chickens can't see in the dark, can they?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by zogmonster, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. zogmonster

    zogmonster Just Hatched

    Sep 28, 2009
    So I'm putting lights in my coop after giving the girls some time off from laying, my concern is that there is no dusk, the lights on then it's off and pitch black, wont that affect the chickens? All of a sudden they have to run and roost? I had quite a laugh imaging them all running into each other in the dark and cursing trying to find the ramp... poor little things..
  2. chickmashnoon

    chickmashnoon Chillin' With My Peeps

    yep. From what I understand I think they eventually figure out to get in their places before the timer goes out. Or you can just skip that and give them all the extra light they need to lay early in the morning so dusk will naturally allow them to find their roost in time.
  3. jomoncon

    jomoncon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 24, 2010
    New Orleans, LA
    I have lights in my coop, but also a small photo-sensitive night light. That gives just enough light for them to see good enough to get to their roost.

    Learned that on BYC!!
  4. geoff40

    geoff40 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2011
    Boonies, NH
    I don't know if chickens see in the dark. I suspect they do. It has been discovered that migrating bird species do much of their migrating at night, and many of these birds have the same type of eyes as chicken-a pupil surrounded by a gold/yellow iris. Assuming the neurons inside these eyes are all similar, I would guess they can see at night just like their relatives.
    My experience opening their coop inthe dark, I think it would indicate they can see me all right.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I do the photo sensitive night light in my coop too. It's nice for me when I have to go out there, plus I feel that any bit of light helps deter many predators. I think it gives just enough glow that if a chicken really wanted a drink, they could find their way to the inside waterer too. But I don't think they can see well in the dark, because my little rooster is not people friendly (he won't 'let' me pick him up), and I can go in at night time and pick him right up off the roost...he squawks a bit but doesn't wrestle.
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    From what I have seen, chickens are not as capable as a typical human when comes to seeing under low light conditions.

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