6 1/2 weeks my chickens are actin strang at bed time.???

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Spitman, May 25, 2010.

  1. Spitman

    Spitman Songster

    Apr 24, 2010
    I have 16 first time chickens from 6 1/2 weeks to 4 1/2 weeks, been outside in coop now for about 2 1/2 weeks but i left my heat lamps on at night, now lamps are off at night . and i got there run done about 2 days ago. now at night when i put them in they all huddle up by the door in a heep, cherpin like mad. then i will check in on them in a few min after its quited down some and they will be spred out in about 3 piles but its warm in coop say 80, are they just freekin out because of the darkness without the red heat lights or is this because of the run or what??? also they still pile up on the floor when will they start roosting on perch at night??? I want to take advantage of my poop trays i Made lol[​IMG].

  2. I think I'd wean them slowly to the dark. Could you put in a 60 watt light on at night for a week or two? I think they are just not used to being in the dark. Chickens are totally blind in the dark and little ones may still need to find their way to food and water. Good luck! [​IMG]
  3. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    Chickens have very poor vision in low light- here's an article about it:
    Chick bedtime
  4. brendapa

    brendapa Songster

    Feb 2, 2010
    Chester County, PA
    Mine are outside and were doing the same thing plus not going into the enclosed portion of the hutch. I exchanged the heat lamp for a plain 40 watt red bulb.
    After a few nights they started to go into the enclosed area at dusk by themselves.
    Tonight, the little buggers did not go in, I unpluged the extension cord because the mowers were here.
    Turned the light on and swooshed them into the back.
    Jeez. Two steps forward and 1 step back....
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Just leave them alone and they will slowly get the hang of it. Its been my experience that chickens don't like to be "put in" but like to drift in by themselves and reserve their special spot on the roosts while it still pretty light out. Young chickens usually use the floor until their natural instinct kicks in for roosting higher to avoid possible predation from the ground level. Mine usually learn from watching the older gals.

    Just be patient, they will learn it all by themselves. [​IMG]
  6. MotherJean

    MotherJean Songster

    They need a nightlight. I wouldn't use a colored bulb. I'd use a 25 watt white light. Turn it on about 1/2 hour before sundown and leave it on all night for a week or so. Then, try turning it off once they've gone into the coop and you've closed the pop door.

    My girls are 8 weeks - been in the coop 4 weeks. They have just started using the roost, which is approx. 30" off the floor. For the first couple of weeks, they did the dogpile thing on the floor. Then, some smarty britches figured out there was this really cool nest box on the wall, so all of them would pile in there. Only reason they're not still there is because they've grown too big for all of them to fit in there [​IMG] Keeping chickens is a hoot, isn't it?
    Last edited: May 26, 2010
  7. chickee

    chickee Songster

    I just changed my 7 week old chicks light to a 25 watt bulb and they were scared for the first night but are fine now! The different breeds of chicks I've raised have started using the roosts at different ages. This batch of BLRW chicks started earlier than any of the other breeds I've owned! Good chickies! [​IMG]

  8. The night light is a gentle way for us to help the chicks adjust. I confess, I used it too! But many go the "tough love" route, and they adjust just fine too. Whichever works for you and your guilty conscious [​IMG]

    My chicks started to roost around 8 weeks old. With my 2nd batch (out of 3 groups of chicks last year) I used "mini-roosts" in their sectioned off area of the coop. Very easy to make out of scrap 2x4's, which we always seem to have around. Use two 4-6" sections as bases or "feet", two 8-12" pieces as legs, then one more section of 2x4 w/the length appropriate to the number of birds that will be roosting on it for the roost. Use screws to put it together. They can use this mini-roost as a play gym during the day and start roosting on it at night. Once they get the hang of roosting, they'll be anxious to try out the highest roost in the coop. [​IMG]
  9. gjpaddles

    gjpaddles In the Brooder

    Apr 15, 2010
    Anaheim Hills
    My chicks were afraid of the dark too. I installed a solar light inside their coop that turns on at night so they know were to go. It's pretty dim, but I can't have a cord either because my puppys chew on it. I really like that it turns off and on by itself too just in case I'm not home at their bedtime. No electricity is a big plus too.

    The Solar light I purchased is one that has a small solar panel that connects to a mini spotlight. I hung the spotlight inside the coop and the solar panel is on the roof.

    Yes, I know they are spoiled. Good luck with your chicks!
  10. Spitman

    Spitman Songster

    Apr 24, 2010
    Thanks for all the feed back guy's . they seem to relax after short period so ill give it a few more days to see if it get ajusted without light thanks again.

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