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Not returning to the coop...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by fraoch, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. fraoch

    fraoch Hatching

    Apr 11, 2008
    I have a situation that I'm trying to work out... may be a bit wordy, but trying to give all details that may or may not be pertinant.

    I have a small flock of 4 hens. One of them I raised from a day old (I had 4, but 3 of them turned out to be roosters), the others I got from another person when they were less then a year old (to make SURE they were hens. [​IMG] )

    This was the end of last summer. There was a bit of scuffling, but they settled out just fine. Two of them were kept together at the other person's, and those two are close - one was by herself when I got her, and then there's the one who I hand-raised.

    One day during the fall, my neighbor's let their dog loose... and it found it loved to chase my chickens. My chickens fled, and it took a full day (and night) before three of them returned to the coop.

    The fourth one - the one that I got from the other person who was kept by herself - took a few more nights to return to the flock.

    This is when the problems began.

    That fourth one has been not returning to the coop at night most nights. She hangs around outside the run during the day ... but when night comes, she doesn't return with the others about 90% of the time.

    I have tried that when she does get in there to leave them in their for extended periods of time, but that doesn't seem to be doing anything.

    I'm noticing that she doesn't seem to belong so much to the flock ... she's starting to go more and more her way, though she does still loosely hang out with them. Last month, I didn't see her for an entire week ... thought something had finally caught her.

    When she came back, I found and caught her and put her in the coop. Had some stray dogs roaming around, so I kept them in the coop for a couple weeks until that situation was taken care of ... and finally let them out yesterday to free range a bit.

    Last night I went to shut the coop and found that only one - the one I hand-raised - even returned to the coop at all last night. This morning I found the other two had stayed with the fourth

    What can I do to make sure the chickens will return to the coop at night? Last night kind of worried me, I don't want my flock going wild.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2009

  2. chickens asome

    chickens asome Songster

    Apr 5, 2009
    kenora ontairo canada
    dont let her out outside or make a fenced in outside with chicken wire:thumbsup
  3. Chicken03

    Chicken03 Songster

    Mar 20, 2009
    Western Pa
    Yeah keep them in a run for a while. Make sure that they can't fly out of it. Don't let them free range for a few weeks and it might help.
  4. fraoch

    fraoch Hatching

    Apr 11, 2008
    Thanks, but I just let them out after a few weeks of being in the coop ... that's when the three decided to not return at all, instead of just that one.

    I guess I could keep them permanently in their coop and run ... but that's gonna be the last resort. I really don't want to do that to them.

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