needing help with homebody hens!

Bridebeliever

Songster
Sep 12, 2015
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Revelation 21:9 Washington
Oh my word! It's driving me NUTS! Mine are doing the same thing!! They just LOVE their dumb coop so much they don't want to leave!
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I however don't want to have to clean the coop so much and I have to when they spend so much time in there. I have thought of locking them out of it but I want them to have a safe place to run to if they see a hawk or an owl. They don't have a covered run for an outside area...just acres of wonderful LAND to roam around! It's wooded, there's ferns to hide under. ect. I was going to post the same thing, so I'll follow yours! My girls coop is 8x17 so very large and comfy. The only thing I do is throw BOSS for them a couple times per day outside so they come out for a while but usually they go back inside after about 15 minutes.
 
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BlackBriars

Songster
Jun 17, 2015
102
20
101
Oklahoma
Are you are saying they refuse to free range? If so, I would eliminate food from the coop/run in the mornings. It should force them outdoors to make a living. I say mornings because they will be naturally motivated to fill their craw in the mornings.

Try it and see if they begin foraging, sun bathing, chasing each other, etc.
 

Bridebeliever

Songster
Sep 12, 2015
2,005
272
191
Revelation 21:9 Washington
Are you are saying they refuse to free range? If so, I would eliminate food from the coop/run in the mornings. It should force them outdoors to make a living. I say mornings because they will be naturally motivated to fill their craw in the mornings.

Try it and see if they begin foraging, sun bathing, chasing each other, etc.
Thanks for the advice! Even if I just moved their food outside it would be an improvement!
 

venymae

Prairie Wind
6 Years
Aug 18, 2014
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2,204
341
Manhappiness, Kansas
My Coop
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Are you are saying they refuse to free range?  If so, I would eliminate food from the coop/run in the mornings.  It should force them outdoors to make a living.  I say mornings because they will be naturally motivated to fill their craw in the mornings.

Try it and see if they begin foraging, sun bathing, chasing each other, etc.
Mine don't free range. They just won't go into the run! There is no food or water in the coop. They cone out in the morning eat, drink, return to coop. And repeat a couple more times during day. Hahaha they are frustrating: )
1f601.png
 

Bridebeliever

Songster
Sep 12, 2015
2,005
272
191
Revelation 21:9 Washington
Are there many overhead predators that are making them not want to hang outside? I have many ravens and hawks making noise overhead so I'm thinking that's why mine don't want to be out. There's plenty of coverage for them to be safe and no clear area for a hawk to come down between the branches of trees and evergreens...but the hawks make themselves known with their call. Also, we have literally HUNDREDS of bald eagles in the area lately though I haven't heard their "scream".
 

BlackBriars

Songster
Jun 17, 2015
102
20
101
Oklahoma
Mine
Mine don't free range. They just won't go into the run! There is no food or water in the coop. They cone out in the morning eat, drink, return to coop. And repeat a couple more times during day. Hahaha they are frustrating: )
1f601.png

I think if you'll put some chicken furniture out in the run, you will see an improvement. Chickens love things they can get up on to surveil the area and under for cover.

The chickens lower on the pecking order will appreciate food in areas that keep them hidden from the others while they eat. Change things around in there, chickens are curious by nature and love to explore/find things.

Report back with results!......grin
 

nikolairapunzel

Songster
6 Years
May 4, 2015
129
77
146
Northern Michigan
I have no advice!! But I have the opposite problem as you:) I can't get mine to stay in the yard unless they are in the coop/run. We have over 2 acres of yard and they go around our fence to the neighbors house (which is a campground and not chicken friendly) or the field next to us. Funny chickens!
 

Happy Chooks

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Jul 9, 2009
40,417
3,557
626
Northern CA
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Quote: For starters, how old are they?

Predators can cause them to not go outside. But so can many other things, like they are older chickens that have never had outside access.

To start, throw treats to entice them outside. Scratch, mealworms, BOSS, etc. You can move their water outside, but you need to make sure they are going out to drink, or they will die. Food outside is a free for all on critters like squirrels, chipmunks, wild birds, rain (mold is very bad), etc. Wild birds can bring diseases into your flock. I keep my feed inside for this reason. I have most water sources outside, except in my coop that raises babies, they also have water inside.
 

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