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Afraid of the dark?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I have a hen that's afraid of the dark. I'm not even sure what breed she is. Every time we turn out the light in the coop, she has made noises at us. I go in the next morning and find the string to the lightbulb pulled around the beam like she's been trying to turn it back on . 

It's becoming a major problem. The last two night she hasn't wanted to go into the coop at all. I also have six 6 week old chicks (5 pullets and one roo) in a separate area. Would it be safe to put this hen into the smaller are with the babies? Any advice on how to introduce her to them? Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 4

Welcome to BYC!

 

More info on what your lights are and how you use them might help.

 

Turning off a light in the coop when it's dark outside can cause alarm...but should be short lived.

 

I would not put this hen in with the littles but move any lights and cords away from where the birds can reach them for safety reasons.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

We rent. The property has three acres, a two sided 'coop', place for a garden, even a pond off the finger of the bayou that comes up behind the house. The coop is basically a metal shed with a fully fenced front so we can leave the outer metal doors open at night during the summer. (NW Florida gets very hot, even at night.) Anyway, there's a light fixture on a beam in the center of the shed. This particular hen roosts on that beam, just above the light switch/bulb. It's never mattered if it was just at dusk or full dark, but she's always squawked at me when I turned out the light. In the mornings I find the pull string twisted up around the beam like she's been trying to turn it back on.

 

Sadly, they go through about a lightbulb every two weeks. The chickens don't break the bulb, but I think they shake it enough to break the filament inside. I don't want to put any of the curly bulbs in there just in case they DO break a bulb. Those things are just nasty to clean up and would probably poison the chickens.

 

The last few night the hen has avoided going into the coop at all, unless we catch her and put her in. I can't leave her out because there are foxes in the area and we lost a hen in the last couple weeks who stayed out too late and I couldn't find her to put her in the coop.

 

I don't know what to do. I've read that keeping a light on all the time stresses them, but this hen just seems to hate the dark.

post #4 of 4

Can you post a pic of the inside of coop showing the light, beam, and the rest of the coop?

We can find a solution.

 

Without seeing the pics yet....I would either relocate the light(probably can't if you're renting) or barricade them from roosting up there....

...meanwhile.... leave the light off, this time of year I wouldn't think they or you would need any lights on at all, especially if the front of the coop is open.

I've lived in North Florida.... way, way too hot for me.....that light is only increasing the heat inside the coop.

 

You are mis-interpreting the hens behavior about the light going off as being 'scared of the dark'......it's the sudden dark that alarms her.

As to why/how the pull string for the light switch is getting wrapped around the beam, she's not trying to turn the light back on....but she could gt tangled and injured in that string

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
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