My 8 and 10 week old chicks have been in the coop 3 days now... They won't leave the hen house unless I physically move them myself. They look out the door but never leave. I moved them twice yesterday to the run thinking well they will get thirsty and make their way inside. Nope, they won't use the ramp.. So I had to physically put all 5 of them back inside to rehydrate and yet again they will not leave the house. What gives? Are they afraid of the ramp? I added stairs to the bottom to make it less of a slant and still nothing. Will they figure it out or am I going to have to move them back n forth constantly?
I was in the same situation a few weeks ago. With 17 week old pullets they wouldn't leave the coop to enter the run. 2 weeks later they are everywhere all the time. 6 week old chicks did the same thing. Took weeks to adapt. To help them along spend some time with them if possible, use treats and just hang out with them.
The two posts above are the perfect example of why "Free Range Eggs" at the grocery store are usually laid by hens whose tootsies have never touched the ground. The doors of the laying houses are thrown wide open daily, but as sourland mentioned chickens hate new or unusual things and they will never leave the laying house when offered the chance, but what the hey, they did have the chance to range freely, they just failed to take the opportunity.