Do you suppose they are agoraphobiacs? If they were raised outside, would they be afraid to go in? I wonder if there are other animal species that fear the big world.
I remember the first time our goats saw snow... We had five that we raised from babies. They stood packed together in the back door of their shed staring at the white stuff. One of them finally stretched a foot over the threshold. Woah! What the heck is that stuff? You sink in it! It was fun watching them test it over and over until they finally summoned up the courage to brave it. I don't remember now how long it took them to venture out, but chickens, if you're reading this, it was the SAME DAY!
The four laying hens we have were several months old when we got them, so they were already accustomed to the outdoors. They are over a year old now. Hubby says they have to be kept separate from the young ones until the babies get bigger. In an earlier post I mentioned how the house was divided. When the chicks got too big for their small corner, Hubby moved the grown hens to a separate house so the babies could have the whole big house to themselves.
Hubby's first wife's father (now deceased) built bird houses. That's what I'd always been told. Bird houses. Those cute little things you hang from tree branches, right? Nope. We're talking big bird houses! When Hubby got ready to have chickens, they gave him one of the bird houses. That's where the hens live now. It's big enough for probably a dozen hens. He was quite the craftsman. Hubby added the little chick door on the side, the ladder, handles and wheels. It's a mobile home for chickens!
It's hard to believe that, in another three months or so, the fifty new hens will be laying eggs. I guess they can all live together peacefully by then - the young and the old. That will be fifty-four hens laying eggs every day! Does anyone out there have any egg recipes they'd like to share?