Chickens afraid to go into the coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Calilion, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. Calilion

    Calilion Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 19, 2014
    SF bay area
    We have 4 young chickens that up until this point have loved their coop. After they've been in the yard I could open the door and they'd gladly run in to eat. We had pine shavings and dried leaves for litter. This weekend we cleaned out the coop and litter because we had some rain and it got a bit wet as the roof isn't finished yet. The chickens were out in the yard while my husband was cleaning it out. He scraped the boards down and blew it out with the leaf blower-basically made a lot of noise and commotion in there. He then put down fresh pine shavings but no dry leaves. Well, they hens are refusing to go into the coop now. They needed to be wrangled and placed in one by one. Once in, they struggled to get out. It's as though they're scared to be in there. Yesterday was bad, today was terrible. They were flying onto the roof of the coop to avoid going inside. I was even throwing their favorite treats down onto the floor of the coop. What has happened? Could it be the litter? Or is it that he made such a raquet in there that they're scared? Should I keep them in the coop for a few days to fall back in love with their home? Any advice is welcome!
     
  2. Spikes Chooks

    Spikes Chooks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 10, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Wow, they really have been spooked! I have no experience of this, but it does sound a good idea f=to keep them in the coop for a few days, to re-establish their sense of "safe home". If they are in there long enough - and the freaky new litter doesn't attack them - I would have thought they would regain their confidence and stop stressing about it.

    I hope it works out for you all
     
  3. crazyhatch

    crazyhatch Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2013
    My opinion would be to close them in the coop for day or two. Might not use leaf blower next time. Hens especially laying do not like change nor loud noises. Put a red light in coop. Red seems to calm chickens
     
  4. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Overrun With Chickens

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    River Valley, AR

    Notsure what their issue is but birds can be flighty (pun intended)! I would probably leave them cooped for a day or two to let them readjust. I know anytime we have coop construction/repair our girls kind of freak too. Trial and error is the only sure bet with birds. Good luck!
     
  5. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A few weeks ago, my SI was working on a vehicle and had the radio blaring( our chickens have never even heard a radio before). We were letting them free-range at the time and all of a sudden, no chickens anywhere in sight.

    I finally found them, all 14 of them, halfway up the mountain that is next to our home. They had never even attempted to go that far before, so we came to the conclusion that they got spooked by the loud rock music and took off. I spent the next 21/2 hours coaxing them back down again. [​IMG]

    My lesson in chicken raising that week? Chickens do not like new, loud noises! LOL!
     
  6. Calilion

    Calilion Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 19, 2014
    SF bay area
    So I think it was the pine shavings...they looked different than the leaves. I threw some dry leaves on top of the shavings and left them , in the coop for a few days. Voila, they're back in love with their coop. No troubles getting them in now
     
  7. KatieKanDo

    KatieKanDo Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 9, 2014
    Both! They are traumatized by the new look and the noise of the leaf blower. Try to make it look more like it did before the tornado hit even if it means you have to get down to dirt. Keep them out or in kennels til after dark, then place them in their coop after dark. Add the shavings back gradually, like a bushel at a time. It's not a big brain but it will adapt.
     
  8. Tommypace2003

    Tommypace2003 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2014
    I just had the same experience with pine shavings. They were terrified of it. I had just a plain old dirt floor since I put them outside about a month ago. I let my chicks free range so it became a pain in the *** to get them back in the coop when I was going out. They are about 8 weeks old now. I literally sat in the coop with them. (Pretty big coop). I picked them up one by one and rubbed the shaving on there feathers to show them they weren't going to get hurt. It actually seemed to work. They are now digging. Flapping all around in there.
     
  9. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aww. That's awesome. It's funny that chickens can be scared by such small things, but their instincts are to fear things they don't know. So, it's really nice of you to help them get comfortable with their surroundings. [​IMG]
     
  10. Tommypace2003

    Tommypace2003 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2014
    Lol yea. They love it now. Wacky chickens. They are actually starting to grow on me. More thank just egg layers now, they ate now my pets
     

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