Vacation- leave coop door open at night?!


May 20, 2019
Kennett Square, PA
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?
There is a certain amount of responsibility that belongs to us once we decide to keep and look after any being - human, animal, whatever. Take the necessary responsibility to see to it that the chickens are looked after and protected while you are away. Whether this means planning well in advance to provide a secure solution before you make plans, or asking someone to look after them, this is what is required of us when we decide to embark on this journey. If you are feeling guilty, then do something to make it feel right. Whatever that is.


Apr 30, 2016
I have left mine several times for 4-5 days with my coop door open but I have extensive predator proofing. Fencing goes into the ground all the way around, roof on top with additional wire/hardware cloth underneath it. I also have a pet sitter come over once a day to change water and check/add food as necessary. She makes sure everyone is accounted for and looks okay. I usually leave my coop door to the run open all the time unless temps get really bitter cold in the winter. I’ve only had one break in by a baby possum that squeezed through a tiny gap I didn’t realize was there in the fence and the roof. Luckily he just was there for eggs cause he was too small too mess with chickens. But that’s what is important to look for - tiny gaps can make all the difference for possums, raccoons, foxes and weasels.


May 23, 2017
Try to use your best judgement and make sure your run is enclosed and prepared/proofed. There are also options of automatic coop doors. You could look into a Nest cam in order to check on them while you are gone to help you feel more secure. Do you have any friends who are experienced with chickens who could check in on them? Just be prepared for predators if you leave them out, especially with no human presence.
Ask a trusted neighbor to let them out in the morning and lock them up at night in exchange for the eggs they lay. That’s what I would do if I were to be gone for so long. If it were only one or two nights then I would risk leaving the coop door open (I have a security light over the door to repel nocturnal predators). I would also be concerned about their food and water supply over such a long time.


In the Brooder
May 9, 2020
I wouldn't do this unless you just can't get anyone to "baby-sit" for you. There is just no such thing as a predator proof cage. I try very hard... I have a coop that leads to a coated wire mesh cage that has a hardware cloth protector barrier on the outside of that. Then and electric wire running at 2" and 4" on the outside of that. We still had a racoon worked his way through and get 4 very expensive and rare chickens. I was so upset. I check them every three hours and keep a motion sensor camera that I can check on too. You just can't be completely safe.


Jan 21, 2017
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?
Like most have already said. As long as the run in predator proof and don't allow for free ranging then you ar ok. Of course you will need to supply them with plenty of food and water. Best to have someone reliable to look after them everyday or at least every other day.


Mar 29, 2009
kansas city area
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?
NO!!!! I had what I thought was a great run so I left the coop pop hole door open one night when it was still in the 90s at 9:30 thinking I was helping them stay cool and nothing could get into the run.....something dug under and killed 6 of my chickens that night. Find someone to take care of your chickens while you are gone!


In the Brooder
May 19, 2020
northern illinois
You will need someone to collect eggs! If someone does that and checks water and feed, and you care confident that your run and coop are impervious to all things that eat chickens - I guess that would be OK.

Elaina Melito

In the Brooder
Oct 9, 2020
I agree keep in side coop get chicken sitter to take care of birds and clean up they are out there that's worked out great for me also paid them well!!!!

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