chicken behaviour

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by stephen.williams, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. stephen.williams

    stephen.williams Out Of The Brooder

    I have 2 month old chickens who seem to prefer to sleep outside of the coop even tho there is a perfectly cosy,dark sheltered position for them to roost. The coldest it gets here is about 15 degrees and no frosts. Predators are also minimal. There is a street light that shines in on there run and this is where they seem to want to rest. Is there a problem with this or should I just let them sleep where they want to.???
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Sounds to me like the streetlight may be your problem. Is it possible for you to have a light that outshines the streetlight in their coop? You could turn it on at dusk and shut it off after the chickens have gone in to roost.
    Call me overprotective, but I believe the safest place for chickens at night is in their coop. Once you get them in there for the night, they should be kept there until morning. No matter how minimal the predator problem, there's bound to be a predator or two; even if it's the neighbor's dog or cat.
     
  3. stephen.williams

    stephen.williams Out Of The Brooder

    Thanks for that gritsar. You dont think they mind being locked up in the dark??
     
  4. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    actually being locked up in the dark is a lot safer than being out, light or no light. Chickens go into an almost catatonic state when sleeping, and that's why they are such easy prey for a predator of any kind. An enclosure where they can sleep safely is best.
     
  5. Robin L

    Robin L Chillin' With My Peeps

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    mine are a month old and they like a night light. If I dont leave a light on in the coop it sounds if WWWIII is happening in my backyard.
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    stephen.williams :

    Thanks for that gritsar. You dont think they mind being locked up in the dark??

    Oh they definitely prefer the light. That's why yours are content to stay outside with a streetlight. The problem is, they don't know what's best for them and what's best for them is to be locked up safe from predators.
    So I would suggest using a bright light in the coop to draw them into it and then shut their light off once they are all comfortable inside. For sure they are going to squawk and carry on like all heck is breaking loose at first, but they need periods of dark and light; just like every other living thing.
    So they'll have a little stress as they adjust to the periods of darkness, but it's better a little stress now than lots later from having light 24/7.
    Robin L, as hard as it is on us mommies, they do need to get used to darkness. My SO practically had to tie me down to keep me from turning the light back on when my babies screamed in terror on their first night without their light. It took about 3 days and they adjusted.​
     
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    stephen, I did want to mention that later on you're gonna have a different daylight dilemma. Your chickens will need 14 hours of daylight in order to lay. When the days get shorter in wintertime they won't get that much naturally. So you'll have two choices to make, depending on how important egg production is to you. You can provide artificial light in the coop, preferably on a timer, to add up to 14 hours or you can let them go natural and have a rest period from laying in the wintertime. IMO, they burn out faster without that natural rest period.
     
  8. cactus-hen

    cactus-hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Re the "catatonic" comment: My 11 chickens did not go into the coop the night we made major modifications to it. I went out to check them after dark and found all but one in the horse stall cuddled in a corner. I was able to pick up two at a time. They all squawked, but not one of them ran away or pecked at me. If I was a predator they would all be gone now. The safest place for them at night is a closed coop.
     

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