hacked off hens

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In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 7, 2009
Well, I went to put the hens up in their coop with the door closed (first time). Thought I could just round them up and coax them in (hence the name grnhrn). Hacked them off and the leader of the pack came after me twice, got me once on the arm. So, got some food and coaxed them up, closed the door. Forgot to put food and a little water for the night and went back. All 4 were sitting on each other in the hen box. Will it hurt them to stay like that or will they eventually move around. Tomorrow I am going to block the boxes off. Oh yeah, do they have short term memory or is she going to hate me from now on.

Nah, they won't hate you- especially if you have treats! They forgive fast.
I have found that trying to round up chickens just gets them frantic. Even the ones that sorta like me don't want to be rounded up. Food is the best motivator. I get a plastic bowl, and call " Here chickies" while tapping the bowl. I might throw a little on the ground to get their attention. It didn't take long for them to realize the tap on the bowl meant food. When I want to guide them, I move very slowly, herding them where I want them to go. It takes a lot of patience, because any quick moves scares them.
As for them huddling on top of each other- it depends on the age. If they are real small, the one on the bottom could suffocate. My little ones sleep in a pile- I have 4 regular sized and 9 bantams. The regular sized ones cover 3 of the bantams.. I try to pull them apart, but they scream and huddle up again. They have been fine. They will eventually move around as they get familiar with the surroundings. I would definately cover the nest box until they are closer to laying age.
For their first week, give or take, it's best to keep them in the coop. Once they get used to it, then you can let them out. When they know where the bed is- they usually don't need coaxing. They are better than kids- they know exactly when it is time to go to bed.
If you are having to round them up to put them in the coop, you should wait a little later. As it gets darker they will form their huddle and be much easier to catch. In just a few days they will be going in on their own.
Thanks!! Got up this morning and everyone was accounted for and no one came flying out at me. Guess they were more interested in breakfast than revenge.

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