My Night Owl Chickens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lizablair, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. lizablair

    lizablair Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 29, 2012
    Baldwin County, AL
    I have to go out and make my turkey get in her run where there is a heat lamp and deep hay...she sits in the rain or cold two feet from her run...that's when I started seeing my girls out in the chicken yard scratching and pecking in the grass...11:00 at night...I have a security light on that side of my house and I guess it confuses it bad that they "don't go to bed with the chickens?" I go out and chase them into their coop and then instead of getting up on the roost..they hunker down in their nest they make each night in the thick hay on the floor of the is their for insulation from the cold but they have two lights in their 4'X4' coop..before it started getting cold at night they slept on the bamboo pole roost. I laugh every time I see them trying to see stuff in the grass...first the left eye then the right eye then a little scratching then pecking...
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I would arrange things so they have natural dark for sleep. They do not need a light in their coop. The weather in Alabama never feels cold to them, I promise. Chickens do fine with no heat in much colder weather than we get down here. It is the summer heat they don't handle well. They might be trying to get away from the warmth of the lights, or simply to a place they can cover their eyes by making a nest in the straw.

    If you have light in your coop to encourage egg laying, they need 14 hours of daylight at most. I would recommend putting the light on a timer so it comes on around 4 AM. That way they have enough darkness to rest well, and aren't suddenly plunged into darkness at bedtime. Light to encourage egg laying only needs to be a little light, maybe a 25 or 40 watt bulb. Some people use a string of Christmas lights.

    A bamboo pole roost may not be comfortable for them. Chickens' feet don't curl around a narrow pole the way most birds' do. I use the flat side of a 2x4 for a roost pole. Many people use a thick tree branch. Some of the really big large fowl would probably not even find these things wide enough.
  3. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    X2 what Judy said - sounds like way too much light is upsetting their natural body clocks.
  4. lizablair

    lizablair Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 29, 2012
    Baldwin County, AL
  5. Eddy Chicken

    Eddy Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 23, 2011
    Southern New Jersey
    I leave the light on in their coop this way they're all in there when I go out to lock them up at night. Otherwise they would be under the street-light hanging from the barn.
    They're not known for their IQ's lol
  6. HouseCat

    HouseCat Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't have any advice but this thread reminded me of something my dad said when I asked him about getting turkeys.
    "Turkeys spend most of their time sitting around and thinking-up new ways to die." That always made me laugh.
  7. kian

    kian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancaster, CA
    HouseCat I seriously LOL'd at that!

    I have a different issue with mine: if I turn the flashlight on them, they wake up! So much for all that "check 'em out when they're sleeping" stuff!

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