Chickens Won't Leave Enclosed Part of Coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by feather-pluckin, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. feather-pluckin

    feather-pluckin New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Jan 12, 2013
    Hello! I'm a new member here and just recently started my own flock. We started out with 4 chickens at the end of December, but had a security breach and ended up with one survivor. After fixing the wiring to the cage (we put up wire mesh that is stapled and screwed in - nothing is getting through this!), I went and bought my lone chicken another little friend. The only problem is that they won't leave the enclosed part of the coop unless I make them.

    This is what the coop looks like (this was when it was first built before we added chickens and fixed the wiring):

    [​IMG]
    This is the entrance to the enclosed part. They have to go up and down the ladder. I've seen them both going up and down, so it's not a matter of them not knowing they can do it.
    [​IMG]

    This weekend, we had an unfortunate visitor, a bobcat:
    [​IMG]

    This is not the only predator we have around. I personally have seen a weasel and a big raccoon, which is what I think got the first three. So my question is, will the chickens eventually figure out that that they can go down into the main part of the coop by themselves? I have food and water in the enclosed part and I'm also wondering if I should just take it out to sort of force them to go down to the bottom for food and water. I'm worried that they'll just end up starving/dehydrating themselves instead. Thank you for all your help and suggestions. It is greatly appreciated!
     
  2. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,242
    208
    208
    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I would put the food in the open part of the coop and then place the chickens next to it so they know it's there.

    Make sure that the wiring you put up has gaps smaller than a raccoons hand - they will reach in and eat them through the fence. As long you are confident they are safe. I would force them down with the food. Chickens get stuck in habits and will just keep doing the same thing unless something chances.
     
  3. feather-pluckin

    feather-pluckin New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Jan 12, 2013
    I will move the food tomorrow and see how it goes. The wire we put up is so small I can't even fit a finger through, so I think they should be very safe at this point. We even went around and screwed down some parts of the roof that seemed a little weak.

    Thank you for the suggestions! It is greatly appreciated!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by