coop to free range

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Danpa, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Danpa

    Danpa New Egg

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    Dec 4, 2012
    Good Afternoon, I'm Danpa. My family and I have just recently begun raising chickens. I have been reading a lot on this website prior to and during building the coop and learning about feeding, watering, etc. Thank you to all for the information I have acquired prior to even joining. I do have a question for others who may be more experienced. My intent all along has been free ranging my chickens. I have had them closed in the coop for over a week since their arrival. They have been eating and drinking a lot, so I guess well. I opened the "chicken door" of the coop this morning for the first time and have left it open all day for the hens to come out. Not a one has come out so far. Should I expect them to be scared a couple of days and then start coming out? How long might they stay in, even with the door open? I have three buff orpingtons and 3 RI reds.
    Thank you for your time.
     
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    They'll get the hang of it, they are just not so sure yet about leaving the coop. When they do come out they'll likely stick pretty close by the coop at first as well. As they get more comfortable they'll increase the area they forage in.
     
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    It's perfectly normal. It's a new, strange environment and they'll be a bit scared at first, but over time they'll get curious (or brave) and start exploring. I had some battery hens once who would not leave the coop for more than a week after I got them and after that they would not free range unless I was with them. It took weeks, but they eventually overcome their paranoia and explored the farm by themselves. Just give them time [​IMG]
     
  4. Spikes Chooks

    Spikes Chooks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This above is good advice. How old are they? if they are young they will be even more timid. Eventually, they will step out and explore close by. Bit by bit they will go further. It's a good thing if they have cover to dive under close by, as they will be easily frightened and their instinct is to dash somewhere under cover from attack from above. I first let mine out at 8 weeks old and they had large wild birds to contend with. Not predators, just large and noisy. (In Australia, so Cockatoos and lots of really big parrots). At first they dived for cover or the coop at every noise. Now they are 25 weeks old they chase the wild birds off the ground - even when they are nearly as big as them. Once they get used to the area and common noises and movements, they will become quite relaxed about it. Good luck!
     
  5. Danpa

    Danpa New Egg

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    Dec 4, 2012
    Thank you for the info.
    I'll just be patient.
     

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