What time do you let your chickens out?


In the Brooder
8 Years
May 12, 2011
Long Island NY
Planning ahead, how early in the morning should the chickens go out? As soon as it starts getting light? Maybe I'll have the hens who don't mind sleeping in....

Chicks are coming 6/2!!


In the Brooder
9 Years
Apr 7, 2010
I like how you think... Our chickens used to go out at first light, in the winter that was okay. It was more of a chore getting them out at first light in the summertime, getting up so much earlier. This is our second year and they seem to like having a little more time in the house, at least that's what they're getting, and they seem just fine. I know I like it better. We have to close the hen-door at night, as we live in the woods and brushy area that harbors lots of nasty chicken eaters. If we lived in a more open area, I'd leave the hen-door open since they go out into a fully enclosed run. Then after it is fully light and I have had a chance to check the area, I let them out to range freely for most of the day.


In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 9, 2011
Jacksonville, Fl.
I let mine out when I wake up and they run around their run all day. Then they get put back when I remember at night. Usually around 8:00. Daylight doesn't make me wake up earlier in the summer.


8 Years
Apr 22, 2011
West Coast USA
We open our pop door at 6:30am but I don't think there are any hard and fast rules about it. We have a huge coop and could easily leave them in longer if we wanted to but 6:30 is when we start horse and other barn chores so it works for us. We don't let them out to free range until after 10:30am, because we like them to lay their eggs first. They'll usually go back in to lay but every now and then they'll lay under a shrub or evergreen tree, if we let them free range too early. The chickens put themselves to bed around 8:00 at this time of year, well before dark, and we lock them in shortly thereafter.

Our timing changes according to the season. Generally, we don't open the pop door until first light.


The Chicken Whisperer
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 11, 2010
Since I'm already up, I open the door around 5-6 am. I love watching them come out. I have the early birds who march out at first light, and I have the sleepy heads who meander about as if they need a cup of coffee to get going. Then there are the diehards who keep their head tucked under their wing until they are the last in the coop.

What is really entertaining is how they act once they get moving. I have the martial arts experts who dodge and dart about like little ninjas. The long distance runners warm up with few laps around the chicken yard. Morse immediately pecks out her secret code. Then there are the super chickens who stand up straight and flap their wings until the grass bends over. One or two practice chicken yoga with eyes half closed. Then as soon as the sun hits the yard its sun bathing time, and they all collapse in total harmony.


In the Brooder
8 Years
May 8, 2011
I have been getting up at 6:30am to let the girls out they hear me coming and jump off the perch and line up ready to come out.
The four marans are all very energetic in the morning and have a stretch and run around the warrens walk out half asleep and there's one that doesn't come out straight away I think 6:30am is too early for her she looks at the others then tucks her head back under her wing for a while longer.

I let them take themselves off to bed the warrens go well before dark but the marans are out until the very last light I pop up refresh the water for the night and tuck them in. Lol lock them in should i say.



In the Brooder
8 Years
Apr 26, 2011
I let mine out when I take the dog out in the morning - usually between 7-8 am. I close up the coop at night when I take the dog out before bed - usually between 9-10 pm. At bedtime, they are already up in the coop and sleeping, but I always close the door.


In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 24, 2011
North-Central, Indiana
I set the timer on the automatic door opener to about 1/2 hour after sunrise, and program it to close about 1/2 hour after completely dark. It seems that most of the hens go out immediatly after the door open for an hour or so, then wander back to the coop the begin their business of egg-laying. This seems to work pretty well for me!


10 Years
May 26, 2009
Bucks County, PA
In the summer I rarely close their door. Their run is like Fort Knox so I'm okay with leaving it open alll night. In the summer some of girls prefer to sleep outside. In the winter it gets opened before I leave for work unless the weather is miserable. Looking forward to our new run... it will be better protected for winter outside time.

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