Our Girls are still afraid of the dark? How long?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Welsummer, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. Welsummer

    Welsummer In the Brooder

    May 21, 2008
    Hello, we are first timers and our first bunch of girls is now 8 weeks old and enjoying their new coop. But they are still afraid of the dark! How long do we need to keep a light on all night for them? If we turn it off they all pile up in front of the door and make dreadful little noises. As soon as we turn the light on they will go back into the coop and go to sleep... Bless their hearts! Has anyone experienced this before? Thanks ahead for any info! [​IMG]
  2. hcammack

    hcammack Crowing

    Oct 5, 2007
    possible a night light [​IMG] I have not experianced it.

    WELCOME !!!!

  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    I'd say its just like children. Leave the light off and they will get used to it. Keep babying them and they will stay babies! [​IMG]
  4. ruby

    ruby Songster

    Apr 10, 2008
    Gold Hill, Alabama
    I started leaving the light off for 15 minutes each day then 30 and so on... never had them get too scared
  5. ridgefire

    ridgefire Songster

    Jan 8, 2008
    Northern Michigan
    Guess I never really thought of them being scared of the dark. I moved them to the coop and that was it. One morning I came in and they were all up in the roosts sleeping. They got mad at me when I turned the light on. [​IMG]
  6. chickenlady

    chickenlady Songster

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    Just turn it off and leave it off. They wont yell forever.
  7. cluckychick

    cluckychick Songster

    Mar 29, 2008
    South of KCMO
    My light now goes on a 8pm and off at 10pm. I figure this is plenty of time to get in there, eat, socialize, root around in the shavings, fight about who's sleeping where and settle down. [​IMG]
  8. chickenlady

    chickenlady Songster

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    It is best not to have a light on at night. They need to learn that at the end of the natural day, they should go in and roost. This will keep them safer from preditors that should happen to come out right at dusk. What happens if for some reason your lights dont come on and your chickens dont know to go in when it gets dark out? They will just sit outside in the dark, not moving, easy target for any preditor. This is JMO.
  9. You don't mention if your coop has a window. Is it the sudden onset of darkness when you shut off the lights? If so they may be panicking from sudden loss of vision...ours are three and a half weeks, we have a window in the coop so the light goes down gradually. The coop is insulated and we haven't needed the brooder lamp either since the weather turned warm. In fact some are roosting overnight. We do plan to add light at 4 am via a timer as they get closer to laying age.
  10. Welsummer

    Welsummer In the Brooder

    May 21, 2008
    Thanks for all of the insight! You have all given us quite a bit to consider..... I'll take some pictures of our coop so you can see our dilemma. The only reason we can think of that would make them all pile up in front of the door is that our dog tried a few times to dig her way in and it scared them really badly. Why they choose the door to pile in front of?? [​IMG] We have critters and are afraid that a raccoon is going to reach through the wire while they are asleep and grab them. How can we make them roost? I guess we will just have to turn the light off and start checking on them hourly until they learn??? We sure do love our girls and never dreamed we would become this attached to them. We wanted fresh eggs....didn't know that they would turn into precious pets! They all have names and love for us to hold them and pet them. We have 17 teenagers, 6 that are 2 weeks old and 3 more babies arriving today! We are in the chicken business now!!! Thanks again, I'll post pictures later today...... [​IMG]

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