How dark should the coop be?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Libbynugget, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. Libbynugget

    Libbynugget Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 6, 2013
    This is a home made coop I've been working on for my three ladies. It's built around an old garden swing A-frame and has a ground level (half hardstanding, half earth) and an upstairs roosting area with 2 nesting boxes against that open hatch.
    I've painted primer onto the outside, but I'm not sure about how dark to make the upstairs roosting/nesting area? I've left a window space at the top on each side. My intention is to paint over the primer with dark green paint just from the upstairs level to the top of the coop so downstairs will still be quite light (they spend all day wandering around the garden area behind that wall, so they're rarely inside it during the day)
    How important is it that the upstairs be dark? Their old coop was inside an old guinea pig hutch which just had a tiny perspex square window near the top and a porch that kept the coop dark but accessible. So far they've spent 2 nights in this new coop but as soon as they're let out they run back to the old one to lay, and then stage a kind of sit-in protest by hanging around in it for half the day (very unusual for them!)

    Any advice much appreciated!
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    They do not require darkness to lay eggs. Mine will actually set nests in open feild with only shade provided by short fescue. They usually want moree in the way of something to nest next to like a wall, tree or even slight hill.
  3. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Welcome to BYC.

    Chickens do develop habits. Yours have the idea that their old coop is still home. Leave them in the new coop for a week and if you can move the old one out of any place they can see it when you leave them out. They will be happier with a well lit coop. They aren't burrowing animals after all.
  4. Libbynugget

    Libbynugget Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 6, 2013
    Thanks for the help. I've put all their food and water in the new house and shut up the old one. They went into the new one of their own accord this evening! [​IMG]

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