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#75997 - 07/09/04 07:28 PM Bedtime in a box
Stick Dog Offline
Chicken

Registered: 05/26/04
Posts: 105
Loc: Kansas
My 12 pullets (7 wks old) are currently living in a box in my garage until their coop gets built. We've had torrential rains and it's very difficult to get it done. Anyway they got an addition put on their box today that doubles the size of their original space. They can see out through the chicken wire and everything. I think it's great. I made a pass-through door for them to return to their original box to roost at night. Their food and water are in the original box. Here's the problem. Because they live in the garage, they don't get a sense of daylight diminishing like they would if they lived in their own coop. At night, when we turn out the lights, they raise a lot of ruckus cheeping and chirping at the top of their lungs. They seem really upset about having to find a place to roost. We've been leaving a "nightlight" on for them. Does anyone have any better suggestions for putting them to bed so they don't seem so stressed out? frown

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#75998 - 07/09/04 08:49 PM Re: Bedtime in a box
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi Stickdog laugh
I am no expert so this is just and idea that popped into my head as I read your post.....

It sounds like you chooks are upset because all of a sudden its nighttime (when you switch off the lights) and they have had no time to prepare themselves for the evening, finding a spot to roost and organsing who goes where, so are thrown into turmoil.
Perhaps you could simulate sunset a little by switching to a dim lamp for 20 minutes or so before actual lights out so they get the clue its time for bed.

Good luck with them!
Jacqueline

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#75999 - 07/10/04 09:23 AM Re: Bedtime in a box
Anonymous
Unregistered


I'm no expert - a beginner, myself, but have talked w/friends w/chickens...my 10 pullets are 3 months old now. We had them in a sort of enclosed "crib" & left the light on all the time for heat when it wasn't warm enough at night, and since the "crib" was covered w/cardboard to keep the cat out, to provide light during the day. I had a thermometer hanging at chick level to try to keep heat near desirable level. So, perhaps your chicks are cool at night? Don't know how warm Kansas nights are in July. Even now, at 3 months, I leave a 40 watt light on at night in their hen-house. Just makes sense they'd like to see where they are....???? They seem happy....

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#76000 - 07/10/04 06:47 PM Re: Bedtime in a box
Tajsj Offline
Bantam

Registered: 04/06/04
Posts: 53
Loc: Alabama
I think Jaqueline has the correct idea. The "sudden" darkness will put them into a tizzy.
I kept a light on mine when they were younger and we had a power outage on two seperate occasions--Mine started going crazy instantly.
When mine go on the roost now, it's some sort of ritual they have to go through before they get settled. 6 or 8 will go up, 2 or 3 will come down...this goes on and on for quite some time and starts WELL before dark. Mine are about 11 weeks old now and I have 3 distinct groups within my flock of 30, so maybe this will get better with time.
Point is--going on roost takes time and evidently some posturing, especially for a young group and "instant darkness" allows them no time to prepare. Of course, your ultimate answer is to get that coop finished with all haste, but I would try a dim light for at least an hour before going to "lights-out".
_________________________
T. W.

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#76001 - 07/10/04 08:24 PM Re: Bedtime in a box
Anonymous
Unregistered


like they said, the sudden darkness is probably what is Scaring them. try putting on the nightlight before shutting off the overhead light. after they all are roosting turn the nightlight off. let us know if this works.

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#76002 - 07/17/04 07:45 AM Re: Bedtime in a box
Stick Dog Offline
Chicken

Registered: 05/26/04
Posts: 105
Loc: Kansas
Thanks for all the great advice. It sounds so simple and it really is. I did what you are suggesting by turning on a dimmer light about an hour before I turn out the light altogether (it's so black in the garage with the lights all out) and although they put up a little fuss, they do go through a whole sorting out thing before they quiet down. I've added an additional roost because they all seemed to want to be on the roost but there wasn't room for everybody. Also in an adjoining room to the garage there's a florescent light that I keep on all night. Thanks for helping us out. By the way, Kansas nights in July don't cool down that much. It's probably 60 to 70 degrees now with daytime highs around 90. It's warmer in August. Thanks a lot everyone. smile

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#76003 - 07/17/04 03:16 PM Re: Bedtime in a box
Anonymous
Unregistered


glad to help. smile

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