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What time do your chickens go to bed?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kathleengp, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. kathleengp

    kathleengp Songster

    Sep 6, 2009
    Because in my never-ending quest for eggs I bought 3 girls to add - 18 week old RIR pullets today - and put them in a separate cage. I notice mine are all in bed at 3:30 - 4 and the new RIRs are still out in their run.

    So I kicked all my girls out and shut their coop door. All the bantams have pretty much stayed lined up at the door, but my Red Sex-linked are happily freeranging still at 5 pm and just about dusk. Normally they would have been in bed too with the bantams.

    When I saw the behavior of the new RIRs, I started to wonder if maybe my girls are going to bed too early.....maybe that's why my RSL have not laid an egg yet at 24.5 weeks. The bantams (silkie, cochin, and sebright) are around the same age as the RSL (24 weeks or so) except for 1 cochin who is 1 1/2 years....not an egg from any of them! (The adult cochin moved to my house this fall - 6 weeks ago or so....was laying at the old place but not for me).

    What do you think? Could they not be getting enough afternoon light? What time do everyone else's chickens go to bed?

  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Right now they are going to bed @ 5:30, when it gets dark here. In the summertime they'll stay out until the very last second of daylight, sometimes almost 9 PM.
  3. Its dark here by 5:00 now, enough that I need a flashlight to go lock up the coop at that time.
    They have started heading in one by one around 4:15 and they are all in by 5:00.
    In the summer, usually around 8:30-9:00 there is always one or two that want to pull an all nighter and I or the rooster has to coax them in.
  4. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Your new birds are probably staying out later because they are low on the pecking order and don’t feel comfortable going into the coop early. They will not be welcomed by the other birds. The bantams may have found some quiet corner or have sorted themselves out on the roost with the larger birds. They might have even found that it’s best to get in there early to avoid problems.

    It’s likely that your new RIR’s will adjust soon and not behave much differently from the other birds.

    You may be making some assumptions about the time of sunset for the rest of us BYC’ers. Sunset greatly depends on latitude and how level your horizon is. If there is a mountain range to your west, the light will disappear sooner.

    Latitude - - If you are in Syracuse, New York: sunset is 4:39pm. If you are in Syracuse, Missouri: sunset is 4:57pm. (I didn't know there was a Syracuse, Missouri. [​IMG])

    My sunset is now 4:09pm but there is higher ground to the west. It is also cloudy today. Right now it is 3:15pm Pacific time and the hens have just gone back into their coop.

    If you are thinking of locking your birds out of the coop until later in the day, I don't think that this will encourage them to lay eggs.

  5. chick4chix

    chick4chix Songster

    Jun 4, 2009
    So Cal
    My girls put themselves to bed between 5:30 and 6:00. There are a couple who always go in first and get settled even though there is still light- then one or two who stay out til the last possible moment- even almost dark before heading up. [​IMG]
  6. ColoradoMike

    ColoradoMike Songster

    Jun 12, 2009
    Northern Colorado
    Mine seem to always make their way into the coop to roost at dusk - so around 5:15 these days...
  7. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    between 430-5pm, by that time its already dark outside! boo hoo! goodbye sunny bright days![​IMG]

  8. biddyboo

    biddyboo Songster

    Apr 27, 2008
    Ashland, Missouri
    5:15 tonight. Some of ours are entranced with access to their new in-barn pen with cheery overhead lighting, throwing off their instinct to coop-up with the encroaching dark outside. So, we end up with 10 or so, roosted in the coop and ready for sleep, and the balance still scratching around in the barn pen. We have to encourage those (!) to leave the pen through their pop door to the outside where they find to their amazement that it's dark, bedtime, so then it's a scramble for those to climb the ramp and join their sisters for some shut eye. Tonight, as said, 5:15 in rainy darkness. ~G
  9. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Mine head in around 5:30 now. I have a light on in the coop to lure them in as it darkens outside. I leave the light on in the coop until 7:00 PM. So they go in to their "bedroom" at 5:30, but their "bedtime" isn't until 7:00...lol. But I'm not shooting for eggs this winter...
  10. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Songster

    Feb 6, 2009
    Quote:Ditto, here in Michigan.

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