Advanced search

Do you always close the chicken house door at night and open it in the morning?

(35 Posts)
peggy0062 Tue 19-Apr-11 17:41:00

Do I have to lock the chickens in the house at night or can I leave the door open? If I have a fox proof run attached to the chicken house then I don't have to, do I?

VivaLeBeaver Tue 19-Apr-11 17:42:01

Never have done in 9 years and my run isn't even fox proof. Touch wood has been fine.

ProfYaffle Tue 19-Apr-11 17:43:49

I don't. We also have a fox proof run attached to the coop plus we have high walls/fences around the garden and never seen sight nor sound of a fox. I have been wondering if I should start though as our new chickens are doing that alarm call thing quite early in the morning and it must disturb the neighbours. Dread to think what'll happen in high summer when they're out about 4am.

peggy0062 Tue 19-Apr-11 18:40:37

ProfYaffle, how noisy are your chickens compare to wild birds?

I don't through the winter, but about now I start shutting them in. They are noisy little madams, and with the lighter mornings are getting earlier and earlier with egg announcements. Oh, and mine freak out when the hedgehog wanders past at 6am.

ilovemykitchenaid Tue 19-Apr-11 18:46:39

we didnt 2 summers ago and Mr Fox slaughtered the whole coop. Very upsetting and would never risk that again

ProfYaffle Tue 19-Apr-11 19:13:38

Way noisier than wild birds! But then they're at ground level and close to the house. We recently adopted some ex-batts and it's just one of those who'd noisy, never had a problem before.

yy to the hedgehog freaking, our noisy one is a shrieking drama queen.

MissBeehivingChoclitWabbits Tue 19-Apr-11 20:21:30

Yes - I do - we have foxes 'round these parts.

saltyseadog Tue 19-Apr-11 22:29:41

Yes I always shut mine in. Mr. Fox is frequently seen out and about, so for me it's not worth risking.

peggy0062 Tue 19-Apr-11 22:46:35

Generally what time do you shut the chickens in?
I have seen Mr Fox in day time in my backgarden!

Madsometimes Wed 20-Apr-11 08:24:07

No. We have an eglu so it is all fox proof anyway.

peggy0062 Wed 20-Apr-11 10:20:59

Madsometimes, do you like you eglu? Is it as easy to maintain as they claim to be? Do you have a classic, go or cube?

LilyBolero Wed 20-Apr-11 10:22:48

No, I never do, only in May/June really to stop them getting up ridiculously early and squawking to wake up the neighbours!

Ripeberry Thu 21-Apr-11 00:14:18

I only lock mine up in winter if there is severe cold/cold wind or there is a storm brewing.
In the summer they do as they please.

frankenonsense Thu 21-Apr-11 00:26:28

My DH forgot one night and now we have no chooks (fox bit through the wire).

empirestateofmind Thu 21-Apr-11 03:40:34

The pop hole on my chicken house has a light sensitive battery operated motor above. As it gets light the motor winds the wire up and the door opens, at dusk it closes. It took a few days for the hens to work out they had to go to bed when the noise started but they soon got the hang of it.

We have a lot of foxes nearby and neighbours have lost hens and lambs. It is not worth the risk.

Madsometimes Thu 21-Apr-11 14:01:45

We have a classic, and it works for us because we are keeping chickens in a small urban garden. It is easy to maintain, we take it apart and hose it down every month, and empty the poo tray a few times a week. We only have 2 chickens though.

lily06 Thu 21-Apr-11 21:04:25

I lock mine in, but only because they have a large open run which is not fox-proof. Although a fox could get in during the daytime, its much more likely at dusk/dawn. Also, the dark does keep them quiet until a more reasonable hour (close neighbours).

chickchickchicken Thu 21-Apr-11 21:05:44

i shut mine in every night. i just wouldnt risk it as foxes are very clever and unless the door is shut i would worry about them. i have heard of foxes getting into fox proof runs

CrispyTheCrisp Thu 21-Apr-11 21:08:15

Foxes have got into our neighbours run which is protected by an electric fence. They (and we when we are looking after them) shut them up at dusk (so 8pm ish now) and open it again in the morning every day

verlainechasedrimbauds Thu 21-Apr-11 21:11:02

My sister has a chicken that comes up to the cat-flap at dusk and asks to be put to bed. It startled me the first time I heard a little "tap tap" and then a sad little "quaaaark". I think it's rather sweet - my sister thinks it's a nuisance and that the ruddy bird ought to have worked out that if she can get out she ought to be able to get back in again.

IngridBergman Thu 21-Apr-11 21:14:30

I close the pop hatch every evening around 8pm (earlier just at dusk during the winter). We have a good solid run attached about the size of a garage, but even so it's a second line of defence and we have a roaming fox.

I know it's probably annoying for them having to wait till I get dressed to be let out, but I know if I didn't shut up shop every night the foxes might think it was more worth the effort getting into the actual run.

I don't lock the rabbits up every night, (they are based in the same run) as they have a system of burrows under their hutch which are hopefully more fox proof than the hen house is. And I hate chasing them around to get them, to oblige anyway.

notremotelyintofootie Thu 21-Apr-11 21:45:38

We generally do but dh has forgotten occasionally and no problems but we saw a huge fox in our garden at mid day the other day!!!

I have to admit I have started letting them out when I do dd's early feed (about half five!)....Am hoping that dd will sleep through soon though so that'll stop!

empirestateofmind Fri 22-Apr-11 02:23:38

I recommend the electric gizmo folks, I got it mail order. It saved me having to go out in my wellies and pyjamas to let the hens out each morning.

ChasingSquirrels Fri 22-Apr-11 10:34:48

I haven't for about two years and have never had any problems, we are on the edge of a small village and back on to open fields. I have never seen foxes, but know that in the next village (a mile) friends have had hens taken.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now