Silly night time behavior

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lynchristine, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. lynchristine

    lynchristine Hatching

    Aug 26, 2013
    First a quick background so I can explain the situation properly: I'm new in the chicken-world. I have ten pullets, they made five weeks old today (Wednesday Oct 10). I had them in a brooder in my garage for the first 3 1/2 weeks then moved them outside into their coop with attached run. I am in Hawaii, so it's warm. I don't know the night time temperature but I think it's safe to say that its never below 65 degrees.

    Now my situation / question:
    Until this week, at dusk they've "cried" - chirped loudly and incessantly - until I turned on the heat lamp (just a 115w brooder lamp) and then the little chickies would waddle their way up the ramp to their coop. Well this week I thought they might be tough enough to handle the night without the lamp so I didn't turn it on. The chickies cried for a few minutes and then went quiet so I assumed they made their way upstairs and that all was well. I checked on them three hours later and they were all huddled up together under their coop (in their run) in the corner asleep. The last three nights it's been like this so I turn on the lamp and then they march right up. To me it seems that common sense would make them at least go to where it's warmer (in their coop) and protected from the wind.

    Question: Should they still be on heat at night or should they learn on their own to sleep in their warmer coop without the lamp?

    Any opinions, knowledge, experience, etc, will be appreciated!
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Behavior is more of an imprinting issue I suspect. They may not recognize coop interior with light off at dusk. Try a night light or LED instead if heat lamp. Such lights provide visual but heat stimuli.
    1 person likes this.
  3. barnaclebob

    barnaclebob Chirping

    Sep 24, 2012
    Try locking them in the coop for a few days assuming its cool enough, big enough, and has light. Maybe you can replace the heat bulb with a regular bulb if its not bright enough naturally.
  4. lynchristine

    lynchristine Hatching

    Aug 26, 2013
    I'm going to try a dimmer night light. Hopefully that does the trick. Thank you so much!
  5. mrsc1951

    mrsc1951 Songster

    May 15, 2011
    Largo, Florida
    I have dim light bulbs in both my coops on a timer. They come on shortly before dusk and stay on for about 30 minutes which gives all my girls time to get in and get settled. Spoiled chickens? You betcha, but they are my spoiled chickens and I love them. Living in south central Florida, I also have fans in their coops.

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