are my chickens stupid?

mlee25

Hatching
May 3, 2015
2
0
9
I'm a new chicken mama, I have 3 chicks that are- well, stupid.

Seriously one of them is REALLY dumb, it almost broke its fool neck trying the jump through a chain link fence and got stuck then flipped out and nearly wrung its own neck.

anyway,they lived the first few weeks in a a huge box in the garage, and as soon as it was warm enough and they had enough feathers (about 2 weeks ago) we began to give them outside time in the chicken tractor we had built for them, then as the sun would go down we would bring them in for the night. My kids became very attached and we lost one at about a week old, so it made me a little cautious leaving them out all night with temps dipping into the 50's. They are over 7 weeks old now. For the last two nights I have waited until it was full dark before I checked on them and they just sit huddled together crying- and they wont' go in the coop! they have nesting bars, and nice warm shavings that they happily visit in the day time but at night- they just freak out. So I would baby my baby chicks and bring them back in the last few nights.

I don't understand what the #$!! is wrong with them. Why wont they go in there house? I had to climb my fat @$$ in the very small (in height) run and get the fools and put them in the coop tonight. Tonight is the first night we are leaving them out all night- they have been left without a lamp in the garage for the last week so I know they are ready to be in there new home- but are they smart enough to go in it? Um, No. Is this normal?

I guess at this point they may be "trained" to want to come back to the garage at night- but come on! I'm hoping that this will not be an indication that as they are ready to free range when they are full size that they won't come back to roost at night. Maybe after spending the night tonight they won't need to be tucked in at night.
 

forgetful

Songster
6 Years
Mar 30, 2013
859
255
151
You have to understand these are chickens. Chickens raised by people, also, and not their mother. Anytime you transition chicks to a coop and run you have to place them in the coop at night for the first few days until they understand where to sleep. If they were raised by their mother they would learn where to sleep at night. I have three week old chicks that now put themselves to bed every night because I taught them what to do.
 

henspoopalot

Chirping
7 Years
Apr 27, 2014
31
1
79
Ditto what Forgetful said. They are just babies with no guidance. Chickens (especially chicks) are very cautious when it comes to anything new. It's not that their stupid. They're actually being smart! It's part of their survival instinct. You need to place them in it and let them get used to it.
As they get older and get used to their new world, they will be more brave.
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
8 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,080
831
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
You have to understand these are chickens. Chickens raised by people, also, and not their mother. Anytime you transition chicks to a coop and run you have to place them in the coop at night for the first few days until they understand where to sleep. If they were raised by their mother they would learn where to sleep at night. I have three week old chicks that now put themselves to bed every night because I taught them what to do.

X 2 - chicks that are raised by a broody learn the routine because Mama bird teaches them. From day 1 they are following their mother and learning that "this is when we go to bed", "this is where we go to go to bed", etc -- chicks raised by hand are deprived of that teaching and, more often than not, it is also short-circuited by the way most brood chicks in that there is no natural day/night cycle due to the light being on 24/7 for the first weeks. At the end of their time in the brooder they are dumped out into a whole new environment with no tools whatsoever to cope with the changes. This is where we have the responsibility to step in and help them figure out how to navigate in the new world. Chickens are actually quite smart and are easily trained - but it falls on the keeper to do that training. If you want them to coop up at dusk, you train them to do so.
 

chicchic25

Chirping
Mar 30, 2015
118
37
96
Indiana
I'm a new chicken mama, I have 3 chicks that are- well, stupid.

Seriously one of them is REALLY dumb, it almost broke its fool neck trying the jump through a chain link fence and got stuck then flipped out and nearly wrung its own neck.

anyway,they lived the first few weeks in a a huge box in the garage, and as soon as it was warm enough and they had enough feathers (about 2 weeks ago) we began to give them outside time in the chicken tractor we had built for them, then as the sun would go down we would bring them in for the night. My kids became very attached and we lost one at about a week old, so it made me a little cautious leaving them out all night with temps dipping into the 50's. They are over 7 weeks old now. For the last two nights I have waited until it was full dark before I checked on them and they just sit huddled together crying- and they wont' go in the coop! they have nesting bars, and nice warm shavings that they happily visit in the day time but at night- they just freak out. So I would baby my baby chicks and bring them back in the last few nights.

I don't understand what the #$!! is wrong with them. Why wont they go in there house? I had to climb my fat @$$ in the very small (in height) run and get the fools and put them in the coop tonight. Tonight is the first night we are leaving them out all night- they have been left without a lamp in the garage for the last week so I know they are ready to be in there new home- but are they smart enough to go in it? Um, No. Is this normal?

I guess at this point they may be "trained" to want to come back to the garage at night- but come on! I'm hoping that this will not be an indication that as they are ready to free range when they are full size that they won't come back to roost at night. Maybe after spending the night tonight they won't need to be tucked in at night.
I'm totally new at chicken raising myself.... is it possible that there is a snake or some type of predator nearby? Maybe not, but just thought Id throw that out there. We left our girls in the coop for 4 days/nights and so far they've done really well going back in when its dusk out.
 

Spartan22

Crowing
Sep 2, 2014
3,672
3,528
452
NE Ohio
X 2 - chicks that are raised by a broody learn the routine because Mama bird teaches them.  From day 1 they are following their mother and learning that "this is when we go to bed", "this is where we go to go to bed", etc -- chicks raised by hand are deprived of that teaching and, more often than not, it is also short-circuited by the way most brood chicks in that there is no natural day/night cycle due to the light being on 24/7 for the first weeks.  At the end of their time in the brooder they are dumped out into a whole new environment with no tools whatsoever to cope with the changes.  This is where we have the responsibility to step in and help them figure out how to navigate in the new world.  Chickens are actually quite smart and are easily trained - but it falls on the keeper to do that training.  If you want them to coop up at dusk, you train them to do so. 


X2 ol grey mare, they depend on their owners since they were raise by humans. In the wild they know how to survive by instinct thru the fowls guidance.
 

mlee25

Hatching
May 3, 2015
2
0
9
thanks! for all the helpful advice- I was being a little snarky hehe! they happily came out this morning and I think they are really enjoying outside. Maybe after a few nights of being tucked in I wont have to crawl in the coop. I just really didn't know if that was normal or not, but it makes sense that they would be shown what to do by mama hen- so I guess mama hen (me!) will have to teach them what to do.
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
8 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,080
831
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
thanks! for all the helpful advice- I was being a little snarky hehe! they happily came out this morning and I think they are really enjoying outside. Maybe after a few nights of being tucked in I wont have to crawl in the coop. I just really didn't know if that was normal or not, but it makes sense that they would be shown what to do by mama hen- so I guess mama hen (me!) will have to teach them what to do.

Nothing wrong with a little snark, lol.
 

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