A slow learner

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mark, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. Mark

    Mark Songster

    May 13, 2007
    North Central Texas
    We have 7 week old chicks, 8 varieties. There are 2 of each variety, 16 chicks. Over the last week, they have all started roosting in the hen houses we have for them. 12 are in one house. We call them the rowdy bunch. The 4 un-rowdy, who got pecked a lot, stay in a second hen house with our one full grown hen. There seems to be a lot of differences in temperment for each variety. The Leghorns are the most rowdy. The New Hampshire Reds seem to be the fastest learners. The Delawares and Buff orp's are the most timid.

    One of the Buff Orphingtons chicks hasn't learned how to get into the hen house by herself. She finds herself the only bird left in the pen, and can hear her buddies in the hen house. Instead of finding the stairway and door, she flies into the wall of the hen house where her buddies are clucking. In fact, they (3 chicks) are all huddled up against the wall trying to help her find them. For the couple of nights the other three figured out the stairs, they all end up clucking at each other through the walls with the outsider periodically flying up against the wall where the clucking is loudest.

    It is pathetic.

    I'm looking for ways to help her learn. She is just as big and healthy looking as the rest, but she is far less active. We have placed her on the stairs to encourage her, but it hasn't helped. Maybe I need to make the 'stair way' a ramp. Currently, it is a 2x2 with horizontal rungs every 10". The ramp is about 3 feet long, with the door about 2 feet off the ground.
  2. Corey NC

    Corey NC Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    North Carolina
    just keep putting her back in.

    Try going down at dark and herd her back in. If you are putting her back in after dark she doesn't understand the way to get back in.

    She'll eventually get it.
  3. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    keep putting her in the henhouse.she will learn sooner or later how to get in the henhouse.
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Could you temporarily make the run smaller by making a new "wall" so that the ramp leads straight into the coop? So when she paces she will pace into the ramp and then hopefully learn that way and you can take the wall out?
  5. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Songster

    Jan 25, 2008
    LOL I can picture that poor chick so confused and lost.. Poor baby.. I would just give her time, even the *special* ones figure it out eventually. Just keep putting her in, maybe even try herding her up the ramp.

    Or! What I would try, I've done it before. When she's lost and wanting in, catch her and place her about half way up the ramp. If she doesn't run the other half, just kinda scoot her closer until she goes. Everyday put her lower on the ramp and make her run the rest of the way.

    Either way, she'll figure it out. [​IMG]

  6. raindrop

    raindrop Songster

    Feb 10, 2008
    Western Oregon
    Quote:This has worked for me, too.
  7. bills

    bills Songster

    Jan 4, 2008
    vancouver island
    I have used a ramp from day one, and they all seemed to have no problem. I personally think it is easier for them to walk up, then to hop up rung by rung. Wouldn't take much to convert it, just screw a piece of plywood under the rungs.

    Good luck![​IMG]
  8. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Crowing

    Feb 15, 2007
    Austin area, Texas
    My buff orps are about twelve weeks old, and are definitely the slow learners of the bunch. I think they are so timid that a dark hole scares them! They do catch on, but are very easily intimidated, so even the silkies get in before them sometimes. Good luck!
  9. Mark

    Mark Songster

    May 13, 2007
    North Central Texas
    Last night, the slow learner had a break-through. No problems. Everyone has figured out how to get into the hen house!
  10. Mark

    Mark Songster

    May 13, 2007
    North Central Texas
    Just a brief update.

    The 'slow learner' is still alive, though it surprises me. She is just as big as any of the other chicks, but must have been dropped on her head at an early age. A few nights ago, she could not find a way into the roost and decided to sleep outside on a mid-level ledge of the hen house. The door was open. She, alone of 17 birds, couldn't find the door.

    Yesterday, I saw her inside the open chicken tractor, looking longingly out at the rest of the flock. It seemed she couldn't figure out that she needs to turn around and walk a few feet in the opposite direction to get out the open door, then run around the tractor to join the flock. Oh well, the flock returned soon enough. She must have been asleep when they left.


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