Will new chickens change their behaviors from how they were raised?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by littlels, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. littlels

    littlels Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2011
    We have added two pullets and two hens to our coop. They have always been kept indoors and only feed commercial chicken feed. When I throw fruit and veggies into our coop, the rest of our flock goes crazy and they just stand there and stare. When they are out foraging, they just seem to walk around and not know what to do. Will they pick up on it after being around the other chickens? They also REFUSE to lay eggs in the nesting boxes. The boxes they had at the old place were a few inches off the ground with wire bottoms. Ours are about a foot off the ground with a roost and bedding but they never use it. We find there eggs on the ground and frequently covered in poo or mud. Will they morph and imitate our other chickens eventually or are they stuck in a rut?
  2. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    They will learn, reallly they will.

    Right now they are on information overload...........just think, being raised in a house and thinking that that is all there is to the world. Then to be taken outside - everything from the wind to the vast sky to the grass is odd.

    I am excited for you and them. It will be so exciting when they start tasting and learning.

    eta: Can you add a nest box for them at ground level - even a kitty litter pan should work. You can also try taking an egg that they have laid, marking it with an x (so you don't collect it by accident) and place it in your lowest nest box. Sometimes if they can see that their egg is safe, they will take to a new nest spot quicker.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2011
  3. CathyB

    CathyB Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2008
    I am hoping this is true, that hens can change! I have a experience with adding to my flock as well. 5 new hens and a rooster to my flock of 7 hens. Well, about 3 of the new hens are feather pluckers and eaters. I can't stand this. I should have know when I saw so many bare behinds, but wanted to give them a good home. I just hope my 7 girls do not end up nakey!

    Someone told me this is due to a protein deficency and after several days to about 2 weeks of getting higher protein they will stop. I sure hope so.
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    I adopted a group of chickens who were 2 yr. olds and had never been outdoors nor had scraps before and they acted just like that when they came here. Even worse, someone had mutilated their beaks, poor things.

    It wasn't even a week or two before they were acting just like the rest of my flock, foraging and scrambling for scraps with the best of them. Yours will catch on!
  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I agree with the other posts. They will catch on eventually. Some may take longer then others but they will.

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