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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by agirly4chicks, Apr 24, 2009.
mine did that too eventually they got used to the dark though...
Mine did this as well. As soon as I took out the heat lamp they stayed in the run at night, crying their fool heads off . DH installed a little LED light in coop and I left that on the first evening until they went in the coop, and as soon as they were settled I turned the light off and they never needed it again.
That was the night in question. We never took that light out of the coop, even though we don't need it; I think it's their security blanket lol.
I have six chickens, five are Rhode Island Red and one is White. They are 3 1/2 months old, and I got them at one wk old. Since they all look the same, they are named Hazel, and Hazle-et. This is my first time raising chickens (for pet/eggs), and I have so far really enjoyed them. Mine have now been outside for the last three weeks, and they seem to be afraid of the dark. The coop is the back half of the shed, divided by chick wire. they have an access door that we cut out. to enter into the yard that is L shape around the building, so they have 2 sides of the outside building to run that is also enclosed with wire. Come night fall, they curl up at the farthest corner of the run (this is not the side that has the door opening) and I guess wait for me to put them up. I cover the opening at night, so nothing can come into the shed. My concern is, will I have to do this forever, and I worry that the shed will be too hot at night as summer nights will stay in the 80's. they do have one small window, and we are going to install another, but how hot can chickens be without being miserable? I did put a tarp up on one side of the run, as I don't believe they like full exposure of the sun all day. My husband says, he has never seen chickens not want to be in the sun. Well, I don't like to be in the sun either all day long! I do have an extension cord running to the building and so far, I do leave the light on. I even placed those solar lights you stick in the ground by their entry to see if that would entice them to go in, but that did not work, they continued to await my arrival. I also have left them out two hours past dark, but again, they just waited it out. I do love my chickens though, but what if I want to go someplace overnight, then I have to hire someone to put up my chicks. I am thinking this is not what folks have to do with their chickens..... thanks in advance for any imput.
Turn your light on, shoo them all into the coop right at dusk, let them get settled and then turn the light off before the night sky really gets dark. That way there's still some ambient light and they have time to adjust to the setting of the sun.
ETA: They'll still complain but they won't freak out.
Go to Home Depot or Lowes and get a cheap solar walk way light. They are usually one small led light powered by a AA rechargeable battery that gets recharged by the small solar panel on them. Remove the stake that would allow you to put it in the ground near your walk and instead put it in the window of your couple. Now you have a solar night light. Mine cost $3.88 from Home Depot. It turns on when you need it to and is just enough light to coax the chicks in at night. I am on my second year of chicken keeping and it has worked for me both years.
I did put the solar light in the coop, by the window and so far three out of six have gone in. Yeaaa, we are getting there
I use the battery LED night lights from lowes,about 10 bucks for a 3 pack,they have adhesive backs that I just stick above the door,I turn it on at dusk and off in the morning,works great for my lot as it's not too bright,just enough so that they can see and move around if need be.
Provide an old blanket, and let them hide under it. Mine were sleeping soundly.
this may take a while but several times a day flip it off for a few mins until they get used to it
I have never had chickens before and I never thought about them being afraid of the dark. Mine put themselves to bed at dusk. They do fuss when I go out and shut the door. When I was very small my grandmother had chickens and I KNOW they never had a light - they didn't even have a door to shut that I remember.