Will they get braver?

sarhoundlvr

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 9, 2014
4
1
55
north central texas
So my chicks are about 8 weeks old now. What I was told was 6 hens looks to be 5 hens and 1 rooster, but that's fine. I have started letting them free range during the days, which they seem to enjoy. My question is that they don't go far, and while they rush out when I open the door in the morning, it's not long before they head back inside their coop. If I am outside they will stay out more, but I work nights so sleep most days. The gate opens up into the horse paddock, but they seem completely unconcerned about the horses, and the horses ignore them. My neighbors chickens free range but I have seen them mingle with no problems.

Will they get braver as they get older? I want chickens for pest control most, so chickens that won't leave the coop aren't too useful. :)
 

DeannaMari

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 3, 2013
153
5
81
Yup, they are small prey animals, so big spaces are scary to them. Once they get older and more confident in the area they'll get more confident and go out more. We used to have to practically throw our chicks outside in order for them to go anywhere, and after a few weeks they were like the big hens going wherever they wanted.
 

sarhoundlvr

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 9, 2014
4
1
55
north central texas
Thanks. I was getting a bit worried. They have been going outside just over a week now. They are ranging a bit farther away from the coop-if I am outside-as the days go on. They always have some nibbles in the coop, altho I am only feeding them at night. There is usually some bits left over. I have thought about locking up the coop to force them to stay out, but aside from the carport, which they haven't ventured into yet, it's the only place they can get into to get off the ground. So far predators haven't come over yet-I have big dogs-which can not get to the chickens at all- and tough horses- so predators go elsewhere so far. But if it's normal for young chicks to be chicken. ( :) ) then I will just let things procede at their own pace.
 

DeannaMari

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 3, 2013
153
5
81
Just think about how big the world is for them right now. They probably are about 6 - 9 inches tall, and they are in this huge world. Sometimes it helps if you have tall grass, because they feel like then can hide in it. Also if you put some things outside, like maybe a dog kennel, or a tarp or similar stuff, so that they can duck under it for cover and feel safe, it'll make them feel a little more confident. Just takes time.
 

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