should I start turning off the light at night?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by den10hens, Jun 9, 2007.

  1. den10hens

    den10hens In the Brooder

    May 4, 2007
    Portland, Oregon
    I have two chicks just about ready to go outside full time. Currently they are inside at night and during the day while I am at work, outside free ranging when I can watch them, and in the portable run outside until dusk. The coop is almost done and I will start letting them stay in it during the day. They are 5 weeks old and almost fully feathered, so my question is...should I start turning off the lights at night while they are still inside? The temperature shouldn't be an issue I don't think. I am thinking of the transition to being out in the dark at night. What kinds of things have you all done to help the transition?
  2. barg

    barg Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    I turned on the hall light for them and turned off their regular light in their room (The laundry room).
    But they still have a nightlight in their outside pen, they have been in there almost a week now and its very dark in that part of the yard.

    I was also late on getting them outside so their transition period was very short, they were in the coop full time 3 days after their first trip out, at 7 weeks old.

    That short transition seemed to work out well. I'm not sure that establishing a pattern of bringing them in every night, over a long period of time is benefitial.

    Others may have a different experience.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2007
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I pretty much do my moving to the outside cold turkey. When they are about 10 weeks old, out they go one night. I do have to put them on their roost, but they learn fast.
  4. jnando

    jnando Hatching

    Jun 1, 2007
    My chickens are 5 weeks old and recently I have tried to turn off their light at night, they don't like it. Today when I brought them in for the night I put them in their cage and they were panicking because it was too dark in the room. I turned the brooder light on and they calmed right down and went back to business as normal. Then I tried leaving just the room light on and shutting off the brooder light and they started panicking again. They were trying to fly in the cage, chirping very loudly and were trying desperately to get out the cage.
    I tried to shut off the light a few more times and I definitely have a Light = Happy, Dark = Unhappy situation. Do I need to just shut the light off an let them work it out themselves?
  5. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Songster

    Apr 5, 2007
    Ok, this is what I read, and what I'm going to try, so thought I'd pass it along. It's sort of the ease-into-approach.. which is how I live my own life, so hopefully it works. [​IMG]

    What I read was to start at 2 wks, and turn the light off for 15min that week. At three weeks, give them a 1/2hr, and so on. I'm starting late.. my group is 4 wks instead of 2, so I think I'll fast track it a bit. I'm going for 15min tonight, 1/2hr tomorrow night, etc. The temp isn't an issue here, either, since they're nearly fully feathered (and the coop is very well insulated).

    I also make a trip out every night after the <human> kids go to bed, so I'm going to time it so that the lights go out, they come on, and I show up with their treats. Hopefully that way they'll see lights out as nearly-treat-time instead of panic-time.

    Anyway, good luck! I hate the thought of my babies out there in the blackness.

  6. Jsto

    Jsto Songster

    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    Mine do really well in the dark, they just sleep at the other side of the brooder (rather than the side that used to have the light on) that's closest to the window. I think because of the moonlight. There is absolutely no freaking out to be had. I did put a nightlight in the other night, but only for my own safety. Don't want to turn the big light on and wake them up, but I check on them throughout the night and can't see!

    Easing them in sounds like a good idea. Maybe sitting with them in the dark a bit.
  7. blossom hen

    blossom hen Songster

    Feb 20, 2007
    NE Tx
    I have ten-week-olds and also four-week-olds in the chicken house. Have been using a 60 watt bulb in the "brooder area" and using a sheet doubled over as a shield to keep from having SO MUCH light in the house at night for the older ones. Have now switched to a 15 watt bulb and no shield. Would do away with light all together, but the "babies" cry and pile up on each other without a little light. Am thinking maybe next full moon I'll try it without a light. [​IMG]
  8. jaseg

    jaseg In the Brooder

    May 19, 2007
    New Brunswick, Canada
    One thing you can do is buy those cheap solar garden lights and install them in the coop, They are LED lights and are not as bright. Be sure to put them in the daylight when you go out in the morning so they can recharge.


    The spike on the bottom is removeable so you can place these just about any place you wish.

    This is exactly what I have, I paid $14.00 Canadian. It has just enough light so the chicks don't get scared. Mine would start cherping when I turn out the light.

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