Not leaving the henhouse

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by pattycake, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. pattycake

    pattycake Songster

    May 7, 2007
    fingerlakes, ny
    My flock has an 8X8 henhouse with an attached 10X 20 run. In the mornings I go out and sprinkle scratch around the run for them, mostly so they'll have something to do when they're not freeranging. But... lately every time I go out to visit them, they're all standing around in the house!

    And when I have a snack, the rooster's always the first to venture out of the house and the ladies follow. Could it be he's not letting them out most of the time?

    It's true it's cold out, but it's not that cold.

    I'm wondering if the rooster's getting a little crazed with his protective duties.

    I worry because they're losing feathers on their backs and I've seen them eat feathers that fall to the floor, and suddenly eating eggs again, too. Maybe I have some nutritional problems with my organic feed.

    Any advice to return my flock to normalcy?

    Oh, yeah -- I heard coyotes twice in the last week. Maybe they heard them too?
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Could be something is scaring them and they see inside as safe. Thus being inside, leading back to the pecking problems. More protein might be good for them.
  3. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    Yep, could be a combo of things. The wind actually bothers them more than the cold. If it's windy mine don't like it outside.

    Protein in the diet could be a issue here. If you aren't worried about the organic issue too much, I would up the protein with black oil sunflower seeds and dry cat feed as treats.

    I'm always after the best health possible for the flock.


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