My chickens won't go outside!

Strychten

Chirping
May 25, 2017
19
25
74
Brookshire, TX
My chickens will not go outside. I have read a couple of other threads with people having this problem, but it was usually due to cold and snow. I live in Texas, outside of Houston, and its May. Cold and snow are not a problem for me. I have 14 birds. 2 Welsummers, 2 Buff Orpingtons, 2 Rhode Island Reds, and 2 Cuckoo Marans (all 6 weeks old) and 6 Barred Rocks (5 weeks old). They are in a coop that I built in which they have 5.7 sq ft of space each and a very generous enclosed run providing 106.85 sq ft each. I have places for them to roost outside, and I have spread feed on the ground to encourage them. But my flock is unappreciative of all my hard work and will not utilize the run. On occasion one will wander outside for a few minutes and then go back inside. (Usually one of the Orpingtons.) At around 6 in the evening many of them will wander out for a while, then come back in when it gets dark around 8:30, and when they come back in they will all huddle together in one corner.

It is presently 87 degrees outside, not a cloud in the sky. Beautiful day, maybe just a bit breezy, but I would think they would like to take advantage of that. When I open to coop door, they rush into the sunlight, lay down and raise one wing. Their chicken-door is open for them all day, with a very nice ramp going from the raised coop to the ground.

I have many animals. Cats, dog, goats, and even fish, and I have figured out their patterns and habits. I can not for the life of me figure out these chickens!
 

aldarita

Songster
7 Years
Aug 2, 2012
626
190
191
Brenham TX
Have they been living in the coop for a while or just recently?
Your birds are very young and they might just be getting used to their surroundings. It looks like you have been doing the right thing by enticing them to come out with feed.
Give them some dry Mealworms , get them to eat them first where they are and then train them to come out by luring them.
I'm in Brenham and it's been pretty windy, my older hens are out so the younger ones follow them ,yours don't have anybody to teach them so you will have to do the job. I know the breeze could be scary for such young birds. Good luck!
 

Strychten

Chirping
May 25, 2017
19
25
74
Brookshire, TX
Could the ramp be too steep?
Will you please post pictures of your set up.
I dont think so. I have seen them walk up and down it, but most of the time they just bypass it by jumping on or off at the top near the door anyway. I will post some pictures when I get a chance, tomorrow afternoon maybe.
 

tinakevin

Songster
Nov 1, 2015
431
153
141
New hampahire
Their just babies. I opened the door for my 5 week olds as well and it took some time for them to decide it wasn't so bad. I did have to teach them how to get back in once they came out lol. Now they go out every day. Just give them time and before u know it they will all be out and happy
 

Strychten

Chirping
May 25, 2017
19
25
74
Brookshire, TX
This morning they poured out of their door like they were leaning against it as I opened it. I had to leave for a few hours and they were all back inside when I got home. I expect about 6ish they will come back out. Still gonna get a few pics here soon.
 

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