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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My flock outside are 4 month old BRs that I just got a few days ago. I've been reading up like crazy, but couldn't quite find my questions. My chickens have been spending all their time in the coop. I want to free range but I'm leaving them in their coop for a week to get used to it. I open the door to the run every day and they MIGHT go out for 5 seconds and go back in. It's been a bit cold and rainy lately but today is beautiful, sunny and 18 degrees. I've shoo'd them out, but they wander back in. I even put some treats in the run to entice them out. When I check on them in the coop they're huddled together like I'm freezing them or something...instead of out in the warm sun. Is this normal? They're also huddled on the ground and not using the perch or roost in there. Are there tips to getting them used to the run? I have no idea of their background, by the way, or how they were raised.
 

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If you've only had a them a few days, they are still adjusting. Your probably also freaking them out by shooing them out of the coop. I would let them be so they can get comfortable at their own pace. To them the coop is their safe place, they have to learn the run is safe as well. Also if its only 18C (64F for me) outside and has been raining lately, yes they are probably cold. 64F ( 18C) is not that warm. They will huddle to warm up and the coop blocks the wind. Just give them some time. Also only feed them in the run, if you keep the food and water in the coop they will have no reason to wander out. Plus they are old enough to be without food and water thru the night if you don't already have it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I shoo them gently :p They don't seem scared or bothered by me around them. They never run back into the coop, just wander. I'm in Canada, NS to be exact and 18 is warm here. It's "short and t-shirt" weather here today. :)

I have the water in the run, but I'm nervous of the feed getting wet..is it okay to get wet?
 

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They'll eat it wet or dry, but if it stars wet for to long it can mold. You could make a cover of sorts to put over it so the feed doesn't get wet. Just remember even if this weather is great to you since your use to the cold doesn't mean your chicks are. The chicks are not use to it like you and are not seasoned Canadians yet. They may still need some warmth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info. I wish I knew their background a bit, but they seem like sweet, docile birds. Can't wait until they settle in.

Will they get used to free ranging eventually?
 
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