Had a scare last night


Mar 17, 2015
SW Ohio
DH & I were out for the evening. A little after 9 pm we got a call from our daughter. She and 1 of her kids went out to the coop to see the (6) chickens (8 weeks old). The (auto) pop door was down, all still in the run and 3 had iinjuries on the top of their beak. We of course came right home. She sat out there with them using her cell phone flashlight app until we got there.

We don't know what happened. Did the pop door come down on them? Did they try to get in after the door was down? Were they scared and piled on each other getting injured in the process? I guess we'll never know. It's dark here by 8:30 pm, timer set for 9.

I gently washed off their beaks, no dripping blood and added a little neosporen. Luckily it was dark and the others couldn't see the injuries. There is no place to seperate out 3 from the 6 and from each other.

I went out first thing this morning, the beaks are healing already and no red blood to signal injury to others. They are acting normal and no pecking. Is there anything else I should do? Watch for?

We moved the timer back to 10pm. We've only had the auto door for about 1 week but they've always been in way before the door closes. We've gone up several times every evening except for last night when we were out. Glad our daughter thought to go out! Their house is actually closer to the coop than ours. Maybe I should make her our night checker!
Your young chicks were late in noticing it was time to go inside the coop or maybe something happened to frighten them and they cowered in the run until after the coop door closed.

What I can tell you for almost certain is the injuries occurred when they frantically tried to bash the door down trying to get inside.

I've seen this happen. Chickens caught outside their coop with their pop hole closed will literally try to bash their way through the door or even the wall of the coop. Chickens are single-minded about getting to where they need to go, and they go straight for it. They will panic if driven by instinct to get to safety and they are prevented from doing it.

Eight weeks is still a bit young to trust them to go into the coop when they're supposed to. Moving the timer back a couple hours ought to insure they get inside, but what about night predators? That would be my big concern.
Thank you for your reply. I didn't know that! But it makes perfect sense. The timer is now set to close at 10pm (it's pretty dark by 8:30pm right now). Their run is built like Ft. Knox so predators aren't a concern but I still feel better with them closed in the coop at night.

DH & I just walked up (approx. 9:30 and everyone is in, we're going back up a little after 10 to make sure the door is closed and all is well.

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