So my boyfriend and I are first time chicken parents and we love them way more than we ever expected! We have 6 hens...2 RIR, 2 BR, 1 BO and 1 Leghorn. We got them when they were a week old and they are now 12.5 weeks old. They have been in their outdoor coop/run since they were 5 weeks old. My question I have is related to free-ranging. My girls have been free-ranging pretty consistently for about 7-9 hours a day for about a week now. Before that, I was a nervous wreck leaving them out, without me supervising them, so they got about 2 hours at a time. Anyway! Back on track. We have a half acre of land consisting of about 20% woods and my girls are ALWAYS hiding in the woods. I understand going in there to forage and what not but I'd like to see them take advantage of the rest of our land. It seems like they are too scared to be out in the open. Whenever they "pass through" open areas they run for their lives! They have never been attacked by a predator or anything like that. I guess I'm just trying to understand this behavior. Will they get more acquainted and comfortable over time? Would they feel more secure with a rooster (we aren't really interested in having one though)? Any insight would be great. Thanks!
I've been reading forums on here since before I got my chicks but I just made my account today so I hope I'm doing this right and posting in the right area!