Should I leave the gate open?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by gringold, Oct 21, 2015.

  1. gringold

    gringold Out Of The Brooder

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    May 2, 2015
    Hello,
    I'm going out of town for three days and am trying to decide whether to leave the run gate open or closed. I have an automatic coop door that operates at dawn and dusk and I have a sufficient sized waterer and feeder for the time I will be gone. My concern is that my chickens tend to get out of the run on their own at times. Just this morning, one of them was out when I went to open the gate. I have been letting them free range in my yard all day for about a week now. I live in a neighborhood where most people have fenced in backyards and I live in the city. My yard is completely fenced in and the chickens have lots of areas to roam. I don't think they will try to get out of the fence. I'm also not too worried about dogs. I am a little worried about raccoons, but they could get into the run anyway if they wanted to. My coop is very secure. My concern is; should I leave the gate closed and the chickens that stay in the run will be better protected, but the ones who don't will be locked out the whole time or should I leave it open and let them come and go as they please? Thanks for the help.
    (by the way, clipping their wings is not an option right now since I am by myself)
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2015
  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    Your coop and run will be completely unsecure if you leave the gate open. You might consider covering with run with poultry netting to discourage birds from flying out.
     
  3. gringold

    gringold Out Of The Brooder

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    May 2, 2015
    Thank you for your reply. My coop will not be secure during the day, but since it closes itself at night, it will be secure then. I have tried poultry netting before and it didn't work well, but I have raised the fence line since then. Maybe it will work this time.
     
  4. N F C

    N F C Home in WY Premium Member

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    Sorry if you already said and I just missed this but do you have someone coming over to check on your chickens while you are gone? You said your coop would not be secure in the day and I'm thinking some predators could come inside during the day while the coop is open. If you knew someone that was willing to drop by your place every day, just to do a quick check maybe in exchange for eggs, that could be helpful.
     
  5. gringold

    gringold Out Of The Brooder

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    May 2, 2015
    Since my last post, I put up the bird netting. I left them in the run and coop. I wish I did have someone to check on them, but none of my friends do chickens. I think they will be fine. (Hope) I'll find out tomorrow. Thanks for the advice.
     
  6. gringold

    gringold Out Of The Brooder

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    May 2, 2015
    The chickens were fine. I am so thankful for the advice about the bird netting. I had tried it before, but that was with my original fence. After one of the great chicken escapes and adventures, I put some garden netting that I had above my five foot fence. I was hoping that would be enough, but one side couldn't go up the three feet that the other sides did and I think that was where they were getting out. Now that there is a higher framework, the bird netting is as high as the coop front (6 ft.) and hopefully will keep them in. The run is completely covered now. I really hope there are no more chicken adventures in the near future.
     

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