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Chickens seem to be scared of their new drinker

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Chuckie, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. Chuckie

    Chuckie New Egg

    Nov 5, 2013
    Hi [​IMG]

    Apologies if this is a question already asked, but I have searched & not found the answer

    I am new to chicken keeping; about 8 weeks ago I acquired 4 pullets aged 18 weeks.

    We are all getting along blissfully, but I have just changed their small (slightly slimy) plastic drinker for a larger galvanized one and they seem to be terrified of it. last night 1 of my hens refused point blank to walk past it to go into the coop. It was about 4 hours after sunset when I gave in and lifted her to the coop.

    Is this normal?? Any tips for calming them down and accepting it into their lives? [​IMG]

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I’m sorry. I shouldn’t laugh but I can envision that happening. We call them bird brains, not because they are not intelligent but because their brain works in their own mysterious way.

    Chickens are creatures of habit and often have trouble with any change or anything different. If I carry a bucket down to them they come running, but if I have something really dangerous in my hand, like a small camera, they are terrified.

    A classic example this time of year is they are normally scared to death if they wake up to a white snow on the ground. No way are they leaving that coop. That white stuff is different so it has to be dangerous. But if it stays on the ground for a few days mine are normally out foraging in it. Some are a lot braver than others.

    My advice is to be patient. She should see the others drinking form it without getting eaten and get her courage up before too long.

    Maybe this story will help. A few years back I harvested some corn (maize) from my garden and wound up with a yogurt cup of corn ear worms. I had a bunch of 10 week old chicks free-ranging so I dumped that cup of worms in a pile near them. Those chicks eyed those worms cautiously. A few started to really carefully edge just a little bit closer. One of the worms wiggled!! Run away!! Run away!!

    They didn’t run far and some gradually started edging closer. Very carefully, closer and a bit closer. One wiggled!! Run away!! Run away!! This went on a while but eventually one brave one got close enough and took a bite. That pile was gone in less than 30 seconds.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
    3 people like this.
  3. yogifink

    yogifink Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2013
    Pinebluff, nc
    My Coop
    Quote:That is hysterical. All I can think about is the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail and the chicks yelling 'run away' run away' as the flee from the worms. lol
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I was thinking of Monty Python when I phrased it that way. It was hilarious to watch, both the movie and the chickens.
  5. Chuckie

    Chuckie New Egg

    Nov 5, 2013
    That is hilarious! Thank you!

    & yikes, I hadn't even considered how they will react to snow. I had thought that they may not be too bothered by it as I've seen a lot of chickens pecking about quite happily in the snow in the Himalayas...I guess they come to accept what ever is "normal" to them.

    Over the last 2 months I have noticed that:
    a) you really cannot reason with a chicken
    b) once they do something once you don't have to show them again

  6. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 29, 2012
    The forum is liberally sprinkled with stories of chickens scared of metal things so at least you are not alone :)
  7. Theda's Mom

    Theda's Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2007
    Moscow TN
    Because chickens are cautious of new anything, I try to "overlap" when I need to upgrade important items like feeders and waters. Add the new feeder to the coop, but leave the old one in until the girls have decided that the new one isn't the anti-Christ or a demon from hell. That way they'll still be able to have a bite to eat or a sip to drink. [​IMG]

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