, raccoons not a problem in my neighborhood, plus my very active Scotties can and do run (explode) out a automatic dog door to investigate strange sounds 24/7/365. I live in the middle of suburbia, if that helps....
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
  4. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Chicken Obsessed

    Hi. [​IMG]

    It partly depends on your location. When I lived in the city in So Cal, never once locked my birds up or experienced loss.

    Now in the PNW, surrounded by forest and state parks, the threat is high from lots of predators and I lock them up every day.

    Thing about the run, to me is... some people put a skirt coming out above the ground to prevent diggers. But I would prefer it to go under the ground to stop the gophers and any other potentials that might use their holes to gain access inside the coop.

    To me cats are no worry unless you have chicks and they probably won't be able to get in your run. WE have raccoons, opossum, mountain lion, and tons of others. Not sure if the weasel family moves through underground tunnels or not but they are vicious and can get in very small holes. Also if you aren't collecting your feed daily, you might get visitors looking for that such as mice or rats. Both are a problem and can chew on your hens legs as they sleep as well as stealing eggs and spreading disease through their urine and feces such as leptospirosis.

    Not real fond of auto doors as they are not fool proof at all. What if someone gets locked out for the night or the power fails and there is no way to get out? The convenience sure would be nice though and I have considered it many times, just haven't moved that direction yet. Make sure your roosts in your run are not higher than those in your coop or you will likely get some outdoor sleepers. And hardware cloth is much more effective than chicken wire.

    You may get many answers... and all are right for the person using them. Take things mentioned into consideration and do what you think will work best for you. Sometimes it doesn't and you have to switch it up, par for the course in chicken keeping. [​IMG]

    Other considerations is, when down south I only had 3 birds. Now I have 56. So my loss would be much greater and harder to replace. So I play it safe instead of sorry. But their have been times I forgot to close the door after waiting for someone to go in and not discover it until the next day when I go to let them out. No loss those nights. But I have a neighbor who leaves his coop door open and light on all the time I don't know if there is a closed run but don't think so. And he has lost 3 of his birds recently... though they are mistaken about which predator they thought it was according to the clues they told me. But they won't hear it. [​IMG]

    I do know of other people on here that never close their pop doors either and haven't had any problems. SO it's a very personal choice.

    Sorry if I didn't help much. Best wishes! [​IMG]
  5. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    If raccoons are in that of Washington then they are lurking in your neighborhood, you just don't see them.

    The only thing you didn't mention was a skirt around the run to prevent digging under.

    I would bury the HC about 6 inches down and 18 inches or so from the base of the run.
  6. Knoble Chickens

    Knoble Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 17, 2017
    Spanaway WA
    I have cinder blocks all around run, buried to grade, on top (and buried in) some of the rockiest earth you have ever seen. There are no moles, they can't dig in it. My dogs, one of the most prone to dig breeds, don't dig in it. Heck, I can hardly dig in it. One cubic foot of soil will yield at least 4-6 softball sized rocks or bigger, not to mention countless golf ball sized. I am not worried about diggers.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
  7. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a secure run and coop with electric fence attached to it for the many predators. i leave pop door open all the time. I close it if it will get to -10F overnight. No reason to close it otherwise, I realized...carabiner and rotating hasp locks on all openings...
  8. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2013
    Kalispell MT
    I never close my pop door. Run is as secure as I could make it. Three sides of the run are covered in clear plastic shower curtains to prevent breezes getting in the coop. Everything is surrounded by electric poultry netting. The coop is 2 years old and so far no predator has gotten inside to get my chickens.

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