Chickens in the coop all day long - why??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jldeuth, Sep 16, 2016.

  1. jldeuth

    jldeuth New Egg

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    Sep 16, 2016
    I am brand new to chickens - please help! We picked up two Gold Star hens, 10 months old, a week ago (last Friday). We are in a suburban area. Our yard is not fenced in, but we have a fenced in (with chicken wire) run area about 45 sq ft. The previous owner confirmed that they were laying before we picked them up. But we have not seen an egg yet. My biggest concern, however, is that they want to spend all day in the coop. They come out every so often to eat, and then go right back in the coop. They will also come out if we go out there. The first few days they were here, they were out in the grass all day. On Monday evening, the neighbor's dog got loose and was over here barking at the chickens from about 20 ft away for 10 minutes until the owners came to get him. They started staying in the coop around noon on Tuesday. Could it be because they are afraid? Any ideas on why else they could be doing this and how to get them to come out?
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    A new home will often do to hens just what you describe - a reluctance to leave the coop and a slow down or even halt to egg production. The egg production will come around on it's own. For the coop issue I guess you toss out some treats to entice them out. Or even lock them out of the coop so they become accustomed to life on the outside. Best of luck!
     
  3. Adalida

    Adalida Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just to clarify, you said the first few days they were out in the grass. Do you mean out in the fenced run, or were you letting them free range on the rest of your property?
     
  4. Adalida

    Adalida Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When my newest chickens were about 6 weeks old, I had them outside and I ran into the house for a minute- and they got attacked by a hawk. No casualties fortunately, but they were afraid for a very long time after that. They stayed under the porch all the time because that's where they felt safe. It was weeks before they got brave enough to venture around the yard with the other chickens. I'm thinking yours were badly scared by the dog, since you said that they had been going outside and then stopped. They feel safe in the coop or if you are around, but not by themselves.
     
  5. jldeuth

    jldeuth New Egg

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    Sep 16, 2016
    Just the fenced run.
     
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    They are afraid of the whole new set up....Take a few steps back...
    Start today as if this is day one with the hens....Keep them confined to the coop and run..Do not force them to come out...Chickens can not handle stress very well..The egg production stopped because of stress...Continue to feed and water and I read they will come out of the coop with you sitting there...Continue to sit with them...The barking dog, a new home was just too much...
    Keep them confined for two weeks or till they start laying again and then they will be fine...

    Good luck with the new birds..
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Yes. The dog made them cautious. Just give them time.
     

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