New hens won't go outside and debeaking issue

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jblomquist, Nov 19, 2014.

  1. Jblomquist

    Jblomquist Hatching

    Sep 26, 2014
    I ordered two pullets online as I live on an island off the coast of Maine and getting on the mainland is a problem. Anyway, I have two issues...I've had these pullets for over a week and they will not leave the coop and go outside into the this ok? The hatchery I purchased them from said they have never been outside...which I find alarming. My first instinct is to just let them come out when they feel ready but should I put them outside?
    Also they have been debeaked...I only had three hens before getting these but they are not debeaked (and had I known this hatchery practiced that I would not have purchased through them...which it does say they do on the website but I didn't understand what that meant). So I know they are doomed to forever be on the bottom of the pecking order but are there any other issues I should know about? And will it grow back?

  2. mymilliefleur

    mymilliefleur Keeper of the Flock

    Nov 4, 2014
    East Tennessee.
    If the hens have never been outside they may be a little confused and not know what outside is. I would put them out if they won't go out themselves, so they can get used to it. (you probably want to watch them in case they don't know how to get back in) I'm guessing that after a while when they get settled in, they'll learn from your other chickens,(do you have others?) about when to go out, what to do, etc.
    I'm not shore if the beaks will grow back or not, I've never had a debeaked chicken, but I have had some that have broken their beaks and they have always grown back, so I'm guessing they will over time.
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland

    I've had the exact same issue, except I had 40 debeaked hens, who'd never been outside. It took me about 10 days to tempt them out of the coop and for the first 2 weeks after that I had to walk around with them outside, to get them to to free range. Eventually they got the hang of being proper chickens and ranged far and wide. They just needed time to get used to the outside world and all the scary things out there, like wild birds, who used to scare mine half to death!

    With the debeaking I found little problems, except the severely debeaked hens needed to be fed in bowls and I had to wet their feed so it was like porridge consistency and easier for them to eat. Most commercially debeaked hens have their beaks trimmed in such a way that it damages the nerves and blood vessels, preventing regrowth.

    Once my hens got used to the change of environment and settled in, they became quite assertive and eventually established their places in the pecking order.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by