My chickens are afraid of the dark!

JustMyCluck0303

In the Brooder
6 Years
Feb 3, 2013
12
4
24
I have 15 five week old chickens that we have moved from the brooder out to the coop. We moved them to the coop and kept them in for a few days before opening the run during the day. They have been afraid of the dark since they don't have the heating lamp on at night any more. They cling to the hardware cloth in the coop windows and squawk nervously. I have been putting a solar powered garden light in the coop at night and then they seem to settle right away. I know I am only indulging their fear by doing that but it is their first week in the coop and I want to ease the stress They seem to be getting along fine until dusk. The first few days they resisted going back into the coop but tonight they went in at dusk on their own... but they are still clinging to the window on the West side of the coop (where they can still see the light outside) and are making those loud, scared chirps. Has anyone experienced this, and do you have any advice? Should I just take away their makeshift nightlight ASAP, or let them have it a little longer? I know it's silly but it makes me sad to see them scared like that!
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ruatgr2

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 18, 2013
20
0
21
Centreville, Alabama (Bibb County)
I searched the forums for night vision and discovered that chicks don't have any at all, so they are just scared. Mine are about 4 weeks and have been outside just the last few nights. I had a hard time getting them into the coop area from the run so Im giving in and giving them some light. The transition from the brooder in the house will be shocking enough for a while, no need to have them scared on top of that.
 

Alex15

Songster
Feb 24, 2013
236
41
136
I also had a horrible time leaving my chicks out the first night. I had them out just during the day a couple of days and one day I left them out there til after dusk and those sad chirps broke my heart so I brought them back inside! Their brooder was just a cardboard box so I then put them in that in the coop for a couple of nights and then after that I turned a box upside down and cut one side out (see photo) and they happily slept in that til they decided it was time to perch off the ground (silkies are still sleeping in the box!)





It is sad if your babies are distressed, so I woud definitely leave the lamp on if it calms them down. Maybe you could ease it off them, by having it out there as dusk falls and then taking it away when they’re all settled and asleep, or dimming it gradually if it does that!
 

JustMyCluck0303

In the Brooder
6 Years
Feb 3, 2013
12
4
24
ruatgr2 ~ Mine didn't want to go in the first few nights either, but on the third night I went out at dusk and they were all in the coop, but clinging to the window for the last shred of light. They are still doing that and it has been a week, but since the 3rd night they all have been putting themself in the coop on their own at least.
 

JustMyCluck0303

In the Brooder
6 Years
Feb 3, 2013
12
4
24
Alex15, my friends have been laughing at me when I tell them their chirps are sad and scared, but when you raise chicks you can tell the difference between happy, content chirps and scared ones! It is a good idea leaving their little brooder box in there with them for awhile. I will try easing them off the light gradually so it is less stressful. Thanks for the tip!
 

Alex15

Songster
Feb 24, 2013
236
41
136
Hahaha my friends are the same! And that first time I left them out there past dusk, my little silkies started coming towards me in the middle of the yard, as if looking for help from me, cause they hadn't yet ventured past the perimeter of their new pen! So it was a big deal for them to venture that far and it broke my heart and my friends thought I was crazy!

But you know, this is why we join chicken forums where other chicken lovers understand the craziness of having and raising chickens! :p
 

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