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View Poll Results: Do you lock your birds in the coop overnight

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  • ALWAYS

    4 44.44%
  • NO - secure run

    4 44.44%
  • NO - free roaming

    1 11.11%
  • mostly/sometimes

    0 0%
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  • 1 Post By Scarlet
  • 1 Post By mrsbusy

Thread: Do you guys put your birds to bed each night?

  1. #1
    d000hg is offline Rooter
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    Default Do you guys put your birds to bed each night?

    We have 7 birds which live in a outside run about 2x2x2m attached to a coop. Though we're in the country we've never got around to letting them roam freely. We shut them in the coop every evening and let them out every morning and I've always wondered how necessary this is, and if everyone does this or not.

    We definitely have foxes in the area but the run is quite secure and sometimes one chicken manages to get locked out in the run (not sure how as we check) without any incidents or sign of attempted intruders.

    Does anyone in more rural areas leave their birds more to their own devices? I always wonder on farms where the chickens roam totally free what THEY do - do they shut the coop nightly and any birds that stay out overnight are at risk, or do they not bother at all and risk a fox getting into the barn?

    Main reason I'm asking now is we're about to go away and it's one thing to find someone to come once a day to collect eggs and feed the cats, but asking them to come first and last thing every day is quite an ask.

    I'll add a poll...

  2. #2
    Snoop Puss's Avatar
    Snoop Puss is online now Mature Fruiter
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    Default

    We live in the country and there are foxes about too. Our compound is 3 x 2 m and we only ever have three birds at a time. We let the chickens free range from about midday till they take themselves back in to bed. At some point after that, I shut them in their compound. I don't lock them in their coop.

    On the one occasion that a bird decided to stay out at night, all that was left of her was a pile of feathers very close to the house the next morning. We didn't hear a thing and neither did the dogs.

    We very rarely go away at the same time, but when that does happen, we leave them shut in the compound. A friend comes down to walk the dogs and he gives the chickens fresh food and water at the same time.
    Last edited by Snoop Puss; 11-06-2019 at 12:07 PM.
    Note to self: Getting too old not to have a life.

  3. #3
    Nicos's Avatar
    Nicos is offline 'Allo 'Allo !
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    We are very rural and our birds freerange within an area enclosed by an electric mesh fence.
    There are loads of foxes out there as we regularly see or hear them.
    Our gals put themselves to bed at night inside an old pig shed and we lock the solid oak door.
    A fox could in theory clamber onto our barn roof and drop down into the enclosed area if it were desperate, so we take no chances.
    One young hen seems to prefer to put herself to bed on a branch of our elderflower tree but is happy to be picked up and placed indoors with the others.

    Yes..it is a big ask in the summer. Our will happily wait until 9am but refuse to go to bed before 10pm at the moment.
    Winter is much easier to find willing peeps to help out.
    "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

  4. #4
    Nicos's Avatar
    Nicos is offline 'Allo 'Allo !
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    Have you considered paying for a house sitter? Peeps here will do it for 5€ a day ...
    "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

  5. #5
    Scarlet's Avatar
    Scarlet is offline Gone with the Wind
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    We always used an electric fence. One weekend away and my kids had accidentally shut off the electric fence...we had 4 birds left out of 30. It was the worst thing to come home to.
    Another time we had to move my compost bins while cutting some trees down - the fox used it as a perch to get in and out.
    We always saw them around Late Spring /early Summer when they have more mouths to feed.
    One slip up and we would loose some.
    I finally gave up a couple of years ago cos I just couldn't keep on top of them.
    If you have a secure run can't you set up an auto opener on your coop?

    I also kept turkeys - the only way they would go to bed was to be picked up!
    Gillykat likes this.

  6. #6
    mrsbusy is offline Sprouter
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    My lot put themselves to bed in a secure hen house which has a mesh ceiling under onduline roof. They have an automatic door which shuts them in. I always go and check on them before I go to bed and put any grain in their feeders away as the badgers eat anything left out. I have a run attached to house which is welded mesh with a mesh floor and also an auto door on pop hole, so if they delay going to roost they can be safe in the run. The only fox problem so far has been in daylight hours I.e 1pm a fox got one but couldn't get out of the garden with the hen, which was left behind.

  7. #7
    mrsbusy is offline Sprouter
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    I meant to add that we go away and have had fantastic help from house sitters UK . they sit your pets in return for staying in your house. No money is exchanged. I look at the reviews and also choose people who are obviously touring UK usually from Australia or NZ where house sitting is very much the done thing. We have also done 1 house sit for 3 weeks in Australia over Xmas, was brilliant, 3 bed flat, in a complex with gym pool etc,
    Nicos likes this.

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