Okay to Leave Chicks in the Dark?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by LaurasLorps, May 11, 2011.

  1. LaurasLorps

    LaurasLorps Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 19, 2011
    I have four 3.5 week old Australorps. It is has been staying hot here in Arkansas, so I've been turning their heat lamp off during the day (they stay inside, and since DH and I are cheapskates, we haven't turned our air conditioner on yet). Last night when I went to bed, it was still 82 in the house, so I decided to just leave the heat lamp off and let the chicks sleep in the dark for the first time. They peeped for a bit and then quieted down, but after about 30 mins of laying in bed worrying about them, I went and turned the light back on.

    My concern is this: I know my chicks will have dark nights soon (no electricity in the coop), but I have also read that chickens have really, really bad night vision, so I was worried that the chicks would get hungry/thirsty during the night and not be able to find their food and water. Am I being to paranoid? Do chicks this age need access to their food and water 24/7? Can I leave the lights out at night without them starving or dehydrating?
  2. Lurkeygirl2011

    Lurkeygirl2011 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 22, 2011
    chicks with a mama hen do not eat and drink all night, so i would think they will be okay. but, if it is going to cause you to worry, i would just leave the light on.
  3. Hot2Pot

    Hot2Pot Fox Hollow Rabbitry

    Feb 1, 2010
    West TN
    You could always put a regular bulb in the light instead of the 250 watt, it would be cheaper and still offer light and some heat;-)
  4. MareeZoCool

    MareeZoCool Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] from Ohio [​IMG] Your love & concern for your new chicks [​IMG] tickles my heart. [​IMG] chickens are fun to love! [​IMG] Don't worry, your chicks will learn to sleep in the dark soon enough.
  5. Nuzzy

    Nuzzy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 15, 2010
    Allegan, MI
    Fortunately chickens have been around longer than electricity, thus having encountered and overcome such situations in the past. [​IMG]
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I live in SW Arkansas. Before I started letting mama raise chicks, in the coop (the best way, IMO) I raised them on the screened porch. I turned the heat lamp off asap, usually around 2 1/2 to 3 weeks and let them get get used to the natural cycle of night and day. It's how they are going to be living the rest of their lives and they grow healthy and strong having gotten used to it early on.

    By the way, I have two broodies each with week old chicks in one of my coops right now. It's so hot that the chicks aren't even sleeping under their mamas right now, but choose to sleep next to her instead.
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    They'll be fine.
  8. Noobi2411

    Noobi2411 Just Hatched

    Jun 17, 2016
    Mine are about 2½ weeks old and I havent shut the heat lamp off in the night yet, will they be ok?
  9. hje007

    hje007 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2015
    SW Pennsylvania
    I brood my chicks with a brinsea ecoglow in my bedroom. They have dark nights from day one and seem well adjusted. No heat lamps here. During the early spring chill my first batch went to an outside brooder in the coop at 4 weeks and had no trouble. My current littles will probably do the same and go totally without the ecoglow.
  10. Pendragonz

    Pendragonz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2015
    Hi LaurasLorps,
    I live in NWA and have a bunch of chicks now that are almost 5 weeks old. My brooder is in my garage and by the time they were 3 weeks old I had taken my heating plate out of the brooder and they were w/o heat. They have been doing fine, and the garage is dark at night. They won't have a problem not eating or drinking at night. It's just a natural thing, they don't eat or drink at night if it's dark. Unlike the meat chicken processors that leave lights on 24/7 so the chickens will eat all the time. Enjoy your chicks and don't over think things.

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