Juvinial chicks won't leave the coop

becy

In the Brooder
Mar 24, 2015
24
1
24
I put my 3 juvinial chicks out in their coop for the first time one week ago and they seem to have no interest in leaving it/using the run. I kept them locked in the coop for the first 3 days and then opened the door on the afternoon of the fourth day. They were curious and haunted the doorway until dusk, but never went out. The 5th day they showed little interest in the doorway until I took their feeder out of the coop and put it on the ramp to coax them out and that worked. They eventually got comfortable with the run and scratched and pecked all around, returning to the coop periodically and then coming back out. I put the feeder back in the coop as it rained all the 6th day and now the 7th and 8th day now they haven't left the coop at all. They seem perfectly happy and content to stay inside.

Question: should I put their feeder outside? Their feeder and waterer are inside the coop.
 
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becy

In the Brooder
Mar 24, 2015
24
1
24
Further info: I have 3, 2 month old bantams in a 4'x4' coop with access to a 10'x16' run. The coop is so big for them, do they just not feel the need for more space? I would think all creatures would prefer to be outside then "cooped" up, haha, but these birds seem perfectly content to hang out inside.

Does anyone have any thoughts? I've been reading the forums and haven't found anyone else posting about their birds not wanting to go outside...
 

becy

In the Brooder
Mar 24, 2015
24
1
24
No one?

Is this a really stupid question or does no one have any idea what to do about chickens who won't leave the coop? Are my chicks are the first chicks ever to not want to leave the coop? These are my first chickens so I'm new at this and all the people I know in real life who have chickens have not had this problem.
 

Sonya9

Crowing
7 Years
Feb 7, 2014
1,922
1,161
291
Georgia
If it were me I would keep the food out in the run (weather permitting). The run is covered with netting or wire right?

If they are very afraid of the "openness" I might see if I could add a couple of things for them to hide under (lawn chairs or something).
 
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Clemsonchickfan

In the Brooder
Apr 12, 2015
54
10
41
Sumter, SC
I had a similar situation just last week. After three days, I put their food at the bottom of their ramp and caught them sneaking down to it, but they were very skittish. Everytime the wind blew, they ran back to the coop.

I decided that they feel safe there and it would take time for them to realize that they were also safe in the run. I leave my food out all the time and I think that makes a big difference because that's the first place they run to each morning when I open the pop door. I do have a metal roofed run, which keeps the food dry.

Remember, lots of things like to eat chicken and they know it!
 
Mine have a very large coop and very large run. It took them almost 2 weeks to decide to go outside, I didn't worry about it, since there's plenty of space either way, but now that they've discovered the outdoor fun, they're loving it! Maybe just give them time. Or if you just want them outside, then yes, feed them there and they'll get it. Good luck both of you, with your babies :)
 

becy

In the Brooder
Mar 24, 2015
24
1
24
Ok thank you so much. I feel better knowing I'm not the only one with agoraphobic chicks, haha! It's supposed to rain on and off the next 5 days so I guess I'll leave the feeder inside and just be patient--let them decide on their own time. I wanted to make sure I wasn't making some stupid mistake. I'll also see if I can find something for them to hide under. The run is covered with poultry netting and totally predator proof, they can chose to go in and out of the coop at will. Thank you again, Sonja9, Clemsonchickfan, and AshlyMommaWard!
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,276
33,286
1,122
Colorado Rockies
Are the chickens in your first and second posts the same three chickens? Or are there six total? Having other chickens to contend with could affect the younger ones' confidence.

But it's entirely normal for very young chickens, being given freedom for the first time in their lives, to be hesitant. They need to step out very slowly to satisfy themselves there's no danger, and also to familiarize themselves with the layout.

They will poke their heads out and test the open space slowly but surely. Keeping the food out in the run is a much better idea than leaving it in the coop, regardless. Chickens only need to coop for sleeping and laying.
 

Clemsonchickfan

In the Brooder
Apr 12, 2015
54
10
41
Sumter, SC
Not knowing what your coop and run setup is, I would see about putting the food under the coop, if it's raised and open underneith, or making a little "shed" in a corner or off to the side with a small roof to provide protection for a feeder and some shade. Maybe just a 2X4 frame with a piece of 3ft x 3ft metal roofing a few feet off the ground? I got my metal from a guy who had it left over from a project.
 

MANNA-PRO

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