Need help on acclimating new Polish pullets!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chickenhorsefarm, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. chickenhorsefarm

    chickenhorsefarm Hatching

    Feb 19, 2007
    Floyd, VA
    I've recently acquired two 13/14 week old Polish pullets, who have been hand raised indoors in a cage with a few of their Polish sisters. At our place we have 1 rooster, 4 adult hens, and 10 pullets who are about 12/13 weeks old. The new Polish girls have been given haircuts so that they can see, and I've been keeping them in a cage inside the coop so they don't get picked on at night. During the day, for the first several days, I let them roam free in the coop (indoor and outdoor parts), and then started letting them out in the yard. They just seem so clueless about what to do, and they don't seem to have realized that they have to go back into the coop to get their feed. Of course the others see them as "sitting ducks" and will harrass them at will, and when this happens, they just freak out, run around, and get stuck in a corner or against a wall/bush like they don't realize they can go sideways, etc. I thought they'd learn to stay away from the mean girls, but they're just oblivious!

    They also don't seem to have the "home territory" concept down- they wander quite far, in open fields... yesterday we had to retrieve them from our neighbor's house- they had crossed a 4 acre field on their own!

    Any suggestions on how to get them to figure things out??? They do enjoy getting out of the cage in the mornings, but even then, it's like there's an invisible wall they see and they just sort of stop, turn around, and go back into the cage...

    Any help is much appreciated!!
    Robyn and Greg
  2. robin416

    robin416 Songster

    Feb 6, 2007
    Leave them in the coop/pen for a longer period of time. They don't recognize the new home as theirs yet. If they are visible to the others while free ranging things will eventually settle down.

    The returning to the cage thing is their safe haven. Leave it in place for a while to give them a sense of security.
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    You're going to have to give them sometime to get used to outdoors too if they have only known a garage and a cage for their lives thus far. I would do as above and hope they figure it out.

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