Ladies won't leave coop


In the Brooder
Jul 4, 2016
Eastern Shore, MD
I got my first chickens about a week ago-have never had chickens before. The flock is 8 older birds that someone gave me-6 hens, 2 roosters-these birds have been together for about 2 years. I kept them in their coop and pen for a week so that would learn they are home. I let them out of this afternoon into the yard so they could roam a little. I had planned on letting them have the run of the yard each day. They wouldn't leave their pen--is this normal? How can I encourage them to leave the pen?
Just give them time to get comfortable in their surroundings. They'll explore by themselves soon enough.
Yes, they are just being cautious, might throw some scratch down just outside the pen door to entice them out.

Why 2 cockbirds?
Even tho they have previously lived together in peace, be ready to remove one male if things get disruptive
They could fight and/or overmate the hens.
Thanks so much. I have the two roosters because the entire flock was given to me as my starter flock. All 8 birds have been together for almost two years and it seems pretty stable. There is definitely a hierarchy, but it seems to work. I will continue to keep an eye on them and remove one or both if they get to be a problem. Originally, I hadn't planned on having any roosters, but it was all or none.

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