I’ve had some posts kicking around in my draft box for a while and decided it was about time I started posting them before they became completely outdated.
The girls had been sleeping in the hen house for several days before we finished the run because it rained every day and prevented construction. But, that was actually a good thing, because chickens aren’t very smart. In order for a chicken to realize where her home is, apparently you need to keep her confined for three or four days. Plus, since it was rainy and nasty, nobody wanted to be outside anyway.
Despite the weather, we finished the run with nearly perfect timing. It was exactly four days after the coop was complete. So with the run finally finished, I headed to the door of the coop to open the hatch. The girls didn’t even wait for the hatch to open. As soon as I got the main door cracked, they started trying to jump out. (They were tired of being cooped up!) So we let them run around their new yard scratching in the little grass that’s growing there and eating what they could find until it got dark. Despite the fact that they had been confined to the coop for four days, none of them figured out how to get back in on their own. I tried placing them at various heights on the ramp with no success. I finally gave up and started putting them in through the hatch.
In the morning, the girls wouldn’t come down when I opened the hatch. I tried to prod them toward it a little but they still wouldn’t climb down. I finally got them to climb down by placing one of the girls most of the way down the ramp and another on the ramp just outside the hatch. The other two seemed to figure out how to get down from that point. For the next couple days I continued to place the girls on the ramp every time they needed to go in or out. After a few days of coaching, the girls figured out how to go in and out on their own as if they’d been doing it all along.