Quick Advice Needed: Chickens Freaking Out in Coop!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Laurajean, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    The run is mostly completed. They've been roaming around in it for hours for the first time, curious, but just fine. Now it's getting dark and I needed to put them in the actual hen house. I had a heck of a time wrangling them up, but finally got them all in there. They are completely freaking out, I feel awful. They are crying and moaning, and leaping up against the window staring out at me before they fall off the sill and back down. I did not expect this kind of reaction at all!

    Should I do "tough love" and leave them there? Or should I bring them back in my house until tomorrow, and gradually get them used to it? They were fine when they were in the run, but being in closed in the hen house seems to be petrifying them!

    What should I do?

    They are 9 week Bantams, 7 of them.
     
  2. Wolfwoman

    Wolfwoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2010
    Chickaloon, Alaska
    Throw em some treats and leave em be. They'll be fine come morning [​IMG]
     
  3. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,873
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    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    If they're freaking out to the point that you think they could hurt themselves I'd bring them back in, but then put them out later after dark. Once they wake up in the new place they should be fine. Change is hard on chooks. Once I got the sawdust type pine shavings by mistake (I usually use the larger white shavings) my chickens spent an extra hour "thinking" about going into the coop just because the shaving size was different and it spooked them.
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    As painful as it is for you to worry about them freaking out, leave them. Check on them, quietly, well after dark, and I bet they'll be sound asleep. The first night out is so tough on us, and yes, they're confused. Chickens don't like change at all, being creatures of habit.

    Take a cup of calming tea. I know it's tough. I go through the same thing every time I put chicks out for their first night!
     
  5. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    Quote:Even though they are totally panicked? I'm afraid they'll have little heart attacks. I worked so hard to make it nice and they are terrified. I just really didn't expect this reaction. You'd think I put them in an oven the way they are acting.
     
  6. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    Quote:I knew I would be a mess, but I didn't think they would be!
     
  7. Wolfwoman

    Wolfwoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2010
    Chickaloon, Alaska
    Quote:Even though they are totally panicked? I'm afraid they'll have little heart attacks. I worked so hard to make it nice and they are terrified. I just really didn't expect this reaction. You'd think I put them in an oven the way they are acting.

    If they were meat birds I'd worry about heart attacks, but not regular ones so much [​IMG] Did you try treats?
     
  8. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    Quote:Even though they are totally panicked? I'm afraid they'll have little heart attacks. I worked so hard to make it nice and they are terrified. I just really didn't expect this reaction. You'd think I put them in an oven the way they are acting.

    If they were meat birds I'd worry about heart attacks, but not regular ones so much [​IMG] Did you try treats?

    I just went out to give them treats but noticed I didn't hear them, so I tiptoed up to the window and peeked in. They are in a TIGHT little pile, making odd noises and awake but huddling. Much calmer than the flailing around they were doing, but they still look upset. Why have I never seen a thread on this before?? There should be warnings for this! I've seen chicken "moms" (or dads) freaking out because the chicks were in the coop for the first time, but I've NEVER seen anyone post that the chickens themselves were freaking out like this. I'm not trying to be dramatic, but this was really quite a fright for me. Anyway, I skipped the treats. They were looking at me through the window, and I just snuck away, not wanting to get them going again.

    *Trying to slow my heart rate....*
     
  9. dieselgrl48

    dieselgrl48 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2010
    Virginia
    They should be fine once it get's dark they will most likely get quite and calm down.It's usualy best if you graduate to coop first let them get used to the whole new non brooder thing then try to let them go to run or out of coop.Sometime's they will huddle for a couple day's and then they are just clucking around checking out the pen or coop after that.It really dosent take them long to learn where they sleep and roost and eat and most likely they will hop right back in coop at bedtime.
     
  10. Wolfwoman

    Wolfwoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2010
    Chickaloon, Alaska
    Quote:If they were meat birds I'd worry about heart attacks, but not regular ones so much [​IMG] Did you try treats?

    I just went out to give them treats but noticed I didn't hear them, so I tiptoed up to the window and peeked in. They are in a TIGHT little pile, making odd noises and awake but huddling. Much calmer than the flailing around they were doing, but they still look upset. Why have I never seen a thread on this before?? There should be warnings for this! I've seen chicken "moms" (or dads) freaking out because the chicks were in the coop for the first time, but I've NEVER seen anyone post that the chickens themselves were freaking out like this. I'm not trying to be dramatic, but this was really quite a fright for me. Anyway, I skipped the treats. They were looking at me through the window, and I just snuck away, not wanting to get them going again.

    *Trying to slow my heart rate....*


    I don't know what to say abou there not being other threads on this... I've moved lots of my chickens around a couple of times and they didn't do this at all... ever! So not sure? I moved one batch three times in a day and they were fine...

    Deep breaths.... you'll ALL be fine [​IMG]
     

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