Getting the chicks out of the coop


In the Brooder
Apr 12, 2015
Sumter, SC
I have 4 chicks that have been in the coop for about two weeks now. Their just over 5 weeks old. The weather here is beautiful, so I've opened the pop door for them to get out and explore their run. They won't go out!

Yesterday I left it open for about 6 hours. Today it's already been over two. I have taken their food and set it at the bottom of the ramp.

I even took one of the chicks out and set it on the ground. It immediately flew back up to the coop. What else can I do?
Just have patience and let them do what they want to do.
Sometimes I have chicks go out when they're a week old. I've also had chicks that were 12 weeks before they were brave enough to venture out. And they were all the same breed. They tend to copy each other so if one does it most will.
Mine are the same way they will go into the bottom run but not venture far in the yard. And when thy do venture out thy hide under the trampoline. It's natural for them to be cautious. Lots of things like to eat chicken!
I'm having the same issue. Ours are 6 weeks. Pop hole has been opened ea morning for 3 days now. None have ventured out. Today I moved food and water to run at bottom of ladder. Will monitor for a couple hours to see what happens. Otherwise, do we just leave food and water in coop until they all come out on their own each day?? This site is so helpful!! Thanks in advance for your help!
This being an old thread, don't expect too much response. It's best to start your own thread when you see a thread is dormant as this one has been for a year.

That said, chicks are very reserved about venturing forth into new territory. They are like a bather on a beach in spring, gingerly testing the water with their big toe, then wetting their legs up to the knees, then hips, etc, before getting in over their head. This is an instinct born of survival, since chicks can easily be picked off by predators.

My chicks have full access to the run after age three weeks, and the flock usually free-ranges most days so the doors to the run are left open. Yet the chicks will hang back for a couple weeks, and then when they do venture out of the doors, they hang around within a few feet of the run for the next week or two before wandering as far as the adults are.

It's important to provide food and water where the chicks are likely to be hanging out, so I would put them out in the run as well as keeping them in the coop. Your chicks will be out of the coop and exploring their new world in no time, but then you may need to teach them to go back in when night comes. Don't expect chicks to know everything!
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my question and the advice about old threads. I'm an obvious newbie to chicks and this site. Hopefully this thread will help someone else!

Your answer feels intuitive and I just need to trust mine more!!
Thank you

Intuition and common sense will carry one farther in chicken keeping than you would expect. Those that grew up on farms or with animals have a leg up but it isn't rocket science.
When in doubt, think about how nature would handle it.

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