Hiding Chickens


6 Years
May 21, 2017
Hi All,
We have just inherited 4 older chickens with a new house we bought, 1 Australorp and 3 Sussex (no eggs in the last 4 days). The previous owners said they would leave lots of information, but all we got was 'they don't really lay anymore' and some of their food left for them. They are really friendly girls and seem to be in pretty good condition, slightly messy bum on 2 of them, but don't seem to have diarrhoea at the moment. They have their coop, which they're happy to settled themselves into at night to be locked up. The run is fenced around the side (2 metres high) but open on the top. The second day when in with them I decided to see if they wanted to have a wander outside of the run. The were very calm and ran right to a spot under the veranda that I soon realised was their dust bathing area, so I know they have been free range in the past. They spent about 30 mins out then headed back to their run. My concern is that they seem to spend most of their time sitting together under their coop and don't really want to come out, even into their run.
Their run definitely needs some work to make it a little more interesting (there's really nothing much in there for them) and I want to put a roof over it to stop the wild birds from coming in to steel their food.
Is there any reason why you think they would just spend most of their time sitting under the coop when they could be free ranging on our 5 acres.
Thanks in advance.
It could be several things what comes to mind is they must be older if not laying so too old to go far,weather being too hot or not right for them, in general chickens don't wander too far from home (the coop) nor do they like to be out in the open for safety reasons

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