5 week old chickens too dumb to find their food or water

Toyz

In the Brooder
Mar 7, 2017
11
3
19
I have 5 week old chickens I let out of the brooder(henhouse) and into the run a few days ago. I moved the water out into the run, but they wont go out to drink on their own, nor go back into the henhouse to eat. When I chased them all out of the henhouse this morning, they drank for 15 minutes. Tried a trail of food up the ramp but they make it half way up and see food on a lower cleat and turn around. Will they starve themselves to death before they figure it out? They have been without food for 6 hours again, but just cant get it (4 of 26 do)
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Waiting for Autumn
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
49,557
93,007
1,572
Wisconsin
They are young and need time to learn, either put food where they can see it, as chicks aren't good at going in and out the coop by themselves for a while, or expect to chase them in and out. They can become weakened enough to get sick if they aren't eating and drinking throughout the day. Under normal circumstances the mother hen would lead them in and out to the food until they begin to get it, and feel comfortable doing it themselves.
 

Toyz

In the Brooder
Mar 7, 2017
11
3
19
The water inside the henhouse is making a mess and I was hoping to make it dry again. 25 birds drip a lot. I have tried a few different things over the past day and a half with little success. Looks like I am going to have to provide feed and water in both places. It makes sense that the problem is they are lacking in tutoring
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Waiting for Autumn
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
49,557
93,007
1,572
Wisconsin
The water inside the henhouse is making a mess and I was hoping to make it dry again. 25 birds drip a lot. I have tried a few different things over the past day and a half with little success. Looks like I am going to have to provide feed and water in both places. It makes sense that the problem is they are lacking in tutoring
They are still kids, and will need guidance for a bit, but before you know it they will be fine without you.
 

debid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Jan 20, 2011
7,560
6,928
516
middle TN
BTDT... it's the ramp. I have my outdoor brooder all on one level so they can see inside the house from the run and they have no trouble with using the entire space, even at a week old. But something about having to go up and down a ramp to get to food/water/shelter is a challenge. They will eventually get it but I'd put food/water both places until they do.
 

treefarmer42

Chirping
5 Years
Oct 4, 2014
76
10
56
Reading, PA
BTDT... it's the ramp. I have my outdoor brooder all on one level so they can see inside the house from the run and they have no trouble with using the entire space, even at a week old. But something about having to go up and down a ramp to get to food/water/shelter is a challenge. They will eventually get it but I'd put food/water both places until they do.
100% correct I had same issue with ducks. I made the ramp wider and longer so the incline was less and they soon used it.
 

Cindy in PA

Crowing
13 Years
Jul 8, 2008
2,808
1,255
421
Fleetwood, PA
Chicks do have to learn the ramp. My present chicks are 7 1/2 weeks & I let them out Sunday & they never missed a beat. They went in & out the first day. Smartest chicks I've ever raised! My feed & water is in the coop.
 

debid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Jan 20, 2011
7,560
6,928
516
middle TN
Gates are even more hilarious. Adult chickens raised with a gate from the start can still be confused if they have to walk away from where they want to go in order to get around the open door. I latch the gate open so it's flat against the run while they're out because it causes such an issue otherwise.
 

Toyz

In the Brooder
Mar 7, 2017
11
3
19
With some lessons and a modification to the ramp they all use the ramp now. They go inside by 110 lux (chicken guard opener setting). Some would stand directly under the pop door and stare up longingly at the door. . They finally became chickens on Wednesday when we moved them from the garage to the great outdoors. Everyone is happier now.
 

AllOutOfClucksToGive

In the Brooder
May 28, 2017
26
4
22
i ONLY moved the water/food into the henhouse when my flock would not go in to roost for the night. I basically locked them in there for a week until they "got it". now they march up like clock work every evening.

Right now the food and water isn't in the run until it cools off.
 

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