New to keeping chickens and they suddenly won't come out?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Bakeybadoo, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. Bakeybadoo

    Bakeybadoo New Egg

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    Sep 9, 2013
    Asking on behalf of my mum who is new to keeping chickens.

    She got 3 small (sorry, don't know the breed) hens a couple of weeks ago.The seller is reputable and breeds and owns chickens himself. She was told they should start laying within a month or so. They are kept in a brand new and large enclosed run/coop.

    At first they were out all the time, apart from evening when they took themselves off to bed but now they are very reluctant to come out at all in the day time.

    Any ideas?

    They seem fine - making noises and appear content but they simply don't want to come out if they can help it.

    Where she lives there can be wind and rain but even on the sunny days, they are reluctant.

    They are kept on grass, with their house off the ground, and the grass is long. She wondered if they didn't like the long, wet grass but has strimmed it shorter and it hasn't made any difference.

    She ensures they have clean food, water and grit, throws them speciality treats every few days and grapes, she has hanging green veg for them to peck at and keep them interested and active. Their house is clean and they have a small dust bath.

    She lives in a very rural area so no noise could of shocked them etc and she doesn't have any dogs but just 2 elderly cats.

    Being novice she's concerned they are sick or she's doing something wrong and so any help and advice you could offer would be greatly received!
     
  2. TOP KNOT

    TOP KNOT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you have some pics of them in their house? Could another animal have spooked them? Is the grassy run area shaded or in the hot sun?
     
  3. Bakeybadoo

    Bakeybadoo New Egg

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    Sep 9, 2013
    They are kept in the corner of a stone wall, between the side of the wall and a small wooden garden shed, so shielded.

    Plenty of sunshine and light though, I would of thought.

    No other animals. Other than birds, perhaps foxes, shrews, voles, mice, frogs etc. Certainly nothing large like cows or sheep etc.

    Pic attatched.

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    Last edited: Sep 9, 2013
  4. TOP KNOT

    TOP KNOT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What a beautiful coop! Everything looks really nice! I wondered if they went in to get shade? Maybe on one end you could get a sun shade of some kind on the top? Just and idea. How hot is it there during the day now?
     
  5. CedarAcres

    CedarAcres Sunny Side Up

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    Mar 18, 2013
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    My Coop
    It could definitely be that they are looking for shade. I'd try putting a tarp over part of the top to create shade and see if that makes a difference. It could also be something that is scaring them inside. We have lots of hawks that will sit in the tree right above their run and they will all stay inside until they are sure he is gone. I'd definitely try creating some shade for them though!
     
  6. TOP KNOT

    TOP KNOT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My mom has a cockatiel, she one day let him loose to fly in the house (by mistake) He landed on the window ledge in her kitchen way up high. I coopers hawk saw him....and attacked him at the window from outside!! Obviously the glass protected him, but he had a heart attack!! He will not go near that window any more!! So that may be your answer..hawks. Keep and eye out to see if maybe thats the case.
     

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