Chickens not going outside

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by firefighter9208, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. firefighter9208

    firefighter9208 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 4, 2008
    Springville, Alabama
    I have 25 chickens that are just over 10 weeks old. I opened the coup so they could go outside on Saturday (it's been in the 70's here during the day. They just stand at the door and look out. I placed 4 outside on Sunday and they couldn't figure out how to get back in. Yesterday afternoon I found one outside that had roosted in the grass (it was after dark).

    The coup is about 24" off the ground and I made a ladder out of a 2x6x60" with cleats on it. They won't climb back up the ladder (runway).

    Any ideas??? Is this normal????


    Chris
     
  2. farmergal

    farmergal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 21, 2008
    Nor Cal
    Try sprinkling feed on the ramp. They'll go for the feed and soon learn how to walk up and down it. My LF chickens figured it out pretty quickly. They were 5 weeks old when they went outside.

    But I just brought home 3 full-grown silkies, and they still haven't ventured out of the coop.... (they've been in it with the door wide open for a few days now). With some birds I think it just takes more time!

    Good luck.

    ETA: I think my silkies were raised indoors and are a bit scared of the outdoors... yours might be the same way... it's a big world out there!
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
  3. Superior Chicks

    Superior Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    I walk past the run, calling:....."treat treat treats!"

    I go to the people door.

    They run up the ramp like someone is shootin' at 'em.

    The key with teaching chickens anything..................is thru their stomachs![​IMG]

    Ma

    P.S. When they are little everything scares them. The first time my peeps went outside, the train whistle blew and they all ran in the coop as fast as their little peep legs could carry them. It was so funny. They did this every time the train whistle blew for several weeks!
     
  4. Momo

    Momo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2008
    Nelson BC
    I have a raised coop too and I've found that the youngsters take a bit of time - a few days to a week or two - to really figure out the ramp thing. I put them out in the run during the day and at dusk I gather them up and put them in the coop (if it's fairly dark I put them on the roosts). They do get the hang of it after a bit.
     
  5. firefighter9208

    firefighter9208 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 4, 2008
    Springville, Alabama
    Ok,

    I was just wandering if they were retarded. I'll try the food thing this weekend.

    Also, I have been keeping a 15 watt CFL bulb on all the time. Do I need to put it on a timer. I have a roost built in their coop, but I never see them on it. I can go into the coop any time after dark and they will be "roosted" on the floor. Almost like my goats bed down at night.

    Chris
     
  6. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well they're young, after all. One thing they might enjoy is a platform directly outside the pop door. It gives them a place to gather while they plan their day! They can also check for 'danger-danger' from there and pop back inside if nervous. Mine love their platforms year round. I use hay bales for jump-ups.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=7693-LynnePs_Run
     
  7. firefighter9208

    firefighter9208 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 4, 2008
    Springville, Alabama
    I had never thought of a platform. I LIKE IT!!!! Think I'll build one this weekend. They stand at the door, but act like they don't want to go down the ramp. Maybe if they could get outside first and look around then they would want to venture further.

    Chris
     
  8. Superior Chicks

    Superior Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    LynneP what a great idea.............fab![​IMG]

    We went to the lumber yard today (they are going out of business and everything is 75% off!!) to get the makings of our new "chicken deck".[​IMG]

    This is the single BEST idea, really. The "deck" will be made so that the girls come straight out their pop hole right onto the deck. The coop is 6x4 ( and elevated 2' of the ground) and the deck will be 4x4. So plenty of room for lounging....lol! Their ladder will be at the end of the deck, just like stairs to a real patio deck. And we have plenty of room since our run is 16' long. This will make it soooooo much easier for the peeps to forray into their new scary world. They can run right back in if (when) they get frightened.

    Now we are going to go look for some very small patio chairs and tables..........[​IMG]

    Ma

    Thanks again LynneP!! This is also a great solution for us for getting the girls to come out during the long winter months here.
     
  9. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2008
    Missouri
    They are young and they will eventually figure out what to do.
    They will eventually start roosting on their own too.
    I generally buy eggs of the breeds I want and hatch under a broody hen and let them do all the raising and teaching. The broody teaches them that good things lurk outside as well as the bad things, little chicks will follow a broody right up a ramp into the coop but without it takes them a while to figure it out and a broody also teaches them that roosting is the chicken thing to do at night.
    When I have bought chicks they do all the things you are describing and it can be frustrating especially the part about teaching them to go up a ramp and into the coop at night, that collecting a putting up for the night is aggrevating.
     
  10. Squid Bait

    Squid Bait Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2008
    Fayetteville, AR
    I had this problem last year. I watched for a while and realized that they were sliding on the ramp between the cleats. Instead of adding a bunch more cleats, I just carpeted the ramp with some left over berber style carpet. They got good traction and took right to climbing up and down.
     

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