Getting babies used to the dark.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Henriettamom919, May 22, 2019.

  1. Henriettamom919

    Henriettamom919 Songster

    May 1, 2019
    North of Seattle
    Never again will I use a heat lamp with chicks :rolleyes: I'm going heat cave all the way!

    So our babies are about to move outside and we've been preparing them by killing all lights but one distant lamp come 8pm or so. It's been several days now and they still just shriek holy heck for several minutes. The brooder is near two windows so it's not like it's pitch black just out of the blue!

    I swear, having them under that heat lamp day and night for those first weeks makes it so much harder to acclimate to night/day :barnie

    Rant over :gig
    Callender Girl and chrissynemetz like this.
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Puppy Dreaming

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I use a heat lamp. I generally start by leaving it off for an hour or two after dark than I turn it back on. The next night I wait longer. Chicks come to think of that heat lamp as their mom and are freaked out when it goes. You can also use a night light for a while. They are just scared kids without their mom, so you need to wean them off their artificial mom.
  3. Do they wake up when you turn it back on? I kinda don't get it. Mine have gotten heat from a flat panel and light from a room light or the sun. I try to keep the room light on a more or less natural day.
    Acre4Me likes this.
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    I just let them naturally get used to the sun going down. Yesterday my Ducklings spent their first night outside in the nursery pen without any light or heat. They did fine with the natural loss of daylight.
    oldhenlikesdogs likes this.
  5. you can tell by my avatar that the Orpingtons like to stay up and enjoy the sunset before retiring to the coop.
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    My chickens are outside till it's almost dark and then in they go to bed. I leave my pop door open all summer long.
    Willowspirit likes this.
  7. i am not used to how late it is before the sun goes down this far north. My husband closes the coop doors after he puts the horses up. They like being out late, too. I can't help it because i like being up late.
  8. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Here where I live it's not really dark till 10:00 pm. My Birds usually are in my Coop by 9:30 pm. I'm usually in bed before my Chickens..:gig
    Callender Girl likes this.
  9. LOL. Im in Oregon almost to Washington. I am usually awake after the chickens and before they get up too!
    chickens really likes this.
  10. Acre4Me

    Acre4Me Crowing

    Nov 12, 2017
    Western Ohio

    We've used heat lamp and heat plate and momma hen.

    Momma has been the best, but that doesn't always work out timing wise.

    Heat lamp is great for the first week as can keep a great eye on chicks, eating and pooping, and movement, etc really well.

    Heat plate is great because they get heat without light. Some people opt for a reptile ceramic heat emitter (no light, just heat, but plugs/screws into light socket).

    The brooder (solid sides, mesh top) is under a window inside the barn, so natural light, with heat plate. They settle down as light gets low - perfect!

    A week ago we had to turn on the lights in the barn after dark (chicks were only 2 weeks old), and then spouse decides to turn off all lights to leave - those chicks were chirping up a storm! They had already settled but with the light turning on, they got up to stretch, walk, eat, drink, etc and were caught in the dark when the light was suddenly put out. We had to turn the light back on, and then turn on one light in the loft, followed by turning off the main light (so there was dim light by the brooder). we had to take any chicks that were not under heat plate and place them under the edge, so that they could access heat once we turned off the light. Chickens don't move too much in the pitch dark and they were still too unfeathered to go the whole chilly night without access to heat. Overall, no solution is perfect, still need to watch out for those babies!

    Good luck with your next batch of chicks and whatever heating solution you decide on!
    Henriettamom919 likes this.

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