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Lights and roosting behavior

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by I have WHAT in my yard?, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. I have WHAT in my yard?

    I have WHAT in my yard? Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2008
    Eggberg, PA
    We had our lights on a 12 hour cycle 6 to 6. We found lots of chickens sleeping on the floor.

    I read here that since they cannot see in the dark they are taken by surprise when the light goes out and end up sleeping where they are when it goes off. (The banging around I hear after the light goes off belies this as there seems to be movement after but maybe they cannot see clearly enough to get up to the roost?)

    So we moved the time so that the light would go off at sunset 5 to 5. But, I can't get the timing down exactly right and they all wait outside until the sun goes down and go in to the now dark coop and sleep on the floor.

    Suggestions?? Aren't they better off if they are on the roosts? Or are the huddling on the floor for warmth? I would think it would be colder, but they are pretty huddled up.
     
  2. True Grit

    True Grit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mine are on a 6-6:30 cycle and they all seem to make it onto the roost. Maybe try keeping the light on a little longer? We also have a shed light that might cast a little light in the coop that I keep on til bedtime but I don't think they use that to hop on the roost.
     
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Mine go to roost before the light goes out. My coop is not brightly lit, though, it's dim in there, like cozy ambient light in a living room at night. They can see it's dark out, through all the windows, too. Maybe that makes a difference. I don't know.

    Are these adult chickens that are used to roosting? Have they been in this same coop for awhile, without any changes, other than the light? There's no draft where they roost is there? Or are they younger chickens?
     
  4. Hippie Chicks Mom

    Hippie Chicks Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2010
    Near Old Forge NY
    I had the same problem at first. The light went off and one would not be on the roost, slept on the floor. The light they get through their window is now enough to let them know it's time to roost and the timer goes off at 6pm. They are all safely roosted. I am on a 6am to 6pm cycle. With my girls... they just adjusted. Who says chickies aren't smart?????? [​IMG]
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Try a night light set to run 24 / 7. Will enable seeing well enough to reach roost without being bright enough to promote daylight activities.
     
  6. I have WHAT in my yard?

    I have WHAT in my yard? Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2008
    Eggberg, PA
    These are adults and they have roosted in this coop all of their lives, that is why I am confused. Seems to me to be lots draftier on the floor.

    I know there are heirarchy issues being worked out, but too many are ending up on the floor.

    The coop does not have any windows. Perhaps a secondary night light for a while??
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,442
    2,066
    456
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I have WHAT in my yard? :

    These are adults and they have roosted in this coop all of their lives, that is why I am confused. Seems to me to be lots draftier on the floor.

    I know there are heirarchy issues being worked out, but too many are ending up on the floor.

    The coop does not have any windows. Perhaps a secondary night light for a while??

    Messages crossed.​
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2010

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