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when do you shut them in for the night?

18 replies

swallowedAfly · 12/10/2012 18:30

i'm wondering if i'm being a bit overkeen with closing the chooks in at night. i've been going out just after sunset, so when it starts to get dusky, and shutting them in. is that too early?

it does mean they end up shut in the coop for 12hrs or so.

so tonight i shut them in about ten minutes ago and two of them had still been happily foraging in the garden till i herded them in.

thanks Smile

OP posts:
SheilaWheeler · 12/10/2012 18:34

I'm a chook-sitter rather than owner (I look after the neighbour's when they go away).

I always tuck them up at around dusk. They usually put themselves to bed around then anyway and I'm very aware that we have Mr Fox in the area.

I'm sure (well, mostly) that they can't tell the time and so won't know how long they've been in bed!

I have to get them up a dawn though or they bang on the door, clucking madly.

SheilaWheeler · 12/10/2012 18:36

Sorry, that would be at dawn.

MoreBeta · 12/10/2012 18:40

I shut the hatch at 8.15 pm. They have an inner very secure cage plus a roosting/laying box so they can come out of that for a drink and food but not out into the main run.

swallowedAfly · 12/10/2012 20:37

thanks.

i felt less bad when i looked out the window half an hour later and it was pitch black.

OP posts:
pigsinmud · 14/10/2012 08:28

Mine put themselves to bed at 6:20 yesterday evening. I shut them in then. I sort of assumed they wouldn't come out again, so had never thought of shutting the run door, but leaving coop door open.....I'm new to this!

swallowedAfly · 14/10/2012 09:37

me too. i don't want to leave coop door open though - even though there is a run. too risky imo. in the coop they are safest. also with the door closed they're warmer.

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mummymeister · 14/10/2012 16:51

We regularly have a fox around at about 4 oclock so i put the ducks and turkeys away then for definate. the chickens are in a compound with 8ft high net around. those that fly out start flying in at about 5ish so we put them away at around 6ish no later than this. he who cannot be named does watch for your routine so we always try and vary it a bit if poss.

horseylady · 19/10/2012 08:44

When it's dark the ones at home get shut up. At the field they no longer get shut up as the coup has been made totally secure. It's a similar coup at home though so I think I could get away without shutting them away.

frenchfancy · 19/10/2012 08:53

We don't, they put themselves to bed. TBF we have only seen one fox in 10 years here. Not good terrain for them and all the farmers have guns.

swallowedAfly · 19/10/2012 12:18

lost track of time and suddenly realised it was pitch black the other night.

ds has shut the enclosed run bits gate thinking they were inside earlier on when he was out there (without telling me). one was sitting on the outside of the run and made me jump out of my skin as i bent down to open the gate to get the food out, another was inside the coup sleeping and one was awol. cue me searching round the garden with a torch for a missing chicken Grin found her tucked in a little corner all on her own in the dark bless her.

thankfully got away with it.

i've never actually seen a fox here but don't want to let that fool me into thinking they're not about. i do hope though that two dogs who are regularly in the garden prevents a fox lurking about without me knowing about it (the lab would definitely let me know if she smelt a fox) and maybe acts as a bit of a deterent.

OP posts:
jaynebxl · 27/10/2012 09:00

Hmm this thread has made me think... We shut ours in their pen before dark (usually quite a bit before) but we never actually shut them in their house. They just put themselves to bed as the light goes. We do have foxes around here (we've seen them walking down our street) but our pen is really secure. I guess though that with the colder weather we ought to start shutting the door just for extra warmth...

ButtonF1Fan · 29/10/2012 13:57

I shut the door on our girls just after dark, and have always found them already in thier coop. Occasionally we leave the door open, but into thier run, rather than free range.

Crikeyblimey · 29/10/2012 14:05

In warmer months, I just wait till they've out themselves to bed and shut the run door. When it's colder (like now), I shut the coup once they are in bed to keep them warmer. More of a pain for me in a morning cos I have to be up to open the boh-hole.

I love that they tootle off to bed by themselves. It really makes me notice the nights getting longer / shorter.

Crikeyblimey · 29/10/2012 14:06

In warmer months, I just wait till they've out themselves to bed and shut the run door. When it's colder (like now), I shut the coup once they are in bed to keep them warmer. More of a pain for me in a morning cos I have to be up to open the bob-hole.

I love that they tootle off to bed by themselves. It really makes me notice the nights getting longer / shorter.

nickeldaisical · 29/10/2012 14:08

we shut them in their run when it even hints that it might be getting dark (but they're always supervised when loose)(foxes)

we put the pop-hole down either when we get home or when we remember.
and turf them out of the nest box. Hmm

nickeldaisical · 29/10/2012 14:09

"i've never actually seen a fox here but don't want to let that fool me into thinking they're not about."

yeah, i used to live in the countryside. never saw a fox until one mauled one of the hens (twilight, early evening)

DancesWithWoolsEnPointe · 29/10/2012 21:00

mine put themselves to bed, at dusk, I just shut the front down at some point, but never have to heard them in.

jaynebxl · 01/11/2012 06:15

"i've never actually seen a fox here but don't want to let that fool me into thinking they're not about."

yeah, i used to live in the countryside. never saw a fox until one mauled one of the hens (twilight, early evening)


I think that's wise... We live in a village but it is pretty urban and we saw a fox opposite our house a couple of weeks ago.

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