Is she retarded?


10 Years
Sep 4, 2009
Hunterdon Cty. NJ
Our chicks are 6 weeks old and up 'till now not one problem. Well they were cooped up for 5 days before I let them out in the run. They spent 6 hours out yesterday and at dusk 5 of them made it up the ramp and in the coop.
I noticed Ester our Easter Egger pacing in the run, looking up and into the coop where all her sisters had gone. She made an attempt to fly up but missed and continued to pace in the run. I went out and she was chirping quite a bit so I intervened. I crawled into the run and picked her up and put her at the top of the ramp and gave her a shove in.
She is not going up the ramp in the coop to the roost with the other birds at night. Is she retarded or afraid of heights?
1) She may not have been ready to go back in
2) She have missed the follow the leader game back inside, and then not been able to quite figure out walking the plank...
3) She may not be the brighest bulb in the pack

Give her another couple of days to practice the nightly routine...she'll get it...
OK, I just had this exact same issue.....
I "made" her walk by pushing her gently where she needed to go. I have found out that if you pick her up and place her; that dumber ones will never figure out where to walk. They only figure out that YOU need to carry them in for the rest of their lives LOL.
You may need to do this pushing for like a week, depending on number of active brain cells,
but it will work.
i have one that is a little slow too but she seems to be bottom of the pecking order.. the 4 sex link. come out to free range together and then 3 go off and 1 sticks around.. when you call them back in for treats she can never figure out how to find the door.. it is only 3'x6' lol but she sees everyone in the run eating treats and she paces outside so i have to pick her up and put her into the run.. she is sweet as can be but just plain slow. even have to put her to bed too.
*cough* I think the correct term to use today is Mentally challenged...
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Yesterday I added a wooden box of sorts to make a tunnel to the chicken door - to try prevent the wind from blowing straight into the coop.

Well, at least half the chickens wouldn't go in, they were pacing around outside, looking through this tunnel into the coop where the other half had happily gone in.

Dunno - they just don't like new stuff. Looks scary.
I have to agree... the 'R' word is abit strong. I had the same experience as you, sminifarm and teach. My 3rd girl took 4 days to figure out the ramp. She'd be down in the run doing a 'help me ' cry, while the others would be up in the coop calling to her.
Yours will get it- all in her own time.
I don't think the OP meant it like it's being taken.
The definition is "slow or limited in intellectual or emotional development or academic progress", and it was a completely accepted word until children started slinging it around as an insult.

Anyhow, OP, You chicky may suffer from a bit of the dim bulb issue, but she might also be easily panicked. Any kinda animal that gets freaked out will have a brain lock-up and will act less than intelligent. Just roll with it and give her extra time.

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