Chickens are staying out of coop and getting killed

Chicken Chirper

In the Brooder
Jul 3, 2018
10
6
26
We have three new hens, they prefer perching on our chainlink fence then going into the coop, inside the coop their is two ducks and 9ish other chickens. I am leaving for a trip and am worried they will get eaten. Even night I put them in the coop by hand otherwise they would stay out. Please help.
 

ChickenCanoe

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They have to be locked up in the coop for days before they imprint that it is a safe and comfortable place to sleep and develop the habit of going in at dusk.
How many birds and how much floor space in sq. ft.?
How much ventilation?
As new birds, they don't feel comfortable chumming up and sleeping with strangers. Not to mention that they prefer to sleep outside, all things considered. They love fresh air.
 

Chicken Chirper

In the Brooder
Jul 3, 2018
10
6
26
The coop is secure and there is a chain link fence around it the front. but the rest just has flimsy chicken wire. Sadly I cannot lock them inside because its not really a run. Trust me I know, lets just say we used to have 2 geese(then they got pulled through the wire.
I don't have any pictures I could take on if nessisary
 

Chicken Chirper

In the Brooder
Jul 3, 2018
10
6
26
60 square feet on whole side is a window that can be opened for extra air flow and is cracked open currently. We got them as chicks and now they are laying so their not really new. I can't lock them in because all the other chickens need to go in the coop to lay eggs, rost and eat food.
Any other ideas?
 

ChickenCanoe

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Nov 23, 2010
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New birds don't know what home is until they've slept in there many nights in a row.
If they are unfamiliar with their surroundings, the bed of a pickup truck, a chainlink fence, a tree branch, the rail of your deck or the roof of your house all seem like a good place to sleep to them.
 

ChickenCanoe

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OK. Try leaving the window wide open.
The building I have with the smallest window has a fan in the window blowing onto the roost year round. The hens earliest to retire, tend to find the best spot in front of the fan regardless of how cold it is.
Figure out a way to lock some in. Perhaps create a pen inside the coop so you can lock up the freedom loving birds.
 
Last edited:

Chicken Chirper

In the Brooder
Jul 3, 2018
10
6
26
They have slept in the coop for the last 2 weeks, I just had to put them in there by hand.
Ps What are some good breeds for dark brown eggs?
 

ChickenCanoe

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10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
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St. Louis, MO
When you said 3 new hens, I assumed you just got them, not raised them from chicks.

Dark brown egg laying breeds in order of color intensity are Marans, Penedesenca, Empordanesa, Welsummer, Barneveler and Langshan.
Some lines will always be darker than others.
It is a trait that must be selected for. I've gotten Marans eggs that were very light.

Some people say their sex links lay dark eggs but they aren't really a breed nor is it a trait they are known for.
 

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