What time do you shut the coop?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Nataliesplats, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. Nataliesplats

    Nataliesplats Hatching

    Jan 25, 2015
    Hi everyone, I'm new to chickens, brand new in fact, I got my first two chickens yesterday :)
    I'm curious as to when's the best time to shut the door to the coop. My girls have been in and out all day but mostly in the run. I'm in Yorkshire, England and it's getting dark about 5pm at the moment. Should I be encouraging them in and closing the door, or letting them go in when they're ready?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! A bit more information may help us to answer your question.
    Does your coop open into a run or does it simply open up to the great outdoors with your birds being able to free-range? If it opens into a run, how secure is the run?
    If your coop opens up to a secure run, it may not be "necessary" to close the coop door at all - if, however, your run is not all that secure or there is no run the door can provide an important layer of security between your flock and visits from predators during the night.
    All that being said, you can close the door at any time that is most convenient for you - you can wait for the birds to go in and then go out and close it up or, if that is not convenient for you, you can "herd" them into the coop and close them in.

    ETA - forgot to answer as to what I do - I do a combination of the "wait for them or herd them in" - it's a matter of what our schedule makes the best choice. Our run is not so secure that I would be comfortable leaving the coop open, so if we are going to be away as it gets dark, we put the birds up a bit early by moving them into the coop and closing them up - otherwise, we just go out at dusk/when they have all moved inside and shut the door.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  3. Nataliesplats

    Nataliesplats Hatching

    Jan 25, 2015
    Thanks so much for replying. I've got an Eglu classic that leads on to a run which seems secure enough. We have snow at the moment so I was concerned about leaving the door open as it's cold, but to be fair they've been outside in the cold most of the day.
  4. toddo

    toddo In the Brooder

    Mar 21, 2012
    Robinson Illinois
    I never force my girls in, I always wait till they go in on their own.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Might be a good idea to leave them shut in the coop for a couple days so they get used to that being the most familiar place to be safe ...then they should go up to roost in the coop as dusk.

    ....OR you may have to train them to go in the coop at dusk by placing the in there until they get the hint.

    Mine all go into the coop to roost near sunset, cloudy days they tend to go earlier.
    Some stay out and about later then others.

  6. matt44644

    matt44644 Songster

    Sep 14, 2014
    Sanilac County,Michigan
    I put mine in about 20 minutes before it starts getting dark.
  7. zippy123

    zippy123 In the Brooder

    Sep 15, 2014
    If you keep them in the coop/run for about a week they will get used to it and come back in the event ng even if y let them out to free range during the day.

    If the coop is dark and cosy they will go in themselves at dusk - then just close the coop door. I always close the coop door to keep out foxes - better than any wire!

    Don't worry about the temperature - in the UK we never get cold enough to affect them and indeed a lot of coops need more ventilation rather than less.

    Enjoy your new hobby - I am new to it too with my three hens in the back garden and today I was rewarded with my first ever egg! :)
  8. Nataliesplats

    Nataliesplats Hatching

    Jan 25, 2015
    Thank you all so much for taking the time to reply. I do plan on free ranging them eventually but not til I think they're settled and they'll come back :) I was home a little later than normal today and they'd already put themselves to bed, so I'm taking that as a good sign that they're getting more comfortable.
  9. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    I agree with the others, if your run is as secure as your coop, just let them come and go as they please.

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