what do I do if my chickens are going wild?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by speedybug19, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. speedybug19

    speedybug19 In the Brooder

    Jun 18, 2009
    Laramie, WY
    Hey chicken folk! I'm new to the chicken scene this spring, and have 4 hens for eggs. I thought that I did everything right, petting the chick, ect when they were young, but they seem to be getting wilder and wilder as they grow. They are now about 2 1/2 months old and all but one run and hide whenever I go outside. My husband made them an awesome coop, but I have to chase them around the yard to get them to go in it at night. I was reading some of your posts and it seems that your chickens just go in their house... is there anything I should do to make them do that? Should I just wait until its dark and see if they go in there on their own?

    Also, the seem to have adopted the crawl space under our deck and shed as their home... I'm concerned that they will start nesting there instead of their nesting box, so we won't get any eggs... do I just need to lock them up? I hate to do that! The reason we got chickens in the first place was so they could be free and happy!

    Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated!
  2. Get that space secured up or they will keep at it.
    Yes all mine take the cue from their roosters to go roost.
    But I had to give my roos a new home since I live in the city. So my chicks are still to young to learn yet. But I will be teaching them where safety is. I will let my duck out and she will chace them there. She is a good hearder.
    Good Luck!
  3. cheryl98117

    cheryl98117 Songster

    May 13, 2009
    Indianola Washington
    Do you have a run attached to your coop? if so I would lock them in for a few days to a week. Doing this establishes the coop as "their" place. Do you have roosts in the coop for them to sleep on? If not I would recomend installing some.

    As for the crawl space, the only real way to fix that problem would be to block it off, a trellis would do the job, and not look bad either.

    My hens were sweet when they were chicks, then when they went outside they turned flighty, and ran from everyone. Now that my girls are mature, they do not run away, instead they run to us.
    Feed them, talk to them, just do what you would normaly do, and they will come around. Try not to chase them too much as I have found that installs fear in them. If they will not go into the coop, I would wait until they have roosted for the night, and then move them into the coop. You may have to move them one at a time if you do not have help.

    Good luck and have fun with your birds, they are a blast to have.
  4. monathequeen

    monathequeen Songster

    May 13, 2009
    Burlington KS
    Hey Speedybug, Congrat's on your new family.

    Chickens "HATE" to be held by nature. They are naturally skittish of human's.
    I have a Rooster who love's to be held and scratched by me....BUT, I do this everyday and He know's me like a parent. He will jump anyone else who come's near him or his 'Girl's"
    My Mother inlaw has to carry a rake or broom with her if ever over when the Roo is out of his coop. He will chase her off the property. Maby that's a good thing if you don't like your inlaw's...ha,ha,

    Anyway, Don't get too concerned about having your chick's sit on your lap so to speak... If you really want to have your chick's warm up to you, carry around a piece of bread or a handfull of crackers. They love treat's like that....my chick's will nock me down if I come out with a cup of canned corn....and that's how I get them to follow me to the coop to go roost...it work's everytime !!!

    I would close up the crawl space if you dont want them in there. They may start laying in there if you allow them to always be in there. I'm sure you have nesting box's in your coop and once they start laying in the box's, I wouldn't let them out until they get the idea that this is where we lay our egg's..
    I know you like the bird's to free range and so did I until they started tearing up my flower bed's and dealing with predators...Hawks especially.
    A red-tail Hawk attacked my Pekin Duck on my front porch....I scared him off thankfully but he returned for almost a month after that. I keep all my bird's INSIDE a covered run now day's. It is 50x100 ft.

    I would rather have my bird's safe than have them attacked by predators. It's a shame because that's what I dreamed of was having them running all over the yard but.....I lost 9 Bird's.

    Lastly, yes they will go in at dusk. Let them find thier way home but watch them carefully that a stray bird dosn't want to call it it day yet. I do a head count every night when I lock them in. Sorry this is so long but I love talking about Bird's....Good-Luck....Ray
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2009
  5. highcountrychickens

    highcountrychickens Head Rooster Jouster

    Aug 28, 2008
    Jackson Hole
    Quote:Wow... there's just no way to improve upon this advice!!

    Be patient - follow this advice... they'll come back around.

    oh by the way... [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2009
  6. TXmom

    TXmom Songster

    Quote:Ditto...I totally agree. The best thing to do is lock them in the coop, or at least in the coop and run, for a few days or a week. After that, they should go in there by themselves as soon as it starts getting dark outside.

    Mine are 21 weeks old now, and they are getting tamer by the day. For a while most of them seemed pretty skittish and wouldn't let me pet them or pick them up. Now, every time I walk outside they run toward me, and they squat down when I pet them, and I can even pick them up without a fight. I walked outside with a pen in my hand earlier today and they were jumping at me trying to get it. Now I know not to carry ANYTHING out there unless it's food for them...LOL.

    Don't worry, it will get better when they get settled in to their routine.
  7. cheryl98117

    cheryl98117 Songster

    May 13, 2009
    Indianola Washington
    Thanks highcountrychickens, and TXmom, its nice to know that what I learned by trial and error, is correct. I'm glad that I was able to give sound advice, as I am fairly new to raising chickens. [​IMG]

    Speedybug, I forgot to welcome you. So welcome to BYC, look around there is plenty to learn, and again have fun with your birds. [​IMG]
  8. tykris99

    tykris99 In the Brooder

    Jun 13, 2008
    My birds were skittish when first left outside but now free range all day and return to the coop at night , but when they here my car pull in they come running the second they see me. if i don't know where they are i call Here Chick Chicks and they run from far away to come greet me. As they mature they calm down
  9. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    My chickens have gotten friendlier the older they get....they are only 13-15 weeks old now, but are much friendlier than they were a month or two ago. I think they have finally gotten over their fear of me and associate me with FOOD more. Treats make all the difference in the world.
  10. Quote:Wow... there's just no way to improve upon this advice!!

    Be patient - follow this advice... they'll come back around.

    oh by the way... [​IMG]

    Yep sounds like great advise! Canned corn......yep your right too that always gets mine. Well now frozen corn. Just so I can buy larger quantities. When you go to the store and buy corn on the cob. pick one up for them to...don't cook it, just peel it and get the strings off. My guys were older and pecked real hard before I gave them the cob corn though.
    I do not chase my chickens, but my duck herds them SORRY I didn't mean to say chase.....She thinks she is a rooster. She was raised with my first hatch I ever had. She rounds them up and puts them away.

    Last edited: Jun 18, 2009

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