My Chickens won't come out!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by TaylorChicks, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. TaylorChicks

    TaylorChicks Out Of The Brooder

    May 6, 2013
    Is this normal? We have 8 chickens. 4 of them are 8 months old and four are 1 1/2 years. They are all cold weather breeds (chosen with our Michigan winters in mind!). It's been really chilly this week and they have not come out of their coop, into their run, hardly at all! They may come out to get a drink but that is it. They are normally outside all the time. This is my first ever winter with chickens. Is it normal for them to stay in their coop? Do I need to add extra treats to get them outside to "exercise"? Also, they have completely quit laying eggs. We do not have extra light for them at this time.

    Thank you!!
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Is there snow on the ground? They are generally slow to acclimate to snow and dislike venturing out into it if over a couple inches deep. The shortened day length is indeed probably what was caused them to stop laying.
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    It's all normal. My chickens don't like the snow and cold, either. I just leave their pop door open and let them decide. It's also normal for them to quit laying this time of year. The older ones may be coming off a molt. The change in weather could have set them back, along with the decreased light. Just this week I have one that has started laying. Until yesterday, I hadn't seen a fresh egg in two weeks. The egg I'm getting is color I haven't had before, so I'm assuming it's a pullet from this spring. Be patient. They'll lay again, and give them the choice to go in or out. I don't know that they really need "exercise" this time of year. They are burning off enough energy just trying to keep warm.
  4. TaylorChicks

    TaylorChicks Out Of The Brooder

    May 6, 2013
    Okay! Thank you! They do have the choice to go in or out and they seem happy. We do have about 3 inches of snow on the ground now. Actually, when the snow really stuck is when they quit hanging out outside.
  5. chickengirl1193

    chickengirl1193 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 12, 2013
    north Jersey
    my girls arent coming out either :/ their coop is only 3x4 for 4 of them so I feel bad that they dont want to come out. I even spread a bunch of hay over the snow and put a bunch of kitchen scraps on top to entice them and they only spent about an hour outside total today

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