Hiding flock

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by skyfilly, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. skyfilly

    skyfilly Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 6, 2014
    Nova Scotia
    Hi everyone

    I've had my buffs for about a week now and the last two days I have let them out to free range. They did well the first evening and went to roost no problem. Then the second day I opened the barn to let them do the same and they hid in the corner of the barn all day. I was confused and tried to coax them out. I managed to coax them out to eat and walk around the barn but soon as I left they were back in the corner. All the while the doors were open for them to be free to roam. About 7 in the evening, they came out of hiding and finally came outside to forge like the night before. Then about close to nine went back to roost for the night. I'm confused with the behavior! Why are they hiding all day! And coming out only in the evening?
  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join our flock. I can only think of two reasons why your chickens would refuse to leave the barn. Either you have all hens and they have all gone broody at the same time (very unlikely), or something outside the barn scared them late that first day or that night. The next time you open the barn up, I would move their feed and water outside of the barn for that day, and physically take them and set them outside of the barn near the food and water. If they try and return to the barn, I would shut them out for most of the day, only opening the barn up again in the afternoon, and returning only the water to the barn at that time; not the food. I would repeat this process each day until they started going out on their own in the mornings to get the food. Good luck with getting your flock to free range.
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Newly moved chickens can be scared of their new surroundings. It takes time to adjust to their new home and when they feel comfortable, they will venture out. If this was my new flock, I would just open the doors and let them come out as they see fit. I would however, keep food and water outside so when they do come out, they don't need to go back in to eat or drink. Eventually, when they are comfortable, they will come out each day and won't be hiding. Try to keep the noise down out side...lawnmowers, weed whips, cars, barking dogs, etc...these noises will scare them enough to keep them inside.

    Enjoy your new flock and welcome to ours!
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] Glad you joined us! I agree with the above. Encourage them to go outside, without forcing them, and give them time to get used to the great outdoors. Keep an eye out for predators, in the sky as well as on the ground, that may spook them.
  5. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! You've gotten some good advice above, also depending on what your weather is like, it may just be more comfortable in the barn now, most of mine are staying inside during the day and only coming out either early or late.
  6. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    Apr 23, 2014
    At our lodge
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    You've gotten great advice.
  7. skyfilly

    skyfilly Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 6, 2014
    Nova Scotia
    Thanks everyone, they went out today just fine pretty much all day.
    I moved the food close to the door and they eventually came out and stayed out. I think they have got use to me. They come to me when I call them haha.
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    It's hard to be brave when you are chicken [​IMG]. Really though everything loves to eat chicken, they have to be wary to stay alive. Soon enough - especially if you offer treats now & then - they will decide you are one of the good guys.
  9. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    Alright hope you are finding everything alright ......... [​IMG]

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