Staying in Coop at Night or Not

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kschicks2013, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. kschicks2013

    kschicks2013 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2012
    Fernley, Nevada
    Hi, I'm new to chickens...love them. My question is: Do they have to be locked in their coop at night or can they go in and out if they want of their coop into their run. Their run and coop are enclosed of course and the coops are inside a Chain Link 10x10x6 enclosure that has smaller wire mesh buried and up about half of each panel. I also have hot wire on the bottom and the top of the enclosure. Can you say overly protective. In the winter months I can shut them in so they will stay warm and cozy.

    Second question, what is the best bedding for the nest boxes? I am going to use the sand/gravel method on the floor under the roost as well as the entire run and enclosure. What do you think about that. Thanks for your comments and assistance.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    In my opinion the excelsior pads are the best for nests.
    If the entire space is predator proof they don't need to be locked up.
    The issue is that chickens are night blind and will find a place to sleep at dusk and won't move until dawn.
    There is no reason for them to roam or have food or water at night because they won't.
     
  3. kschicks2013

    kschicks2013 Chillin' With My Peeps

    177
    17
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    Nov 19, 2012
    Fernley, Nevada
    Hi, thanks for the reply.....great..then I won't worry about locking them up in the house.....the entire space is as predator proof as it can be....if any predator gets in this fortress then nothing will keep them out. I also have motion sensor lights around the area which I hope will deter any predators as well. The reason I asked about locking them in is I want to make sure they have plenty of ventilation. These coops I bought had inadequate ventilation so I had to drill holes to make more ventilation. I am just overly concerned that they will be comfortable and happy. I guess you could call me a Mother Hen. HA HA
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    You are so correct to worry about ventilation. Most manufactured coops are inadequate in that area. Worse yet they exaggerate how many birds will fit.
    I use the rule of thumb of 1 sq. ft. of ventilation per bird.
    Show me a manufactured coop that has 1 sq. ft. of opening for every bird they claim their coops will house and I'll eat my words.
     

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