New pullets in hiding - should I be worried?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by longday, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. longday

    longday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2012
    I bought 3 10wk old australorp pullets last Saturday. They seem happy and healthy - eating, drinking, pooping, pooping, pooping. [​IMG]

    I Put them in the new coop I built: last Sunday after having them inside overnight just to watch that they're healthy. Sunday evening they came downstairs for a while, and I threw them some vegetable scraps which they didn't seem interested in. That was the last time I've seen them downstairs. It's now Wednesday.

    So, a few questions:
    1. Should I be concerned that they're not venturing downstairs yet or am I being too ambitious? Is it all just too scary for them? How long does it take for them to realize that this is home and get comfortable?
    2. Is it too young for them to be interested in veggie scraps? When I had them inside, they were scratching and pecking the newspaper. If they're too young, when can I expect them to start?
    3. I intend to free range them whenever I can be home to supervise, but my dad recommended keeping them locked for a few weeks until they get that the coop is home. I've clipped their wings...when should I start letting them out?
    4. Should I just drag the suckers out into the daylight and make them go downstairs and/or into the yard? How can I encourage them out?

    Sorry for so many questions. One thing to note is that there are two dogs next door that bark, so this might be freaking them out a bit, but they came from a farm environment where I would have thought that kind of noise would be normal.

    Any advice, suggestions gratefully accepted!

  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    First off let them get comfortable in their new home, that will take a few days to a week. They should come downstairs when they get bored or curious. If you find a treat they like you could tempt them down. As for the vegetables, anytime now. Just make grit available. Letting them free range after a few weeks time getting to know the coop is home is a good suggestion. The dogs next door don't sound like the dogs they were used to, or they bark more, or the dogs, or were farther way.
    Looked at your coop, it looks good.
  3. longday

    longday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2012
    Thanks for the response. I know, I'm an anxious first time mom. [​IMG]
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Chickens dislike change of any sort. As long as they are eating and drinking they will eventually adapt to their new environment. By forcing them to do something they are not ready to do, I think you would only lengthen the the time needed to adapt to their new home. Be patient. They will be fine.

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