which is more important?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by tarragon, May 9, 2011.

  1. tarragon

    tarragon Chirping

    Mar 3, 2011
    Bothell, WA
    Well, this is the week that the coop should be ready for move in day! The little ladies, four 7 week olds, have been outside in the enclosed run each day. At night I have them in the house but with no heat lamp, just an overhead light dimmed to almost off. One of the chicks is afraid of the dark and sets up a fuss every night when the "sun" gets turned off. Eventually the others get it settled down and they all sleep on the roost in the brooder. So, here is my question. Which factor is most important to deal with?

    The temps here (Seattle area) are still very cool. 50's during the day, 40's at night, still rainy 6 days out of every week.

    I have the heat lamp out in the run right now, but they aren't hanging out under it except very occasionally.

    When I move them to the coop for the first few nights should I put a light in there to keep Johnny from being scared?

    Or, should I put a light in there because it will be colder than when they are in the house without a light?

    Or do I let them get used to the dark so they can continue getting a full night's sleep?

    Or, do I put a really low wattage light out so Johnny isn't scared, but they can sleep well, but won't get any warmth from it?

    I am not sure which issue may be a concern. [​IMG]

  2. MyKidLuvsGreenEgz

    MyKidLuvsGreenEgz Songster

    Jan 11, 2011
    Colorado Plains
    You said they are 7 weeks old, right? They are feathered? All the down is gone?

    My opinion is stop with the light at night. Completely. Unless there will be an outside light on at night once they are moved. I keep my back porch light on to help keep the foxes and coyotes and cats away so mine get some light but not a lot. And I know it sounds harsh, but they really need to get used to no light. What if you have a power outage? Will you go out with a flashlight and leave it there and on? Johnny needs to cry and get used to dark. He's a chicken!

    No concerns about temps if they are feathered. Chickens are much hardier than we realize. I have 5 week olds out, and it was as cold as 28 degrees the first few nights they were out. At 7 weeks old and already familiar with the outside, yours should be fine to keep out starting tonight.

    Just my 2 cents.
  3. andrew6d9

    andrew6d9 Songster

    take the light away [​IMG]
  4. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia

  5. birdygirl123

    birdygirl123 Songster

    Apr 13, 2011
    HIII!!.. [​IMG]

    If it were I, I would leave a light on for them. I guess it really depends on your coop, but I had a light on mine all the time. When I move my guys outside, I will just put a low w. Bulb in there for them

    A few years ago, (chickens being a first for me).. I could not figure out why my girls wernt laying.. put the light in, and waaaalaaaa.. eggs all year round..

    I'm also afraid of the dark too.[​IMG] . [​IMG] HAHHHAAA .. SO I felt better knowing they could see.. and I felt the light being on kept the coyote, and such away.. [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 9, 2011
  6. AZSummer

    AZSummer Chirping

    Apr 22, 2011
    What about weening them off the light? Maybe set it to a timer so it goes off after a couple of hours? You could then shorten that time until they're weened off completely. There's no reason to go cold turkey.
  7. LvldChickens

    LvldChickens Hatching

    Apr 10, 2011
    I read somewhere that if it is completely dark, the chickens sleep like rocks and are less likely to get away from predators. They say to add a night light so the chickens are asleep, but are still aware if something enters the coop.[​IMG]

  8. Rooneytune

    Rooneytune Chirping

    Feb 18, 2011
    I am in Tacoma and my flock has been outside for a few weeks now. I gave them a light for the first few days (it was during that last cold snap we had 30's at night) they are now totally fine at night. We do have a lot of ambient light in our yard, so it is never really DARK. The first few days after I took the heat away I was worried about them being scared of the dark so i took a solar yard light and put it in their coop at night. It would stay out side during the day to charge and then i would put it by their food and water at night. It was just the right amount to give them a little light with out feeling like the sun was on 24/7 [​IMG]
  9. tarragon

    tarragon Chirping

    Mar 3, 2011
    Bothell, WA
    I will turn off all the lights tonight, and Johnny will just have to be a big girl and get used to it. [​IMG]

    Depending on how construction goes tomorrow they may be moving out! We have to lay down the linoleum in the sleeping area, attach the roost and put the roof on the sleeping quarters. Oh please let it be done tomorrow!!

    (as I type this Johnny is peeping her little head off and the others are scolding her, and it's not even dark yet. I think Johnny is just a big baby. [​IMG])

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