Help for new chicken owner please

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by debleew1, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. debleew1

    debleew1 Just Hatched

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    Mar 18, 2017
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    Hi there from Northern Ireland , I have had my lovely four Barred Rocks (point of lay) for almost 3 days. when we got them home on Thursday evening we were advised to put them straight in the coup which we did. I have spent lots of time chatting with them but they will not leave the coup and I don't want to force them. They appear to spend most of their time in the nesting boxes (obviously not laying but just laying about). They also don't seem to be eating loads but they are eating some of the Layers pellets I have put out and two will take meal worms from my hand. Should I be patient, Are they ok have I done it all wrong. I did loads of research and have read lots on the forum pre getting them but now I am a bit worried I might be setting them up to fail. Can someone help me please. Sorry to ask what must seem daft questions. Cheers Deb
     
  2. SueT

    SueT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I never brought home adult chickens, but imagine they are just stressed from the change of residence. Give them time. What is their outdoor option...a pen? Free range? It's probably good that they are getting comfortable in their coop, some people have the opposite problem, of chickens that don't want to go in.....
    Good luck!
     
  3. debleew1

    debleew1 Just Hatched

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    Mar 18, 2017
    northern ireland
    Hi thanks for the reassurance! They have a 8 foot by 8 foot pen and a 4 foot x 4 foot coup with an additional side piece with three nest boxes. The aim is to let them free range eventually but get used to us and their surroundings first. It is raining but then it's Northern Ireland so it's inevitable! Thanks Sue all advice is valued Debs
     
  4. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Move their food and water out into their run. That will get them mobile and exploring.

    I prefer to feed and water outside of the coop anyway, just to not give up the space, and reduce the mess in the coop.
     
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  5. debleew1

    debleew1 Just Hatched

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    Mar 18, 2017
    northern ireland
    Thanks I forgot to say the coop is raised up about two foot so they have a ladder to negotiate as well. The fence I've put round them is four foot high galvanised steel. The coop itself is really secure my husband made it so I have no issues with that. I just don't want them flying over it. Do you think it's likely? Sorry if I being a pain!
     
  6. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It would be easy for them to fly over if they wanted to. You'll likely need a cover of some sort.
     
  7. SueT

    SueT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they try to fly over it, you can clip feathers on wings, there are forums w instructions. They may be used to fencing and/or heavy enough now and not even try...
     
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  8. debleew1

    debleew1 Just Hatched

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    Mar 18, 2017
    northern ireland
    Hi

    massive thanks to all who have replied, we took advice and left them to it whilst we stayed close chatting to them as we made some run and coup amendments, Ms Parker, originally named Dorothy Parker in tribute to her American heritage, however now referred to as Ms Parker for her very nosey or inquisitive behaviour, took a liking to me and came out and has since followed me all day and even sat on my knee for a while pecking my ears. Is it love or simply the fact I had a few mealworms to entice her... ? Anyhow within the hour the four were foraging like their lives depended on it and have clucked around us until dusk. We left them hoping they would go back in of their own accord, however they had huddled together at the bottom of the stair, but happily let us pick them up and pop them back into the coop and settled. Feel much better thanks to the advice and support offered here, thanks for taking the time out to help. Debs
     
  9. SueT

    SueT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like it is working out very well! You may have to put them in at dusk more than once, but they will get the hang of it.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Chickens are chicken(scaredy cats) not sure if either of those term are common in Ireland.
    They don't like change, new places/people, they are fearful it ...
    ....but their natural curiosity and insatiable appetite overcomes that fear pretty quickly as you have found.

    One word of caution, don't let them peck near you face, those beaks can put shinily attractive eye out in less than a blink.
     

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