Looking for help for a pullet that won't go into the coop!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by akleser, Dec 26, 2016.

  1. akleser

    akleser Hatching

    Jul 19, 2015
    We have a small flock of six hens. We currently have an Easter Egger, an Olive Egger, two Red Sex Links and recently added a barred rock and an ameraucana. All the hens are just over a year old, with the exception of the Ameraucana, who is a pullet and is having a really hard time adjusting. We introduced both her and the barred rock slowly, over the course of about three weeks. The barred rock is fully integrated into the rest of the flock, but the Ameraucana is still refusing to go anywhere near the others, to the point where she won't go into the coop at night :(. We live in Ontario, Canada - and our winter's can get quite cold (down to -40 C last year) - I want to make sure she learns the coop is a good place to go in the cold, but am unsure what to do. At this point, I have to go out every night and physically put her in the coop (which she does not like at all :( ). Any suggestions? She's a beautiful bird and I would hate to lose her to the cold!
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Barring leaving them all locked in for days, you're doing all you can do. She is not part of that flock and she doesn't feel comfortable with them.

    If you have the housing options, take the ameraucana and another bird and house them separately for a week till they become friends.

    Imagine if you got a new job with a bunch of people you didn't know who were all fast friends and older than you. But, you had to sleep with them too. How would you feel?'
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2016
  3. Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Being persistent about putting her in is good. When you go out every night is she already roosted up somewhere or still running around? If still running around she may be waiting until after roost havoc settles down. It is one of the most brutal times of day! Lowers on the pecking order in my flock do 1 of 2 things... either go in before or after the havoc starts. Yes I have plenty of room a roost space but it still goes like that.

    There are some I had to be persistent with. And since they really don't like being caught and handled before long they comply and put themselves away. Sometimes it was a matter of waiting late enough to see what they were going to do and ta da it worked!

    Also, do you leave a light on in your coop? That could be bad because it allows roost time antics to go on longer. It usually has taken about 2 months for each one of my broods to fully integrate. However those with more confidence mingle faster. Don't know if you mean Ameraucana or EE, so far they are not nearly the same in my flock. The Ameraucana are confident but the EE are often more nervous and closer to the bottom of the pack. Though every single one of my birds is an individual.

    Now it might not help the pecking order... but you could use a treat to call them into the coop at the right time and just lock it up before she makes it back out.

    But most likely she just needs more time and your persistence will pay off! Chickens are creatures of habit, so whatever they get used to they will do and any change to the is stressful.

    Good luck, hope you enjoy the forum!
    1 person likes this.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    How big is your coop and roost...in feet by feet(or meters by meters)....might want a separate roost for the newbies.
  5. Good point, I also have a separate, lower roost for the newbs. It helps a lot.

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