why do my 6 week old chicks freak out when it gets dark in the coop?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Lisa202, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. Lisa202

    Lisa202 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2010
    Long Island NY
    Hi all,
    My chicks have been in their coop since Saturday. Everything is find during the day but at night they seem to be having a problem...

    It's getting darker earlier, so I have been putting the light on inside the coop later on in the day, and when I go out there at night to turn it off and put on the night light, they all peep really loudly, huddle in the corner and climb on top of each other like the ground is on fire. They seem to be afraid of the dark (even thought it's not dark with the night light on). I was thinking that the sudden difference from light to dim gives them anxiety, but tonight it got really cold out so I put a 100 watt red flood light on and they still were freaking out. The red flood light puts off a lot of light, so now I'm not so sure that it's the sudden change in light that is bothering them. Unless...could a red light be bright to us and not them? What am I doing wrong?

    If I don't use supplemental lighting in the coop on cloudy days, it'll be dark in there very early as the coops location is a pretty dark area of the back yard. Plus the fact that they haven't ventured out into the run yet (it's been 6 days so far) so I feel they need some light in the dark coop for now. [​IMG]
  2. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

    Oct 7, 2010
    Conroe, Texas
    If you just started maybe it is the change they are upset about.
    Chickies can be so silly sometimes. Mine have a regular bulb during the day and at night we turn on the red brooder light.

    I got my chickies a toy to see if they would treat it like a perch and to just see there reaction. The acted like it was the boogyman. moved around in a big arc staring at it so it could not sneak up on them and then all huddled into the corner for group protection.

  3. brownlikewoah

    brownlikewoah Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2009
    sounds like theyre cold to me?
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Did you put the light close enough to them to warm them up? What you are describing (piling, loud cheeping) sounds like being cold.

    Also make sure you secure the lamp two different ways to prevent fire, and no closer than a 18 inches to a couple of feet from the shavings.
  5. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    How old are they?

    The theory is that chickens can see white but not red light; I don't know whether that's ever been proven.

    They don't need a night light. They do need natural light in the coop.

    They are complaining about the change, or they would be going into the run freely. It will just take them time to adjust. You may have to grit your teeth til they do. But I think you need to make sure that what they adjust to is the way things will be -- and this should not include a night light because they need the natural dark to rest well. Even if you choose to lengthen the day with a light when they start laying in the winter (short day) months, this light needs to be off part of the night.

    I have always felt it is hard on them to turn a light out at night; they are programmed to go to bed as daylight fades, and this is not sudden.
  6. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    All of my chickens, big and little, get noisy about bedtime. There is fussing and squawking and carrying on until they finally get settled in for the night. They have always done it and I have always assumed it to be like little kids playing the "one more glass of water" game. Even the babies in the indoor brooder do it until they all get snuggled in and comfortable for the night. It's just one of those things they do. [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by