Chickens won't go in coop after being attacked

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by MI-chicks, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. MI-chicks

    MI-chicks New Egg

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    Jan 23, 2017
    Hoping someone can give me some guidance to help my very distraught girls. I left the coop door open the night before last. Unfortunately, some predator went in the coop and killed one of them inside the coop. The other 5 girls were able to escape unharmed (surveillance camera showed them running up to the back door for help, but we weren't home!). I didn't realize until later the next day that one was missing, and I found her inside the coop. We've cleaned the entire coop, and placed fresh straw, but the chickens won't go inside. They didn't want to go near the coop, and two of them laid eggs in our shop yesterday. I managed to lure them into the run with some Raisin Bran. However, they won't go up the ramp into the coop. Understandably, they don't feel like it's safe since they were sleeping in the coop when they were attacked. They want to sleep in a pine tree outside, but don't realize that that's even less safe! So I've had them locked up in the coop/run for over 24 hours (they normally free range all day), and none of them have laid an egg, nor is there any evidence that they've gone up into the coop!
    Is there anything that I can do to help them get back to normal? I'm assuming that the best thing is to keep them locked in until they start to feel safe enough to go up in the coop again. We're in a warm spell, and they are sleeping on the perch in the run. I'm also worried that there were no eggs in the coop or run today. Is this just stress, or could they be holding them in?!? They also ate almost nothing yesterday and today.
    Any support is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Pen them in coop for a few days. Move things about on inside so it looks different. Make certain coop is predator tight. After a couple days all should be good. Response of avoiding a location where a predator encountered, especially at night is normal.
     
  3. Zoomie

    Zoomie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mora, NM USA
    Agree with @centrarchid they are just scared and who wouldn't be? If you can, catch them at night and put them right in the coop. Then just lock them in and leave them in there. Set your sights on a week, but it could well be less. You'll notice when they feel more relaxed.

    I don't think they can hold eggs in, but shock and fear can upset the laying cycle. I'm sure they will relax once they realize it's OK to be in the coop again. Make it as nice as you can for them in there.

    I manually shut my coop door at night by hand, but I am really thinking about getting an automatic door. It would solve the problem of accidentally leaving it open.
     
  4. MI-chicks

    MI-chicks New Egg

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    Jan 23, 2017
    Thanks for the advise. I had considered an automatic door, but how do you prevent the issue of it shutting them out if they don't go in as usual? My girls like to sleep on the perch in the run when the weather is nice.
     
  5. Zoomie

    Zoomie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mora, NM USA
    Take down the perches in the run, until sleeping in the coop is a well-established habit. They might like sleeping outside, but it's dangerous, they can't know that.
     

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