Scared to be outside

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by AccidentalFarm, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    I introduced one of my 6 week old hens to the yard yesterday and boy, what a disaster! I thought she'd enjoy pecking at the ground because she goes nuts when I give her grass to play with. She absolutely loves it. Sooo, I thought I'd set her cage in the yard so that she could peck the ground through the wire, all safe and secure, but instead, she freaked. She started running around throwing herself into the walls even with me sitting right there next to her. She calmed down as soon as I put the cage back where it usually is. Is this normal? What's going to happen when I move all of my girls into their yard and coop? Am I going to have a bunch of kamakaze birds trying to kill themselves? What can I do to make the transition go smoothly?
  2. chickbea

    chickbea Songster

    Jan 18, 2007
    She might feel better with one of the other hens with her.
    Probably, though, she was just being a little cautious and scared. That's how chickens survive, after all, by being careful! They have a natural fear of overhead shadows, which protects them from hawks and things, so try it in an open area where there aren't a lot of tree branch shadows waving around.
    She may have also felt vulnerable in the cage - can you let her out loose?
  3. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    No, I can't let her out loose yet. I have Labs that would love to play with her. I had actually thought the opposite, that being in her 'home', she would feel more secure. She is also a bully, which is why she is separated from the rest.

    The coop and yard will be complete by this weekend, so at that time, I will let her and the other four 6 week olds out together. Probably all will go smoothly. They will have a ton of room and hopefully she wont resume pecking at the others. I was just feeling sorry for her being alone and thought that I was giving her a treat by taking her out to the yard.

    I just hope that the craziness doesn't happen with 5 birds in a large area...i'll never catch them!
  4. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    The chick is freaked out because it's all alone and has no support from the rest of the flock. When they are all together and one does something the rest will follow. Chickens are a flock bird and don't do well alone.

  5. cookinmom

    cookinmom Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    Saint George GA
    They have a natural fear of overhead shadows, which protects them from hawks and things

    LOL, Jax Intl Airport was using their E/W runway one day last week, which they don't do real often, so we had planes more visible than usual. Everytime, the 'kids' would look up, then run to their house til it was gone.[​IMG]
  6. Llysse

    Llysse Songster

    Mar 11, 2007
    The sky is falling--the sky is falling!!! [​IMG]
  7. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    Yeah, chicks can be like that....
    You might want to give them more time. Since you'll have their new home finished this weekend, I'd just wait. When the time comes for them to go outside, I'd just lock them in the new coop for a couple of weeks. They're going to freak out again when you move them to the new digs but with all the flock together they shouldn't bounce off the walls. But every new sound is going to scare them until they get used to it all. It'll take them some time to settle in and I would not overwhelm them further by letting them out into the run during this adjustment period. After a couple of weeks I just leave the pop door open one morning and leave them be. They probably won't even come out for a while. But gradually their curiosity will get the better of them and the bravest ones will venture out first. Of course they will dart back in at the first little thing that scares them. Yes, they are chickens and yes, they will learn it all by instinct, but remember they are still very sheltered teenagers and you know how teens can be. [​IMG]
  8. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    Wow, how dumb am I??? I didn't even think about overhead shadows...I have a Martin house in the yard that has quite a lot of bird activity right now. I'm sure there were numerous birds flying around in the yard area. Geez. Poor Chickie. I probably terrified her in my quest to make her feel better about having to be alone right now. Well, guess that's why I'm here..gotta learn these things somehow. Thanks a lot, everyone.
  9. cookie_chick

    cookie_chick In the Brooder

    Mar 31, 2007
    mine loves it she loved it at the age of 2 days!

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