Growling and chickens won't come out of coop (not broody)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SoManyHats, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. SoManyHats

    SoManyHats Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 9, 2013
    Winchester, VA
    I'm a new chicken momma, and even though I've read a lot, I guess I'm still anxious like any new mom. :/

    So my six girls are 17-20 weeks old. We've had them since Thursday. I let them out of the cage I picked them up in and they enjoyed the fenced area of the yard. Later it took me forever to get them in the coop (I realize I should have put them in there first). The next day they came out, but spent most of the day under a bush. They'd venture out a few feet if one of us was sitting right there watching, but go back under the bush as soon as we walked away. Yesterday they stayed in the coop all day, except for a couple hours in the morning when they sat under the bush - it was overcast in the morning, then raining all afternoon. Today it's beautiful out, but they won't come out of the coop at all.

    On top of that, the hen that appears to be dominant is growling at me every time I get near them. Yes, it's growling - like I would think it was a dog except I know the noise is coming from her. I read on BYC about growling and staying in the coop related to broodinees, but my hens aren't even laying yet. So is this normal behavior because they're in a new place?:confused:
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Yup, normal. It will take them a while longer to get used to their new digs. Chickens just don't like change. I am guessing the growling is fear or self defense. The longer you can sit around in their area and let them get used to your presence, the sooner they will become accustomed to you. Of course, bribery always works well. Get a little scratch, bird seed or black oil sunflower seeds and put some in a margarine tub or the like, then shake it and throw a little on the ground. You could even do this with their regular feed. Say something consistent when you do, like "here chicky chicky" or whatever. Soon they will come either to the "here chick chick" or the sound of the seed being shaken in the container. Much easier than trying to round them up!
     
  3. SoManyHats

    SoManyHats Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 9, 2013
    Winchester, VA

    Great idea with the food. I have been putting sunflower seeds in a plastic cup before I go see them since I read this. I'm not getting growled at anymore! They still don't come out of the coop much until almost dusk- when they come running out for just a few minutes right before they go in to bed. I have no idea what that's about. Thanks for your help. :)
     

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