What time to put chickens/ducks to bed - general consensus?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by GracieJ, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. GracieJ

    GracieJ Songster

    Feb 16, 2018
    Wales, UK
    Hi All.

    Was just wondering what time does everyone lock up their chickens/ducks for the night (if you don’t have an automatic door) and what time you let them out again?

    My mother and I are having this debate right now. My mother wants to lock them up early (8:30pm) whereas I’m more of a 10pm gal. She wants to let them out at 6:30am whereas I feel that’s dangerous, the last fox attack we had Happened at that time. I’d rather let them out at 9:30am ish.

    So what does everyone else do/think? I’d like to be the ones they see first in the morning but I have the issue of being asleep lol!!
  2. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Crowing

    Sep 2, 2014
    NE Ohio
    I don’t lock my girls in, they put themselves in the coop before it gets dark, in my time zone right now before 8pm and they’re out @6 am. But my run is Fort Knox tight, so they are safe, I don’t have to wake up early if I don’t have to go to work.
    drumstick diva and GracieJ like this.
  3. techbsmith

    techbsmith Chicken Hoarder

    Mar 3, 2018
    Glasgow, KY
    My girls are always up at the first sign of light .. and go straight to roost as soon as it gets dark. So...the time depends :) I basically operate on a dusk/dawn time frame.

    I think they are much happier when they can get out at first light - if you're having fox issues, I'd try to address that ASAP because they will continue to attack and not just in the early morning hours.
  4. naf_appaz

    naf_appaz Songster

    May 18, 2017
    Central Mississippi
    Before the owls come out
    drumstick diva likes this.
  5. happyfrenchman

    happyfrenchman Crowing

    Dec 20, 2008
    Central Ga.
    I agree with your Mom about the evening time. But I agree with you about the morning let out. Mine put themselves up, usually around 730 to 8 nowadays here in Ga. I would not leave the door open til 10. No chickens are moving at that point and there is nothing good that can come of leaving the door open. (Your birds should already be putting themselves up before dark.) I try to close it as soon as I have them all inside. As for letting them out in the morning, My wife will let them out close to 11 on weekdays.... Not too early due to predators.... unless I am going to be out there with them (usually early Sunday and Saturday I let them out because I am out there).
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
  6. MillersFarm

    MillersFarm Easily distracted by Chickens

    Jun 3, 2016
    Lewiston NY
    I let them out at 7:00 AM and lock them away at 7:30 Pm when everyone has put themselves away for the night.
  7. CCUK

    CCUK Free Flying

    Jan 21, 2018
    North Notts, UK
    My Coop
    If you have a coop with a enclosed run, so long as it's secure, you should be OK to leave the coop door open so they can go in and out as they please. I always check them after dark to make sure everyone is roosted. I only close the coop door in the winter when it's really cold and dark in the mornings and night.
    GracieJ and Spartan22 like this.
  8. Soon2BChixMom

    Soon2BChixMom Herding ducks and Wrangling chickens

    Jan 8, 2017
    The time that I lock them up changes according to the sunset. ;) So, right now, they go to roost around 8pm, I go and lock them in at 9. Any sooner and they think I am there to give them a treat and will come back out. I open their door at 7 a.m. as it is past sunrise and bright enough for them to see any dangers. They are in a run, but I am still leary that something could get in. My ducklings aren't outside yet, so it should be interesting putting everyone to bed. :D
  9. Trish1974

    Trish1974 Araucana enthusiast

    Mar 16, 2016
    North Central IN
    My Coop
    drumstick diva likes this.
  10. Creteloc

    Creteloc Songster

    Sep 29, 2017
    Northern Utah
    I lock up as soon as they go in for the night, which is just when the sun starts to set. We open the coop door in the morning around 6am, which is before the sun comes up but after our resident raccoons go to bed.

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