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My chickens don't like my run :-(

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Agilityscots, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. Agilityscots

    Agilityscots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2007
    Central Ohio
    The last two days my 8-week olds have had access to their run all day, for the first time ever. Yesterday, they would only come out and hang out for a few minutes before going inside; I swear I could hear their little chicken brains saying, "Gee, is this all there is?" before they wandered back inside. I thought maybe it was the heat, so no big deal.

    Well, this morning I let them out again...it's a beautiful morning, not even 80 degrees yet, and the run is fully shaded by a large pine until about 11:00. They came out, ate some grass, and after about five minutes wandered back into the coop--where they now sit!

    Is this normal in the beginning? I thought that once they had a taste of freedom they'd be like little crazy chickens, but apparently not. It's a good thing I decided not to have kids, because the ingratitude of my chickens is killing me.

    Amy
     
  2. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    One of the first things I learned about chickens is that they don't take much to change. [​IMG] The run may be neat and great to you, but it's unfamiliar territory to them, especially at just 8 weeks. Most of the time what I do is to put the waterer outside, close to the door where they can plainly see it, and when they get thirsty they'll come out to drink. The more they come out the more familiar the run will be. Yes, the way they are acting is perfectly normal. [​IMG]
     
  3. Agilityscots

    Agilityscots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2007
    Central Ohio
    Thanks Becky. I do have a waterer out in the run, but I have one in their coop, too; they're spending so much time in the coop that I'm afraid to take the one in the coop out because of the heat. They did like it yesterday when I gave them ice cubes in the outdoor waterer. I've waited for two months to watch chickens in my back yard...alas, I will have to wait even longer, apparently (do you hear the ingratitude creeping in again?).

    Amy

    P.S. If I come out into the run, they'll come hang out with me: "Cool, Mom's here. Wonder if she's got anything?" But as soon as I step back into the house, it's only a minute or two before they hop back into the coop. *sigh*
     
  4. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    You see? They feel safe when you're there. [​IMG] That's a good thing. I also give treats only in the run. Not in the coop or when they're free ranging, only in the run. In time, this will train them to run to the run whenever you have treats which comes in handy sometimes. [​IMG] So, whenever you have treats, even just pieces of bread, toss it into the run, in plain sight of the door, and call them. When they see you throwing things, they should come out. Have fun, they'll be all growed up soon enough. [​IMG]
     
  5. Agilityscots

    Agilityscots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2007
    Central Ohio
    I know you're right, they'll be grown up soon enough. I guess I just have to give them time. But it's so hard!

    The coop and run aroe about 75 feet from the back of the house, and just for kicks I called for Ruby, my favorite. She plopped right out of the coop and came to the run door! So cute.

    I will definitely try the treat thing...although I suspect it will cause a mass mobbing. [​IMG]

    Amy
     
  6. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    With 5 chickies, I don't think the "mass mobing" will be enough to worry about. [​IMG] Have fun!
     
  7. Standard Hen

    Standard Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2007
    Massachusetts
    Your chickens will love your run as soon as they become accustomed to it. They are just a little "chicken" at the moment and will come around .
     
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Change is scary for them. Don't worry, they'll start to love it... then one will get out of the run, and love freedom so much you'll feel bad with them pacing to get out every day to free range!
     
  9. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Jan 30, 2007
    WV
    I've learned that it just takes time...they will be fine...good idea on the water both in and out of the coop...that's what I do....
     
  10. Agilityscots

    Agilityscots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2007
    Central Ohio
    Silkie, I've actually worried about that--I don't want one of them slipping out of the run while I'm going in or out. I have NO idea how I'd catch them then! They're still too small to free range; they'd be easy pickings for a hawk. But I might try it a bit this fall for an hour or two at a time, as long as I can be out there with them.
     

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