To close the coop door or not?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by fuzzy8, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. fuzzy8

    fuzzy8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 7x7 coop with a 20x 20 run. I have 4 ducks and 7 chickens living in there all a month old. I lock them in there coop at night and keep the food and water outside the coop to cut down on the mess I let the birds out every morning. My run is very predator proof and has a roof. My question is should I lock them in the coop or leave there little door open so they can come in and out as they please and if they were to get hungry or thirsty. I would like to think my run is predator proof but I for sure know the coop is
     
  2. Outpost JWB

    Outpost JWB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Never seen a coop be completely predator proof. You can batten down the hatches and the next thing you know, something digs a hole, rips the wire, something. I always lock up my coop at night. Around here though, I wouldn't sleep if it wasn't locked, and double locked.
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    If you have any doubts your run is impenetrable, then you need to close the coop up at night.

    If you have a covered run and you've run hardware cloth around the perimeter several feet high, buried several inches of it into the ground, placed steal hog panels over the poultry mesh and hardware cloth, and run hot wire all around at two levels, and the gate can't be opened unless you want it to open, then you have a predator-proof run.

    The above describes my run. Several years ago, I saw a bobcat walk around my original run and jump on each section, looking for a vulnerable spot to enter. He had found it earlier and killed one of my hens, and he kept coming back until I was finally able to squeeze off two direct hits with rubber shotgun rounds.

    I've watched while a bear sauntered up to my run, drooling over my tasty chickens, and discover the peanut butter on the hot wire, get a swift and painful "message", and turn and run off, never to return.

    I do sleep well at night, and I don't worry about my chickens when I need to be away. But it's required a lot of heart ache and hard work to get to this point.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    As Azygous kind of said, it depends on your level of confidence in how predator proof your run actually is. You are the one taking that risk. Lots of people don’t lock their chickens in the coop at night and never have problems. Some people don’t lock their chickens up at night in the coop and lose chickens. A decent sized run (which you have) is harder to predator-proof than a coop.

    I don’t know what kinds of predator pressure you have. In a city of 12,000 on the upper peninsula I’d think you have most of the ones most people have, including rural areas. Many people are surprised at what critters roam their yards at night in suburbia.

    With ducks I can understand the mess they make. I understand it’s inconvenient to have to be out there every morning to let them out, sometimes you just may want to sleep in. How you manage them is your decision. That boils down to your level of confidence in your run.
     
  5. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    I have about the same size run and coop as you do and the coop has a door into the run i leave open during the day so they can go in and out of the coop to the run during the day. But i do not leave the run open. I keep my 11 closed because i live in the flight path of several hawk species and i love my girls too much to let the hawks get them! If you never have seen a hawk fly over you should be safe but if you have seen them then DONT do it. Your only providing dinner for them! Better safe than sorry if you have seen the hawks. If not, then your girls should be safe.
     
  6. fuzzy8

    fuzzy8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My coop is actually inside my run. I let them out every morning. I guess I'm more worried about them being inside the coop for up to 10-12 hours max because of my work schedule
     
  7. Outpost JWB

    Outpost JWB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As long as they are not overcrowded, have water at all times & coop is well ventilated, you will be fine Mine are in the coop that long as well, due to my work schedule. They also make all kinds of automatic coop doors, (even some solar power).
     
  8. fuzzy8

    fuzzy8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't keep food or water in the cool because of the mess it makes. My coop is not set up for automatic doors. It is well ventilated though.
     
  9. Outpost JWB

    Outpost JWB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would make water available at all times. I know it may be messy, especially with the ducks. If you can, it would be most beneficial to house them separately.
     
  10. fuzzy8

    fuzzy8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can't house separately. Only have 1 coop. I hear about people who lock them up at night all the time without food and water every night and never have problems
     

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