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time allowed in run.... lock up at night?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ducks_rcool329, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. ducks_rcool329

    ducks_rcool329 Songster

    Apr 17, 2011
    Black Forest, Colorado
    So i just finished my chicken coop and run, and I moved them out today. For tonight, I locked them into the actually coop, and locked the door that goes to the run. The run is fully enclosed with hardware cloth on the bottom, and then chicken wire all around the sides and top. Our poultry area is fenced off with a 6 foot fence berried 1 foot in the ground, then with 4 electric fence wires ( charged at 8 joules) at various heights along the fence, one is a few inches from the ground,t hen each line is about a foot apart. I have never in 3 years, had a single problem, let alone a sighting of a predator.

    Anyways, on to my question, can I let them have access to their run 24/7 when the weather permits, or should I keep shutting them in at night. Thanks [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011

  2. raimnel

    raimnel Songster

    I and most I know close them into the coop at night. how old are your birds? my older birds have access to the run but by 5 are "in bed" and don't venture out into the run. however in the a.m. before I get my butt out of bed they are always in the run, then I get up and let them free roam. my young ones got locked into the coop AND run for a week then set free however for the first 3-4 days I had to put them into the coop everynight cause they were confused. you can avoid that by locking them into the coop for a week+ did I answer your question. lol

    oh and [​IMG] electric fence!
  3. We have a VERY secure pen but always put them in the coop at night. It's not as if they need nightlife options anyway - they're happy on the roosts in the coop. And I figure if they're in the pen it 's just tantalizing to any predators wandering around out there.
  4. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Crowing

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    I don't have all that stuff cuz I have to many chickens and the expense is just to much. However I do have covered runs and let them out into my fenced in yard if I'm home. Lots of room. I shoo them into the run about eight pm and then lock them into the coop at dark.

    Recently lost one and don't know how, so I count heads and don't take any chances.
  5. ducks_rcool329

    ducks_rcool329 Songster

    Apr 17, 2011
    Black Forest, Colorado
    Quote:They are 8 weeks old, and they don't ever leave their run to free range ( they are bantams, and can fly). The door that leads from the coop to the run is close-able, and lockable.
  6. lauriej57

    lauriej57 Chirping

    Sep 17, 2010
    Southwest Michigan
    My run is similar to yours. But I have 1x2 welded wire enclosing the sides and top, and chicken wire on the bottom, extending a foot outside the fencing. My adult hens stay in that run and I keep their coop door open, and sometimes at night, when it's in the 90's I do find them roosting outside.

    I have another smaller coop and run, same scenario, but I have chicken wire around the bottom, along the welded wire, up 3 ft high. Until about 8 or 9 weeks old, if one of the chicks get scared and run hard, they can get through the welded wire, the chicken wire was an added additon.

    I don't use chicken wire for my run, as I have had massacres in the past when the raccoons tore the wire apart. I've had no problems with my set up, until 2 weeks ago, my fault, I had be at work at 4:30 am, and young chicks like to stay out til past dark, it was a hot night, and I figured they would be ok, or if I woke up in a few hours I would go out and make sure they were in the coop. I didn't realize, wasn't thinking, that these chicks liked to huddle on top of their coop door, it's a raised coop, and with them on top of the coop door,their little bodies are only about 6 inches below the wire on the coop. Something got on top of the run and snatched one right out. That was a six week old chick, and the peeping of the others caused my hubby to wake up, and probably saved the others.

    Peeping chicks attract predators. Your electric fence might keep them out. If I were you though, I would make sure the chicks are in at night, just to be safe, plus it teaches them to go in at night.

    I've been predator proof for over 3 years, then this happened. They go in every night, and I adjusted the roosts in the adult run, so nothing can manage to snap off an adults head if they decide to roost outside. Nothing has every gotten into my runs though.
  7. BoltonChicken

    BoltonChicken Songster

    Apr 14, 2011
    Bolton, Mississippi
    Chickens have an inbred desire to roost when it starts to get dark, even during a solar eclipse. I would let them go back into the coop
    which they should do naturally.

  8. ducks_rcool329

    ducks_rcool329 Songster

    Apr 17, 2011
    Black Forest, Colorado
    Thanks for all the help! [​IMG]

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