Cheaping at dusk


In the Brooder
11 Years
Aug 24, 2008
Brisbane, Australia
Hi Everyone,
I have two 6 week old chicks that I've raised from day old. One is an Australorp X and the other is an Isabrown.

They've been outside in their run for the past 3 weeks because we're heading in to summer and there's no temperature problem.

The problem is that everynight at dusk, as soon as the sun goes down they start cheaping incessantly. So I go outside and put them in their coop - they still haven't figured out to go in their themselves. Then I lock them in and they keep cheaping.... on and on and on and louder and louder.

I kept having to turn the heat lamp on in there - not for the warmth, but for the light! I figured this out by changing to a little led light, and that kept them quiet too - so it definitely wasn't because they were cold.
So for now, i'm getting by with the little light instead of the heat lamp because it's just getting too hot for that here.

It's as if they're afraid of the dark. Does anyone else have this problem? And is it possible to wean them off this?

If you need any other info let me know.
- Vicky


Green Eggs and Hamlet
12 Years
Jul 7, 2007
Middle TN
Hmmm... I had to teach mine to use the roosts. It took a couple of weeks for them to figure it out. Silly birds.

The cheeping kind of still happens. There's still quite a bit of clucking and muttering as they settle in for the night. Mine are all 23 weeks old.

Can you keep the night light for a little bit longer? Or maybe they want more little friends?
You could always get more chicks...

(yes, yes... I'm an enabler!)

Three Cedars Silkies

11 Years
Apr 17, 2008
Gainesville, Fl.
I had the same problem with some 8 week old chicks. I put one of those cheap solar sidewalk lights by their coop and they shut right up. I think they were just used to the light from their brooder...not necessarily needing the heat.


In the Brooder
11 Years
Aug 24, 2008
Brisbane, Australia
Thanks for the idea on the solar light... I might get one of those and try that.

I just really didn't want to be having to run electricity out to the coop, considering they definitely don't need the heat here.

An update though:
Tonight, on cue they started cheaping at dusk, but I just ignored them completely. They kept making a racket for about 30-45 mins, then they were quiet because they'd gone inside their coop.

So... I'm hoping that if I can just ignore them for long enough they'll learn to be quiet and just go inside straight away.

I'll let you know in a week or so how that goes.


Queen Of Clueless
11 Years
Jul 27, 2008
I have been gradually weaning mine off the heat lamps. At first there was a whole load of commotion but now they are starting to get used to it. I like the solar light idea too.


Still chillin' with my peeps
11 Years
Mar 13, 2008
East South Central (West KY)
the solar light is a good idea. At that age I do think the cheeping is due more to insecurity than anything else. I left a light on for the first few nights when I put mine out with the big guys. It didn't take them long to get used to being without it, but it was definitely a comfort to them while making the transition. A few more chickies might be a good thing, too, if you have the room.


Goat Mama
11 Years
Aug 21, 2008
Our chicks are 7 weeks old and living in their outside coop. Every night at 9pm when we turn the light out they start chattering like chipmunks! We stand outside the door and listen to them for a while and when they are all settled, they quiet back down again! It sounds like a slumber party every night. We can only imagine what they are saying about us!


In the Brooder
11 Years
Aug 24, 2008
Brisbane, Australia
alright,, after much chicken watching. I've figured out what the problem was.
They didn't like their roost.

firstly, it was too high and at an awkward angle for them to jump up on to.
then after they got big enough to jump up there wasn't enough room there for them.

So I've moved it and straight away they quietened down.

crooked stripe

12 Years
Jan 14, 2008
N.E Ohio- Suffield
I have found that they quiet down a lot faster if I turn the light off around 6:00 before it gets dark. As the sun sets they just relax and fall a sleep. I forgot to mention I have a window in my coop.


Hilltop Farm
12 Years
Nov 18, 2007
My Coop
My chicks will be a month old Wednesday. I let them out during the day. I have a nursey coop with a run for the chicks. They all go in their coop in the evenings and I turn on a heat lamp. They peep for awhile then settle down. It's been in the low 50's a night and the next few night it will be in the 40's.

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