1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    Not a member yet? join BYC here & then introduce yourself in our community forum here.

Chickens won't leave the coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Debo's Chickens, Nov 15, 2008.

  1. Debo's Chickens

    Debo's Chickens In the Brooder

    Aug 6, 2008
    Everett, WA
    Quick re-cap of my story: I have a small house on a 1/4 acre lot in a suburban area. I got a coop, run & 3 chickens in September. The chickens were about 4 months old when I got them. They all turned out to be roosters (not allowed in my city & I want eggs anyways).

    So, a week ago, I brought them back to the guy I got them from & he traded me for 3 hens, all 9 months old. My coop is 2 stories: roosts & egg laying area on top; food, water & access to the attached run on bottom. Since I've brought them home, they spend most of their time in the top area of the coop. It was really rainy the first few days, but it's been nice & sunny the last couple of days & they still don't seem to want to be in the lower area or run. I've seen 2 of them in the lower area more, at least once a day. But I've only seen the 3rd (a RIR) in the lower area once all week. And when she did go down, she seemed quite alarmed & was making very loud clucky/crowy noises. That was at least 3 or 4 days ago. I haven't seen her down once since then.

    I'm really worried, because how can they be eating & drinking enough? The roosters I had for 2 months ate all day long, foraged around my back yard & hardly stayed in the coop during the day. I put some cooked oatmeal in upper part of the coop day before yesterday, but didn't put anything up there yesterday, and I still never saw the RIR come down. I guess I'll put something up there for them today; I don't want it to die. But I don't want to "coddle" it too much either. Will it never get the motivation to go downstairs if I keep giving it food upstairs?

    Does any of this sound normal? Does it typically take this long for hens to adjust to a new home? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
  2. crazyhen

    crazyhen Crowing

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    Sometimes it takes hens a week or two to calm down enough to come out. My brahma run back at every new sound.. If they are hatched there it is different but moving after starting to lay is very hard on them. Jean
  3. Debo's Chickens

    Debo's Chickens In the Brooder

    Aug 6, 2008
    Everett, WA
    ok, well I'll give it another week then. I changed their bedding today & put a small dish of food & water in the upper part of the coop. The Red stayed up there all day, but the other two came down for a few minutes (the other two are a Black Australorp & a Barred Plymouth Rock).
  4. Omran

    Omran Songster

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    That is normal, don't worry and try to givethem some treats like chees I bet they will start to becaome your best friends.

  5. Debo's Chickens

    Debo's Chickens In the Brooder

    Aug 6, 2008
    Everett, WA
    Quote:ok, good. That is kinda what I was thinking w/ the oatmeal, so I'll keep giving them little treats, as well as some pellets. I just started some seeds to sprout yesterday for them too.

    Patience is not one of my virtues [​IMG] and the roosters just acted so different. I guess I expected the hens to act similarly, but I've been doing some other reading on the forum & it seems that it's normal for the roosters to have more personality & be more outgoing.
  6. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    Coddle them!

    It's not going to be permanent, but it'll get them to trust you faster.

    Grapes seem to be the quickest way to a chicken's heart!
  7. lovemychix

    lovemychix Songster

    Oct 14, 2008
    Moulton Iowa
    My hens are obsessed with the babies I put in the next room and sit and watch them all day. They are so funny! So they stay inside all day.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2008
  8. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm 10 Years

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I experimented with mine until I found out what their favorite treats were. Now every morning when they see me, they come running for their treats. They may take a while to get comfortable. Are you geting any eggs? It may take around a month. They like rituals, so I do the same things about the same time every day.
  9. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    It sounds like the change in scenario is causing problem....

    ... but sometimes, your chickens can be telling you something. I would be worried that a predator was nearby.
    21hens-incharge likes this.
  10. Henaminute

    Henaminute Hatching

    May 17, 2017
    Thank you for asking this question nine years ago. I keep my water in the run, and the food in the coop. My Isa's won't go down for water, and my RIR won't go in for food. I gave in tonight and made sure both areas had food and water

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: