Free Rangers wont Range

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by HewittD, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. HewittD

    HewittD Out Of The Brooder

    15
    0
    22
    Mar 21, 2008
    I had two chickens, about 7 weeks old, and one of them was recently eaten by an owl. After the attack, the survivor spent all of her time under the coop. Whenever she is in the coop, she just stays in there, even if the door is open. Whenever we put her outside the coop, she immediately runs under the coop. We figured she was probably scared, so we decided to get her some new friends. We went to the farm and got two new 7 week olds for her. We stuck them in the pen together overnight, and they were fine, but when we opened the coop in the morning, none of them came out. We figured it was because they didn't know where the door was so we herded them out. Once they were out, the two new ones looked around for a bit, but once the survivor got out, she ran under the coop as usual and the other two ran under with her. They stayed under there all day. I pushed them out a couple times, but then they'd just get all upset so I left them under there. The next day I tried putting them on the other end of the yard. The survivor immediately led them under the deck stairs and that's where they stayed for the day. They don't usually make much noise and hardly ever seem at ease like my chicken that got eaten was. The chicken that got eaten would explore around the yard all day eating worms. My flock now just hides. Is this something time will fix? Should I try separating the survivor from the new two and see if they explore? Has anyone had anything like this happen to them?
     
  2. Bec

    Bec THE Delaware Blue Hen

    They will eventually get brave and head out...no worries...they just know that the coop is their safe spot...
    Mine did that the first few days they were out...
     
  3. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    * Sorry to chuckle-- but that's funny AND SAD at the same time-- Sounds like you need one more chicken, a big brave, bold one!!!!
     
  4. HewittD

    HewittD Out Of The Brooder

    15
    0
    22
    Mar 21, 2008
    That would be nice, but my brave one got eaten. So much for being brave. Also, I got a Hubbard something or other breed, which is substantially bigger than my other two in hopes that she'd be brave, but she's not.

    -Dylan
     
  5. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,156
    21
    231
    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    Maybe they see the owl? It may be nearby looking for another snack. There was a hawk here who used to be sneaky and sit hidden in the branches of a nearby tree and the chickens always knew when it was around.
     
  6. Flyman39

    Flyman39 Chillin' With My Peeps

    127
    0
    129
    Dec 24, 2007
    West Virginia
    That chicken is smart!! I would keep these chickens cooped up for a few weeks. Buy a bag of feed and keep them locked in or that owl will pick them all off sooner or later. If you keep them up for a while he may go elsewhere to look for his dinner.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2008
  7. HewittD

    HewittD Out Of The Brooder

    15
    0
    22
    Mar 21, 2008
    Would an owl hang out in sight of the chickens for a week without eating another one?

    -Dylan
     
  8. Flyman39

    Flyman39 Chillin' With My Peeps

    127
    0
    129
    Dec 24, 2007
    West Virginia
    Owls, Hawks, Foxes, Weasels, Raccoons, coyotes, will hang around a place where they find and easy meal. Especially if they know theres more to be had. Unless it gets too hard or too dangerous for them or they are eliminated they will be back. They are extremely smart critters. Unless you dry up the food source so to speak, they will clean you out. On the other hand, if this is a resident owl ( meaning he lives close to you all the time and has plenty of other food sources) he will constantly be a problem.
     
  9. chickflick

    chickflick Overrun With Chickens

    4,485
    100
    291
    Mar 10, 2007
    Dimondale
    Of course the survior is scared..... Plus, they are still so young!! They are following the lead of the other. Leave them be and they will come out once they feel safe. I would do what Flyman said.... keep them indoors for awhile and make sure that owl is no where to be found.
     
  10. CamasMom

    CamasMom New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Mar 27, 2008
    Camas, WA
    We didn't let any of our chicks out of the coop until they were 12 weeks old - just because of predators. I am by no means one of any decent "chicken experience," but I think they just might be young and afraid. They'll venture out when they're ready. Those bugs are just too good to resist.... [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by