Rejoice the coop is done.....BUT...

brounii

Songster
9 Years
Aug 16, 2010
177
22
109
Jonesborough, TN
Hi everyone....I need a little BYC help, lol. We finally finished up our coop and let our girls out in the run for the first time yesterday. I expected curiosity and hesitancy from the chickens, which was right on, but it's we've found that they don't want to get off the ramp and onto the sand in the run. I'm guessing they don't like the feel of it? What should I do? Should I just be patient and hope that they'll eventually work up the courage to enjoy the run, or should I force them out into the run and take the ramp away till they get use to the feeling of the sand on their little tootsies, lol.
Here are some pictures:


This is my 4yr old son showing off the new coop!
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Here is when we opened the pop door for the first time yesterday:
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Here is our 4yr old trying to coax them out of the coop
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Today, it's the same old thing......ramp only, no sand on tootsies!
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Does anyone have any suggestions? I'd love to hear them!
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Buff Hooligans

Scrambled
12 Years
Jun 11, 2007
12,148
457
311
Don't worry - all it will take is one bold one to make the move and the rest will follow. The sand itself is not a problem, as a matter of fact, it's the best choice for a chicken run. Your flock is gorgeous, and the coop too.
 

gryeyes

Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers
10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
15,506
430
358
My slice of heaven in Somerset, CA
Ooooh, that sand is SO white! It doesn't look like pine shavings! It doesn't look like the ground! We were safe in our coop! There's that sand out there! What if it is hiding something? What if it IS something?



Chickens are.... well, chicken. It's part of their "I'm prey, I need to be careful" make-up. Buff Hooligans is right: it's like pushing the first penguin off the ice flow to see if any sharks are hunting there. First chicken that makes it safely out of the coop onto the sand will encourage the rest of them to venture out.

Anything new is suspect. Sometimes a new food will terrify them - I've been known to offer my birds Killer Peas. Luckily, KPs have a short half-life and become deactivated and edible pretty quickly.
 

TrystInn

Songster
10 Years
Sep 16, 2009
1,048
33
201
Southern Arizona
Easy peasy - scatter around some scratch and their regular feed, perhaps some spaghetti or even crickets. Chickens are greedier than they are cowards.

Gorgeous coop, btw.
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brounii

Songster
9 Years
Aug 16, 2010
177
22
109
Jonesborough, TN
Quote:
We've tried spreading their regular feed around, but to no avail. I guess we'll have to get some more treats to try to lure them out, lol.
 

elmo

Crowing
11 Years
May 23, 2009
4,907
265
336
DFW
Try scattering some scratch or birdseed. They'll get use to the sand quickly enough. You're going to love how easy it is to keep the run clean. I use a reptile sand scoop taped to a long handle.

Your chickens will also soon discover the joys of taking a dustbath in a sand run. Stand back, the sand is going to fly!
 

patandchickens

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
12,520
345
341
Ontario, Canada
Yes, chickens are frequently like that in new situations.

You know you can just take them out and manually PUT them onto the sand. With some food scattered around. Mind you, it is possible you may need to manually put them back in the coop at night, too, but you may have to ANYHOW even if THEY are the ones deciding to step onto the sand.

I have done this with my chickens at various times -- gotten tired of them being "chicken" and just chucked them out the popdoor to figure it out -- and you know what, it does speed up the process and has never seemed to cause them any lasting psychological damage
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So it's up to you, but this is certainly a reasoable option (although waiting is a reasonable option too, although it may take days or even weeks)

Good luck, have fun,

Pat
 

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