chickens afraid to go out the pop door!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by vickibiro, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. vickibiro

    vickibiro In the Brooder

    May 30, 2010
    LaGrange, Kentucky
    The coop is finally done. I loaded them in their new home last night, locked them inside all night and opened the pop door about 6:30 this morning and got one of the girls and put her outside thinking the others would get the hint and go out. Instead she came back in and they are all huddled together scared to death. They hate their new digs! I guess they'll get used to it but this is so disappointing.
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    They are afraid of new things. They will get over it. I'd suggest you leave them locked in the coop for a couple of days. Do not let them out to the run. Otherwise, if you do get them in the run, you may have trouble getting them back in the coop to lock them up for the first few nights. Once they get comfortable with the coop as their home, open the pop door and let them go into the run whenever they want. One will eventually get brave and try it. It will probably hang at the pop door and come back in pretty quickly. Soon you will see a few hanging right at the pop door. Before too long, and how long depends on how bold and curious your chickens are, they will be going in and out as if they were always doing it. As long as you have food and water in the coop and you have the coop properly ventilated, there is no real reason to force them outside. They'll get there. But they need to get used to the coop first. I think that will make your life easier.
  3. crj

    crj Songster

    Dec 17, 2009
    Rocky Point, NC
    I totally agree with Ridgerunner. It's a lot for the little birds to take in at one time. New things are scary. It's fun to watch them build up the courage to be adventurous. They will be just fine.
  4. Farmington

    Farmington Songster

    Jun 2, 2009
    Northeast Ohio
    They will get used to it. Once my EE's figured out the outside thing, you can't keep them in! My older D'Uccle bantams, however, those girls are indoor girls. They just like it in the coop most of the time. You have to pick them up, and make them go out, and then most of the time , they run back in. What can I say, they're wierd!
  5. Newtohens

    Newtohens In the Brooder

    Apr 7, 2010
    My girls were afraid of everything, so once I put them out in their run, they were to afraid to try out the ramp to the pop door, let alone the pop door itself. So the first day they spent completely outdoors until about dusk. At dusk I went out as they started to bed down on the ground, then I scooped them up and put them through the pop door and into the coop. Then I shut the coop door and locked them in overnight. I went out first thing the next morning at around 5:30AM (before I left for work) and opened the door. I don't know when they got brave enough to come out but by the time I got home that afternoon they were all outside in the coop.

    On a side note -- I had to "put them to bed" in the coop for 3 nights before they figured out on their own to go into the coop at dusk.

    Hope this helps.
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Yeah, they do that. They're chickens.

    I'd let them stay indoors a couple days (leave popdoor open, just don't force the issue) to get used to the new coop, then if they ahve not started taking the initiative, I would go out there a couple times a day and chuck the whole lot of 'em out the popdoor, with water and food available outdoors. After a few days of this they will clue in, and then you will be posting "how do I get them to go back in the coop at night?" LOL

    Good luck, have fun,

  7. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Songster

    Nov 8, 2008
    Portage County, Ohio
    Hey Vickibiro!

    I hope you're doing alright. [​IMG] I was wondering how your pullets are doing getting in and out of the coop? They are such silly things aren't they? Silly and fun too.
  8. vickibiro

    vickibiro In the Brooder

    May 30, 2010
    LaGrange, Kentucky
    They are sillly and loads of fun. They are going in and out the door just fine now but not using the roosts or the nesting boxes. They would much rather fight over who gets to sit on top of the waterer and poop on it.
  9. sunflowerenvy

    sunflowerenvy Songster

    Apr 4, 2010
    south/west tn
    ia m glad they r doing better just put your water under something[like a table or your nest box. is your roster to high of the ground i put a lower roster for them and it work u might have to put all of them on the roster for couple days. the nest will come later when they start laying egg then u have put them in it and then she will get the hang of it too
  10. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    May 6, 2010
    My Coop
    Don't worry too much about them not using the roost at first (providing they can reach the roost). I built what I thought was a fabulous coop with well thought out roosts and for the first two weeks they (all six) piled into two nest boxes. It was disheartening. Once they found out how cool it was to be up high, that changed, quite literally, overnight. Go in at dusk an put a couple birds on the roost so they know that climbing up there is possible; before you know it, they'll all be up there.

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