Are my chickens afraid of the dark?

CANDLE98

Songster
11 Years
Dec 29, 2008
631
2
141
Meridian Idaho
Okay so tonight I go out and shut them up and this is night number 2 with no light....I go and walk back by the coop and the chicks are LOUD. They are all 11 weeks old. they are bawking really loud like they are scared, so I go in and they are cramming into the corners like 3 chicks high! Are they afraid of the dark or do they just want to sleep on top of each other? i turned the light back on and they all came out of the corner and found a spot under the light to lay down. How crazy are my chicks!?
 

ChooksChick

BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist
11 Years
Aug 17, 2008
7,738
156
341
Larry, KS
My Coop
I had the same thing w/ my BR pullets last year, only they were 9 wks old when we went light-free, and they were in my bathroom!

They got used to it, but it was a bit crazy for a few days. I did find that they wouldn't go into the coop at night unless there was a light on, and that is continuing to this day. I have a light on a timer that shuts off 1/2 hour or 45 mins after they come in at dusk. I lock them up sometime in that period usually, or maybe later if we're out.

I can't begin to say I understand them...but love them just the same!
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
246
421
SW Arkansas
You have to watch for pile ups those first few nights without light, but they do get used to it.
My chicks raised holy H E double hockey stix their first few nights without light. I wanted to turn their light back on soooo bad, but they adjusted and so did I.
 

JenMT

Songster
11 Years
Jan 21, 2009
231
1
121
Kalispell, Montana
I read "Storeys guide to raising chickens" and it says to turn the light off for at least 30 minutes during every night so that in the event of a power outage your chickens won't go nuts with fear. It must be common for chickens to be afraid of the dark. My girls are afraid of anything new at all........good luck!
 

CANDLE98

Songster
11 Years
Dec 29, 2008
631
2
141
Meridian Idaho
So should I take their light away and let them just get used to it being dark? They don't need the heat lamp anymore but I guess I can put a energy efficent light out there if they need some light. Crazy chickens!
 

TXmom

Songster
11 Years
Dec 3, 2008
1,505
12
161
Sealy, TX (West Houston area)
Yep, mine were very noisy the first few nights out in the coop, without a light. We ended up putting a flashlight out there for a little while so they could settle in, then turned it off and brought it in. Then a cold front came through and we put their heat lamp out there. It's warming up again so I didn't turn it on last night, and they wouldn't go in their coop! I had to turn the light on to get them in there...LOL...Silly Chickens!
 

Jenski

Songster
11 Years
Jun 17, 2008
2,177
18
181
Middle Tennessee
Mine were restless, but I had a small amount of light filtering in from another brooder so it was not pitch black. Maybe that would help for a few nights: a night light.

Good luck!
 
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Wynette

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Sep 25, 2007
25,574
194
421
Michigan
It makes sense that they get panicky - chickens do not see well in the dark. Hope they get over it quickly!
 

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