A chicken coop is a perfect place for keeping flocks safe. These birds roam around the free range area during the day and rest and sleep at night inside the nest boxes. Since chickens are afraid of darks, protecting them from predators is vital.
Can you leave the chicken coop door open? No, keep chicken doors closed at night before they go to sleep. Otherwise, predators will harm them and even eat or kill them. In addition, burglars may take away your birds if your area is not 100% safe.
Can You Leave Chicken Coop Door Open?
Leaving the chicken coop door open is okay if you can guarantee there are no predators and burglars in your area.
Unfortunately, flocks have many natural predators. You may think your living location has no dangerous birds and animals to harm your flocks.
But, they may suddenly come and eat or kill them without your knowledge if the door is open.
Continuously tracking your chickens’ movements is not always possible, as you may become too busy with other tasks.
Some chicken keepers sometimes don’t close the entrances as they may not have time to open the door early in the morning.
If you care about flocks and don’t want to lose them, close the door at night.
When Can You Keep A Chicken Coop Door Open?
Some areas might be entirely safe to raise chickens freely.
Keeping a chicken coop door open might be okay if you can give 100% confirmation regarding no footprints of dangerous predators.
It is common practice among a few chicken keepers who have been raising flocks for years.
Their years of experience give them enough confidence to let chickens live freely without closing the door at night.
However, it might not be possible all year round. Some natural predators may visit your flock’s house seasonally.
Only experienced chicken keepers are aware of their possible coming time. They keep the entrances during these periods every day.
Another reason to keep your chicken coop open at night is to provide sufficient air circulation. But make sure the weather is good, and there are no predators in your area.
Can I Leave My Chicken Coop Door Open During The Day?
Keeping your chicken coop open during the day is entirely okay to let them allow moving freely.
Flocks will wander around their free-range area. And whenever they feel like eating, drinking, and relaxing, they go inside the chicken coop.
If you keep the entrances closed, it disrupts their free movement. Chickens will feel unhappy as they don’t like to sit idle all the time during the day.
However, if there are excessive movements of predators during the day for a particular time, don’t leave the door open.
The predators might be looking for an opportunity to harm or eat your flock. Keep an eye on your while the entrance is open.
In addition, you may need to keep your chicken coop door closed in extremely cold weather for proper insulation. Otherwise, too much cold air may enter the house and make your birds sick.
Why Should You Keep Chicken Coop Door Closed At Night?
Unless you are 100% sure about the optimal safety of chickens, keeping the door closed is better. Here is why!
Safety against Extreme Cold Weather
Like human bodies, the body’s core temperatures of chickens drop at night.
If colder months last in your living location for a long time, your flocks will be colder at night.
Keep the doors closed to prevent cold air from getting inside the house. Birds can sleep more comfortably and peacefully.
Chickens are fond of bugs and insects. Unfortunately, these tiny creatures may carry protozoa, bacteria, or viruses.
If your flocks eat them or these small invertebrate animals sit on your chickens’ food or water, the birds may get affected by different illnesses.
Keeping the door closed at night will prevent Ants, flies, butterflies, and beetles from entering your chicken coop. But, ensure all walls are properly sealed, and windows are closed too.
Protection against Harmful Weather
Do you live in a dusty environment? The wind speed is higher at night.
If there is a windstorm, a lot of dust may get inside the chicken coop. It may cause airborne diseases and respiratory problems.
The same goes for snowstorms. Heat-tolerant chickens may feel unsafe if a lot of snow enters their coop due to opened door.
A lot of water may get inside from heavy rain if the entrance is not closed.
It will result in higher humidity conditions, followed by frostbite. Your flocks will get sick and even die.
Safety from Pets
Do you have cats and dogs at home? If the door is open, these pets may get inside your chicken coop at night.
Stray or feral cats may harm chickens and try to snatch food from their home.
Dogs are one of the most common natural predators of flocks. They can attack, hurt, and even kill them.
Keeping the door closed will prevent pets from setting foot in your chicken coop.
Which Predators Enter Chicken Coop If Door Is Opened?
Not all predators enter a chicken coop if the door is not closed.
For example, hawks, eagles, and owls attack chickens from their free-range areas. Birds generally don’t roam around at night.
But owls may sometimes get inside your flock’s house if they find any chance.
Mink, weasels, opossums, skunks, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, rat snakes, rats, etc., are top nocturnal animals that can harm your chickens at night.
However, both doors and fences should be strong enough to prevent them from entering the area.
Choose rugged, fine mesh to double up the fencing. Nocturnal predators will fail to enter the chicken zone.
How to Protect Chickens Even After Leaving Coop Door Open?
You may sometimes need to keep the chicken doors fully open.
For example, the excess may build up inside the chicken coop if there is insufficient ventilation or air circulation during the summertime.
It occurs when there are few or no windows and vents. You have no option but to keep the doors open.
But what should you do in such a condition if there are predators in your nearby location?
The best solution is installing motion sensor lights. Though it is a little bit expensive, it is worth the investment.
Predators usually take advantage of dark conditions. Lights will turn on automatically if any predators come close to the area.
Which Type Of Chicken Coop Door Can You Leave Open?
Chicken coops come in various types. But freestanding flock houses are the best choice. Make sure they have a run in the middle.
Keeping the run protected from all four sides, as well as the roof, is crucial. Deeply burying all sides is a solid rule of thumb.
This will prevent harmful animals and birds from digging their way to get inside the coop.
Don’t forget to add an electric fence. Hence, if any predator tries to enter the chicken area, it will give them an electric shock. But make sure it is turned off during the daytime.
Instead of closing the door, you can install long pieces of clear vinyl strips. It is mainly hung from the top section of the door.
Chickens can quickly go through inside and outside by passing the strips.
It doesn’t only ensure a better temperature-controlling effect. The plastic curtain appears effective in warding off dirt and dust easily.
Predators are unlikely to enter the coop as the vinyl strips will look like a transparent door.
Is this question still popping up in your head: Can you leave the chicken coop door open?
If your backyard doesn’t have any sign of dangerous predators, or you can manage a solidly constructed chicken coop with electrical fencing, motion sensor lights, and deeply sealed walls and fencing, it is not mandatory to use them.
But it is best to keep your flock door closed to provide optimal protection from harmful animals and extreme weather conditions. After all, you don’t want to lose any chickens and make them vulnerable to illness.