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Chickens don't forage

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Mom2TeensNTrips, May 12, 2011.

  1. Mom2TeensNTrips

    Mom2TeensNTrips New Egg

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    May 12, 2011
    1st time to post - and I've not seen an answer on a quick search. We have just started raising chickens. We have 6 pullets about 2 1/2 months old. (not sure the breed - they were from TSC - 3 reddish/brown and 3 white) They don't seem to do much - just sorta sit under the kids' climber toys. I thought they would spent most of their day foraging on bugs and stuff. (the main reason we got them) Is it normal for them to just sit around, clumped together? Thanks!
     
  2. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    How long have they been in that area? It takes them a little while to get brave enough to start wandering around. Eventually they should start exploring more. They're still young, yet, even though they're larger than little chicks. If you raised them from the time they were day olds and they trust you, it helps to stand around by them, so they will feel braver. You can also toss a little grain or some seeds in the grass for them to forage for, to encourage them. Otherwise, I would just give them time.
     
  3. Amyable

    Amyable Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They just need more time and bravery. I brought in some half-grown pullets last year, and it took them months to start foraging far and wide with my main flock. Some still like to hang close to the coop. They'll feel safer if they have some things to hide under around the yard, like shrubs or chairs.
     
  4. Mom2TeensNTrips

    Mom2TeensNTrips New Egg

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    May 12, 2011
    They've been in this area for about 3 weeks. We let them out in the morning, and put back in the shed at night. (still waiting to get our "real" coop built) They have fresh food and water and lots of little hidey places. I'm hoping they will soon devour the ticks! I will wait. They are cute and my 3 year olds think they are lots of fun! I had chickens when I was a kid and they seemed to just always be going somewhere. Unfortunately, I don't remember any of the "taking care of" stuff for them. We are looking forward to this little venture and learning from this website. Thanks!!!!
     
  5. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Partly it comes with experience and they'll get better with age. I have my chicks out on the yard, at least in a tractor by the time they're 2-3 weeks old. By the time they start crowing, I occasionally don't fill the feeder till late afternoon so they REALLY get encouraged to eat stuff from the yard. I want them to go to bed full, but as long as they're on the yard they won't STARVE if they don't have "feed" part of a day.
    I have some White Leghorns raised like that and they are the best forragers in my flock, even though it doesn't seem very likely for their breed. The Barred Rock girls are also good. My Black Copper Marans girls actually ALLOW grass to come up in their run!! They were brooded and raised on the yard as teenagers, even though they are confined now, so you would think they would have learned same as the other girls [​IMG]
     
  6. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    I wonder if what you have are meat birds? Meat birds really don't do much but sit around and grow and wait for freezer camp.
     
  7. memiller123

    memiller123 Out Of The Brooder

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    My new chicks are taking a while to forage. When first placed in their coop, it took days for them to go outside.
     
  8. Kudzu

    Kudzu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, I have/had the same problem. We bought 5 Red Star pullets from Murray McMuray (sp) and were very pleased when they arrived. We had the coop and run ready and were ready for chicken TV. Our run is huge, the first 2 weeks they used approximately 4 sq. feet. I took it upon myself to teach them how to act like chickens, I had my wife show them how to chase grasshoppers and eat them (just kidding). The last couple of weeks they have come on strong, they meet you at the door and follow you around while talking up a blue streak. Still won't let me pick them up, but they like to be petted. Give yours time, they will come around.
     
  9. dweej

    dweej Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2011
    Southwest MI
    Our 7 week old birds have a HUGE fenced area all to themselves and have been out there for almost a week. Up until this morning, they stayed in the same 4x4 square. We were so excited to look out earlier today and see them chattering together 15 feet away from the coop. Woo hoo! They're real chickens after all! [​IMG]

    So it may just take a little more time [​IMG]
     

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