Baby Chicks Afraid of the Dark

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by LadyVictorian, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. LadyVictorian

    LadyVictorian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 22, 2016
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    Hey, so my chicks are going on 6 weeks old now so I mostly have the heat lamp turned off so they can feather out more under their wings (poor stinkers are bald under there). They are perfectly alright without the heat lamp since I have a heater in the room set to 75 and it blows into their cage when it kicks up.Now, the problem seems to be only at night. The still live in my bedroom so all day they have my bedroom light on to act as their 'sun' but come night time I want to sleep so I shut it off and they all freak out. They don't go to sleep, they don't calm down, they just panic and scream and cry so I have been using their heat lamp as a 'night light' for them at night but I really don't want to have to use it anymore even for that since I have been weaning them off it. What can I do to get them over this not liking the dark business?
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    My Coop
    This is very common in chicks brooded with a light as they do not develop a normal day/night cycle (also one advantage of using a brooder plate or the "mama heat pad" method for warming chicks in the brooder). At this point they are more than capable of being without the light (at this point my chicks are already out in the coop with no supplemental heat at all in temperatures well below 75 degrees), so the best thing you can do to make the process easy on all of you is to eliminate the light completely -- and do it during the day so they experience a natural "dusk" as the light goes out of your room. The catch is you then are committed to not introducing any other light to your room after that point (no turning on the light, no using items that give off light, etc) as this will wake the birds and disrupt their "night"....it might be easier for all of you to move them into a room that you won't be entering between dusk and dawn so the birds can adapt to a natural light cycle if at all possible....or out to the coop. The first couple of nights there might be some distress, but the more you draw the process out the harder it is on the chicks.
     
  3. LadyVictorian

    LadyVictorian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 22, 2016
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    Out into the coop won't be possible yet as it still gets to -15 here and has in the highs only been 15 to 20 outside. :/

    I normally don't use the heat lamp during the day since they are always just fine without it and have a fish tank literally surrounding them on near every side that gives off light. It's around 8 to 9 when we get ready for bed and shut off all the tank lights and then the light in the bedroom that they freak out. Since I can't leave on a tank light as a night light because it would stress out the fish I have only been using the heat lamp as a night light. Not putting it over them but rather in the other corner of the room so it would give off some light and they could sleep.

    I felt since it's naturally fairly dark in my room that throughout the day they would start to get use to it since my room is on the shady side of the house and gets only about 2 hours of sunlight a day. Do you think it would help since literally all the light that is in this room is artificial light (have black curtains too so the sun doesn't normally get through those) if I shut the main light off first but let the tank lights still give it a dawn/dusk feel and then start shutting those off one by one every couple of minutes, say 15 minutes until it's all dark? I could certainly shut the tank lights off a little later than normal so long as each tank gets at least 6 hours of darkness so the fish can sleep.
     

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