Pullets won’t leave the chicken house

Countryma

Hatching
Sep 28, 2020
4
0
3
Help! I have 11 pullets (16 wks old) that I put in the chicken house with my other hens. They have been in the chicken house 6 wks and refuse to leave. There is a short tunnel that goes from the house to the run, and we open the run every day to let the big hens out to free range. I have tried making a trail of scratch grains through the tunnel and the run to the door of the run. No luck. The pullets go crazy when the big chickens are in the chicken house. I have raised chickens for 15 years and have never had an issue like this. I may try catching them and putting them outside for a day without letting the adult birds out. Any ideas?
 

One Lucky Momma

Chicken Kisser
Premium Feather Member
Apr 25, 2020
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Madison Co, NC
I think your idea is certainly worth trying. Once those little girls understand what the run is all about they may be more willing to get on out there.

But are the big birds aggressing the pullets?
 

21hens-incharge

Slightly nuts
Premium Feather Member
Mar 9, 2014
20,974
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Northern Colorado
Help! I have 11 pullets (16 wks old) that I put in the chicken house with my other hens. They have been in the chicken house 6 wks and refuse to leave. There is a short tunnel that goes from the house to the run, and we open the run every day to let the big hens out to free range. I have tried making a trail of scratch grains through the tunnel and the run to the door of the run. No luck. The pullets go crazy when the big chickens are in the chicken house. I have raised chickens for 15 years and have never had an issue like this. I may try catching them and putting them outside for a day without letting the adult birds out. Any ideas?
:welcome

I am sorry the pullets are being fickle.

What breed(s) are the young ones? The older ones?
If the young are a much smaller (or more skittish) breed they may need to have some time in the run while the older girls are ranging.

Be sure to have plenty of "clutter" in the run like old tree stumps, branches to hop on, multiple feeders and water stations, and a good shaded spot.

It sounds like they are afraid of the older girls....whether there is a good reason or not.
 

SabongStuff

Chirping
Aug 25, 2020
68
198
76
Are any of your other hens playing goal post with the tunnel - preventing the pullets from walking in? Or even intimidating them from the other side of the tunnel. If the tunnel is big enough for only one chicken at a time, they could be apprehensive about using the tunnel.
 

Countryma

Hatching
Sep 28, 2020
4
0
3
How much space do you have in their run? Are the hens attacking the pullets at all?
The run is 6ft x 12 ft and 8 ft high with perches. Same with the house. Only several of the adults have been aggressive. They have access to the run all day when the adults are out, but still won’t leave the coop.
 

black_cat

Free Ranging
May 21, 2020
5,073
9,967
526
Connecticut
The run is 6ft x 12 ft and 8 ft high with perches. Same with the house. Only several of the adults have been aggressive. They have access to the run all day when the adults are out, but still won’t leave the coop.
That run is not big enough for 11+birds, so the younger birds may be staying in the coop for lack of space. Aggressive hens may be a factor as well.
 

Countryma

Hatching
Sep 28, 2020
4
0
3
:welcome

I am sorry the pullets are being fickle.

What breed(s) are the young ones? The older ones?
If the young are a much smaller (or more skittish) breed they may need to have some time in the run while the older girls are ranging.

Be sure to have plenty of "clutter" in the run like old tree stumps, branches to hop on, multiple feeders and water stations, and a good shaded spot.

It sounds like they are afraid of the older girls....whether there is a good reason or not.
All the chickens are the same breed (rhode island reds). I have an incubator and hatch a new batch each year. This batch is driving me crazy!
 

SabongStuff

Chirping
Aug 25, 2020
68
198
76
I would attempt free ranging the older larger birds under your watch while you let the other younger birds check out the run. I’ve had aggressive hens towards pullets and they didn’t fully integrate until about 3 months - and they still didn’t like getting within a foot and a half of the others grazing.
 

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