Chicks scared of the dark? PLEASE HELP!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by FrozenCorn, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. FrozenCorn

    FrozenCorn Hatching

    Apr 22, 2008
    Hey everyone!

    Okay, I have six girls, about a month old now. I've been keeping them inside in a large dog kennel with a lamp and everything. We just finished our coop last weekend, and they've been spending the day there, though I bring them back inside after the sun comes down. I decided recently to let them spend the night in the coop aswell, as they are beocoming smelly! If I leave them out there past nine, they will all start cheeping very loud, as if they are afraid of the dark. It is the sound they make when they are separated, so I'm not sure if they are scared of the dark, or if they can;t see each other or what! There is still light outside from the moon and our house, but they just keep cheeping. I placed their kennel in their coop to see if that would comfort them, but it didn't. I think maybe they are just spoiled from sleeping indoors.

    Can anyone lease shed some light on this issue? I don;t want the neighbors to get upset.

  2. augiedranch

    augiedranch Songster

    Mar 14, 2008
    mine are seven weeks old right now,, and sleep in the coop at night with reg light on. then they are fine..

    they do not like to be out there in the dark.

    my chicks have never lived inside my house.. (parents dont like animals)

    but still act scared of the dark too... so i just keep a light on them at night.. i run a cable out to them and put the light up on the top of the coop pretty high.

    i guess they will let me know when they are ready to be big girls and boys

    but untill then. ill keep a light on them
  3. chickflick

    chickflick Crowing

    Mar 10, 2007
    I had a light on for them too....they are afraid...going from a cozy kennel to a big coop. After about a week or so, I put in a lower watage bulb....and ended up with a "night" light. Until they are comfortable on the roost, then lights out. Once they are old enough to to into the coop by them selves and roost on their own, then you can turn the light out.
  4. momma's chickens

    momma's chickens Songster

    Mar 10, 2008
    Okay I could be way wrong on this, probably am, but I thought chickens couldn't see in the dark. I know my chickens are much easier to pick up in the dark because I always assumed they couldn't see in the dark.
  5. Stella1964

    Stella1964 Songster

    Mar 30, 2008
    Ontario Canada
    Chickens won't peck at each other in the dark because they can't see without light. So if they're peeping a lot in the dark, they're uncomfortable, but it could also be that they might be cold at night too without the light on. I put a red light on, 100 watts, at night so they have a bit of heat, and a bit of light in one corner of the coop. It seems to work. Once the summer hours really set in though, I'm going to turn it off. They'll be older then too and should be mature enough to understand dark means roost (sleep) and light means lay eggs and be active! Like little kids!
  6. Portia

    Portia Songster

    Feb 29, 2008
    South Central PA
    When I moved my girls into their coop they needed the red light on for the first few nights because they too would become upset and peep incessantly if it was dark. After a few nights they seemed to become more comfortable and no longer needed the light...unless it was cold and I turned it on for heat.
  7. JSC

    JSC In the Brooder

    Mar 28, 2008
    Union, Mo.
    We have a 25 watt light on in their coop. I have been experimenting with this lately,when I leave the light off at night and go outside to let them out in the run for the day,they are all huddled up and quiet. Also the food pans are hardly touched.
    When I leave the light on at night, the next morning the girls are all moving around and the pans are empty.

    I say they definitely can't see in the dark. I would think leaving a light on in their coop at night would mess up their roosting habits (not knowing when it is night time) [​IMG]

    JSC's Hubby
  8. CoopD'Etat

    CoopD'Etat In the Brooder

    Mar 9, 2008
    The really really LOUD constant cheeping that almost hurts your ears is meant to get momma over there to warm them up. Maybe they are too cold. I agree with Stella.
  9. eliss18

    eliss18 In the Brooder

    Feb 10, 2008
    i remember we always had the light on for our baby chickens because they were scared. but apparently it can be bad for them psychologically. anyhows, we turned the light of one night and although they chirped for a while they soon stopped and were fine in the morning. (though i did go check several times hehe)

    they shoudl be fine. with the light off, just soem getting used to for them,
  10. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    Mine are whiny, too, but they're over 2 months old.....they still sit under the light, but I think it's cause they're used to of these days I'll be mean enough to turn it off..... [​IMG]

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