Chicks afraid of the dark

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by gxd, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. gxd

    gxd Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2009
    Northern California
    Hi- I'm new here and my chicks are 3 weeks old. I just turned off the heating lamp last night as the temperature has been warm enough inside the house. We've had a heat wave and I don't think I'll need the heat lamp any further unless we get a cold spell. Some of the chicks are pretty well feathered already.
    Last night when I tried to turn the light off they freaked out in the dark and would not stop chirping. I had to leave a 60 watt light on all night long. Tonight as soon as it got dark they started crying out again. Do they just need to get used to the dark or should I leave a light on for them?
    Thanks!
     
  2. BFeathered

    BFeathered Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 29, 2008
    North Texas
    Chickens do not see well AT ALL in the dark, so yes, they get freaky as chicks. You may want to check your brooder temp, just to be sure that a heat wave for you isn't just a bit cool for fuzz butts. You can use a lower wattage bulb if the temp is ok, and put a feather duster in the brooder for the little cowards to snuggle in. Mine love it! Good luck, hope you get some sleep tonite.
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I turned my light off for the final time when my chicks were five and a half weeks old. They freaked when it started getting dark for a couple nights but they got over it.
     
  4. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Mine get upset, because I have to turn off or move the light away to clean their crate so they don't really like it when the lights go out. I guess they'll just have to get over it some day.
     
  5. LilBizzy

    LilBizzy Chicken Storyteller

    May 20, 2008
    Maryland
    I have some teens that are 11 weeks old, and have been outside for 5 weeks. Every night, I have to turn the light on for them, wait for them to settle, then turn it out. They will NOT go into the coop when it's dark, because it's darker inside than it is outside.
    My husband was playing with them the other night. He turned on the light, they all ran inside. He turned off the light- they all ran back outside. Light on- the ran back in. Light off, they ran back out. Then we were done laughing at them, and left the light on.
    Tonight, I didn't get home till almost 8:30 pm, and it had gotten dark extra early because of thunderstorms. Were they in the coop nice and warm? Nope- they were huddled outside waiting for the light to go on.
     
  6. gxd

    gxd Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2009
    Northern California
    Yes, it's about 85 degrees in the house which I think is warm enough. They are pretty spread out when they sleep and not on top of one another. Last night they did fine without the heat lamp as well. If it gets cooler, which it just might, I'll put the lamp back up.

    They have seemed to calmed down in the dark and I guess it just took some time before they figured out they should just go to sleep.

    Thanks!
     
  7. gxd

    gxd Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2009
    Northern California
    Ha ha LilBizzy- that's too funny. I guess you gotta love their insecurities. It's not a coincidence that we get the term "chicken" and "chicken hearted" from them [​IMG]
     
  8. cluckylisa

    cluckylisa Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 2, 2009
    Central Minnesota
    I have 1.5 week old chicks and use a ceramic heat emitting bulb (found in the reptile section of the pet store) and so I turn the lights on in the laundry room (where their brooder is) every morning and off at night. I do use a little night light, the kind with a light sensor) the girls all huddle as close to the night light as possible at night, and during the day when they nap they spread out through out the brooder. Goofy creatures.
     

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