Are my chickens trying to breakout????

jen61871

Songster
6 Years
Apr 22, 2015
252
145
182
Reinholds, PA
Help!! My hens are digging a hole at the bottom of the fence which sits under a pine tree where there is no grass and looser dirt. As you can see in the picture they are making a hole that will get them outside of their run.
Why are they doing this??? I'm very concerned they are going to dig a hole big enough to get out.
Their run is a nice size for 4 hens so it is not an issue of being crowded. I live in the country with a big yard and long driveway. Should I let them get out if they choose?? I have only had them a little over a week and they are adjusting very well. No other problems at all.



 

LeiaLayers5

Songster
May 12, 2015
327
44
126
Suffolk VA
My Coop
My Coop
I also have not had mine very long, but if you feel they might like to free range a bit, I have heard that until you feel comfortable with just letting them roam about you can start free ranging just before dark so that they will only want to be out for a bit before they naturally want to go back in for the night. We did this when we first tried it with ours and with it being new to them and later they did not venture too far and went back to the coop as usual when it was time to go in for night. If for any reason they do not immediately return when you want them to we used treats to draw them back to coop if needed. Hope this helps.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,051
581
Southern Oregon
Agree they're not trying to get out. The best dust bathing spot is simply along the fence. You can reinforce the fence there, or cover that area and try to make another space more attractive for dust bathing. I can see undermining the fence being problematic, but I'd be thrilled if my girls didn't make holes right where I walk. Those places are ankle breakers!
 

jen61871

Songster
6 Years
Apr 22, 2015
252
145
182
Reinholds, PA
I wish I thought they were just digging for a dust bath. They have taken dust baths there indeed!! But here a this mornings (5-13) pictures. You can see that they are digging against the fence and last evening we added another pole against where they are digging to try and prevent them from getting out and this is their progress.
Are they smart enough to intentionally try to dig themselves out??



 

LeiaLayers5

Songster
May 12, 2015
327
44
126
Suffolk VA
My Coop
My Coop
I cannot say anything for certain, but based on one of the last pictures, it looks like the direction they are interested in has grass and other things they might want access to. I do not know enough about chicken tendencies to know if this is typical, but I still say that they may want to free range and get to the grass outside. I know our 3 girls ever since we started letting them free range they love it so much they practically ask for it and sqawk at us when they have not been out in a bit. They love wandering the yard. It is worth a try just might want to pick a time you can monitor them if this would be a new experience for them. I bet they would love it though. Let us know if you try it and how that goes!
 

LeiaLayers5

Songster
May 12, 2015
327
44
126
Suffolk VA
My Coop
My Coop
I wish I thought they were just digging for a dust bath. They have taken dust baths there indeed!! But here a this mornings (5-13) pictures. You can see that they are digging against the fence and last evening we added another pole against where they are digging to try and prevent them from getting out and this is their progress.
Are they smart enough to intentionally try to dig themselves out??



What breeds are your girls?
 

jen61871

Songster
6 Years
Apr 22, 2015
252
145
182
Reinholds, PA
What breeds are your girls?

I have 2 buff orpingtons, 1 australorp, and 1 golden laced wyandotte
love.gif
 

LeiaLayers5

Songster
May 12, 2015
327
44
126
Suffolk VA
My Coop
My Coop
what do you have Leia?
Currently we have 3 Golden Comets but i have been told they are also called red sex links. We bought 2 EEs that we are picking up at the end of May, the breeder agreed to keep them couple of weeks for us so we could build onto our current coop before we introduce to our girls. I am really excited about the new EEs. The original 3 girls were my husbands idea and I just went along with it at first but now I am hooked too and I decided we had to have EEs too. So the first three have character names from one of his favorite shows and I am not sure what i will name the new girls yet but definitely not mens names like our GCs. Husband has odd sense of humor. Your flock looks very healthy.
 

MANNA-PRO

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