Vacation- leave coop door open at night?!


Jun 18, 2020
I've had an 'egg sitter' is that an option? Someone who checks for eggs, but I've already got food and water set up. They get all the eggs, bonus; if something happens they let you know. We also lived in town with a 12 foot high fence


Jul 10, 2009
North Carolina Sandhills
Ok it’s just a week is a long time to be stuck in a coop and run.
If your coop and run are not large enough to shut your chickens into for a week -- at least 4 square feet per bird in the coop PLUS 10 square feet per bird in the run -- then you need to seriously consider enlarging them at the earliest opportunity.

This sort of situation, where circumstances make it necessary to shut the birds up for their safety or due to some other emergency is why "But they'll be free ranging most of the time" isn't an adequate substitute for having sufficiently-large facilities. :)

(And I speak as a person whose current facility is getting crowded and who needs to downsize the flock for the winter).


Hilltop Farm
Nov 18, 2007
My Coop
I have rain/shade tables in all of the pens. I usually put flock blocks out under the tables so they stay dry in case of rain to give the birds something to peck at to keep them occupied.


In the Brooder
Sep 8, 2020
So I’m leaving for about a week. Will it be ok to keep my run door open at night because I don’t want to leave my chickens in their coop for that long?
I would not leave door open at night. Do they have somewhere they can go out that is caged? I did that and a Coyote came and eat my turkey.
And he’s been coming around every day at midnight to see if I leave the chicken coop open.


Oct 22, 2019
We regularly camp and leave our birds for a week or more. I have an auto door with solar power, feed inside and outside, huge water troughs, a predator proof-ish run, and they share the free range run with some goats which give some protection. We have Ring cameras with solar to keep an eye here and there and I have a neighbor come out and collect eggs, throw some scratch to the chickens, and give the goats hay once a day. I’ve lost one chicken in the past few years, and it was one that had a habit of leaving the free range run to go hang in the back 40. Hawk took advantage of her boredom.


Aug 18, 2017
Gansevoort, NY
Don’t you know anyone at all that would be willing to come by and check up on them and give them fresh water ect?

Whenever we go away we have family or a friend care for our birds. It’s important for them to have fresh water every day.

How many chickens do you have and how large is your coop?
Jun 8, 2020
I have a closed run with a roof over it. I have the coop inside and I invested in an auto door so if we go away for the weekend, they are in the enclosed run with the enclosed coop inside the run at night. The auto door opens at 6:30 and closes at 7:00 pm every night. I don't leave the door open or let them out of the run. I know, I sound paranoid, but I have two big dogs that would love to "eat" them and other predators around the area. The run I have them in is almost 300 sq ft, so they seem fine (I don't free-range). Personally, I would not leave a coop door open at night, but that is just me.


Jul 26, 2016
Northern California
it’s just I don’t wan to leave them in their coop for a week, I’ve done it once and they make a mess and I know they would like to run free.
I totally agree with HomesteaderWife about making sure the run is predator proof, and I understand your desire to let them out.

Our chickens free range in the day time and their attached run is almost 100% predator proof (1/4” hardware cloth walls and roof.) The coop has an automatic door. But still we never leave the run door open overnight.

When we need to be away overnight, or two, we ask family or friends to close the run at night.

Good luck!


Jun 22, 2015
East Texas
You could look into a chicken-sitter.
I'm afraid that when you return home, you won't have a flock.
I use chicken sitters. A friend comes over in the morning, feeds the chickens, lets them out and checks the water. Since I live in town and the chickens are behind a 6 foot privacy fence, a 4 ft pig wire fence and a hardwire cloth run, the door stays open. So far, I have only lost one hen and one chick.


Feb 22, 2020
So I’m leaving for about a week. Will it be ok to keep my run door open at night because I don’t want to leave my chickens in their coop for that long?
I would say it depends on the integrity of your chicken run. Mine is as safe as I believe I can make it. I leave the coop door open at night all summer, it gets way too hot here to "coop" them up tight in the summer heat and I don't have a problem. Plenty of clean, fresh water, food, I would suggest they would be fine (IF and I stress IF your run is safe)

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