Lights out PANIC!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wxdude99, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. wxdude99

    wxdude99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 26, 2008
    Montgomery Area
    I'm sure it's normal, but it's kind of freaking me out the way my chickens behave when I turn their light out at night. They start wimpering like little puppies and crowd into a corner just crawling all over themselves. I didn't know chickens were so afraid of the dark. They're 2 1/2 months old by the way... It's strange, and I feel sorry for them, but I don't want to leave the light on all night.
  2. waynesgarden

    waynesgarden Feathers of Steel

    Mar 30, 2008
    Oxford County
    Quote:Don't give them any artificial light in the evenings. Let them go to roost as the natural light fades. If you provide artificial light, turn it on early, before dawn.

    Besides the wimpering, there is a danger they'll hurt themselves in the dark.

  3. Shared Acres

    Shared Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2008
    Northeast Fla
    I have babies in a brooder in the house that do that.
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    You have to wean them off the light. Cold turkey works, but just have to put them on the roost consistently.
  5. wxdude99

    wxdude99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 26, 2008
    Montgomery Area
    That's something I haven't thought of. If it's dark and I put them on the roost, they'll probably just stay there. I'll give that a shot.
  6. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    My chickens aren't that young and they are essentially outside when they are that age, so they are subject to the daylight dimming slowly.

    Lately, I have been in the process of killing the mice that invade the indoors during this time of year. I've killed 2 in the coop and 3 in the feed area of the garage. This morning I discovered that the coop trap had been "licked clean" and there were small holes dug in the litter under the hanging feeder.
    I'll get him [​IMG] !! Even tho' chickens eat mice, I can't help thinking that they don't like 'em scurrying around in the dark when they can't see 'em!

    Another thought - - could you place a very low watt "night light" in the coop?

    The bulb is only 11 watts so it is not very bright in my small coop - light enuf for them to read the newspaper [​IMG] is all that is supposed to be necessary for the birds. They are on my schedule so the light goes off the last time I venture out there: 9PM. But, I'm out there often earlier in the evening. They are never on the roost at 8PM but always roosting by 8:30. I don't think it surprises them when the light goes out.

  7. Toast n Jelly

    Toast n Jelly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 29, 2007
    St.Charles, QC
    I've always left a nite lite on for them, I figure if 1 falls off of the roost it'll at least see to move on and find a comfy spot. Another good reason for a nite lite is noise or whatever waking them up in the nite and them not being able to see would panic them.

    Accidents do happen so I like to give them an option. [​IMG]
  8. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    We always give them the extra light i nthe morning, so they go to roost naturally....
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    When my chickens were 5 1/2 weeks old and we took their heat lamp away permanently (it was late May), they raised the biggest fuss for a night or two.
    My SO had to remove my hand from the light switch multiple times to keep me from turning the light back on. I was distressed because they sounded distressed.
    He said they'd get over it. They did.

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