How Do Chickens Sleep? | Chickens Sleeping Habits

Chickens sleep in all kinds of positions that may seem weird to humans. You will see them sleeping on their perch, nest, and many more places and in different positions. 

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Intro Video - Backtobirds

They sleep from dusk till dawn and will wake you up with their roosting early morning. Chicken sleeping habits are very interesting.

How Long Do Chickens Sleep Normally?

Chickens sleep throughout the night. They are very poor sleepers and wake up at the slightest sound and warn their flock mates if there is any danger. 

If there is no artificial light, they will drift into sleep right after dusk and will sleep throughout the night until dawn. Chickens don’t sleep for hours; they sleep in darkness. As soon as it is dark, they will sleep. 

Though babies and older chickens are lazier, and if possible, they will sleep throughout the day and night.

How Long Do Chickens Sleep In Winter?

Winter is the resting time for chickens. They sleep on an average of 12-16 hours in winter. As their sleep depends on daylight and winters have long nights and cold temperatures, chickens like to take a break from their daily activities at this time. 

Though they keep laying eggs, the reproduction is not as productive as in the summer. Chickens usually need a minimum of 14 hours of daylight for laying eggs which is not possible in winter.

If you are a chicken owner, you must be aware that the demand for eggs increases in winters as it is celebration time and the time for cakes, pastries, and cookies, and it is important that your chickens reproduce. Using a bulb in their room can be helpful.

Do Chickens Sleep During The Day?

If you talk about babies or older ones, they take a proper nap in the daylight as well. For the adult ones, they do take a nap in the daylight and that too in a not-so-good environment as the disturbance during the day is a lot.

You can see your chicken sitting in one place with one eye open. If you see a chicken like that, you should know better not to disturb it as it must be sleeping. 

Chickens sleep with their one eye open. Their left brain is attached to the right eye, and the right side of the brain is attached to the left eye. So, they can sleep and stay awake simultaneously. 

They sleep with an eye down while one part of the brain sleeps, and the other part works and keeps them alerted about any danger.   

You can see the chicken on the outer side of the coop sleeping in a horizontal position with an eye open. As mentioned, they do so to keep an eye on the enemy. Whereas the hens in the middle sleep soundly with both eyes closed.

Related Read: Can You Keep Birds In Cages? | Birds In Cages | Are There Any Exceptions?

What Time Do Chickens Go To Sleep?

Chickens don’t wait for the clock to strike 10 or 11 to go to sleep. Their clock works in alignment with the sun and differs season-wise. 

In winter, when the sun sets early, the chickens start getting up to their perch sooner than they do in summer. They will rest on it for a while and then go to sleep after some time. Chicken is a very active bird that needs long hours of sleep from dusk to dawn.

Related Read: Do Roosters And Chickens Get Jealous? Do They Have Feelings?

Where Should Chickens Sleep At Night?

Different owners use different sleeping conditions for their chickens like tree branches, broomsticks, nesting boxes, ground, roost perch, etc. But the best place for a chicken to sleep is a roosting perch. There are two types of perch that your chickens need.

One is a general perch where they sit, play, and observe during the day. Another one is the roosting perch, where they settle at dusk and sleep till dawn. There are many reasons why it is better for chickens to sleep in a roosting perch.

How Much Space Do Chickens Need To Sleep?

Chickens need very little space to sleep. You can use different things such as a roosting perch, like a ladder against the wall. It is a very common type of roost perch. Each chicken needs a 2 inch across and 8-10 inches perch to sleep comfortably.

Wild chickens can fly up to tree limbs, but domestic chickens need a roosting perch that is at least 1.5-3 feet high from the ground and at least 18 inches away from the wall. 

Chickens don’t like crowded spaces. Make a roosting perch and see if your bird can easily fly up to it. They should like their roost perch so that they come back to it every evening for napping.

Is It Good For Chicken To Sleep On Ground?

No. The reason is that they have predators and the chickens wake up at the slightest sound. If they are sleeping on the ground, they will be disturbed a lot and will lose their sleep. You should be happy that chickens don’t get cranky because of losing their sleep.

Chickens need a safe place to sleep. As it gets dark, your chicken wants to roost and will settle in any comfortable space, even ground, if they don’t know about the roosting perch. For their benefit, you need to help them learn to roost on a perch.

If your chickens don’t run to the perch after sunset, lock them up in a coop for some nights to make them learn that they are supposed to sleep there. They are good learners and will learn to come “home” after an active day of playing. But sleeping on the ground is a big no-no.

Is It Alright for Chickens To Sleep In Nesting Boxes, Perches, Or Trees?

No. A chicken should roost to sleep. They sleep in trees because it is a habit passed on from their wild ancestors, who used to sleep high in trees. 

Sleeping in nesting boxes should be avoided as cleaning is a very messy task, and it results in chickens accidentally breaking their own eggs or pooping on them. Chickens poop a lot when they sleep.

They fall asleep on perches because they look like their roosting perches but open. A closed roost perch or coop is best for chickens to sleep peacefully and feel that they are safe. 

You should make a coop for your chickens with horizontal perching bars to keep your chickens happy.

Do Chickens Sleep While Standing Up?

No, they look like they are standing, but they are actually perching, which is different. They perch down on an alleviated perch bar and sleep in this position only. They don’t lie down, and as they know that there are predators, chickens prefer to perch.

How Do Baby Chickens Sleep?

Baby chickens are just like human babies. They sleep a lot. They can sleep everywhere. 

You need to make them nice bedding. Pine shavings, straw, construction-grade sand, Pine nuggets, etc., make nice bedding. 

Choose something that is easy to change, as baby chickens poop a lot.

Final Words

Chickens are very interesting creatures with interesting sleeping habits. While you need to take great care of domesticated chickens, the wild chickens live in the wild among their predators and roost simply on trees. 

If you have chickens around, it is important to understand their sleeping habits and make them most comfortable bedding or roost perch so that they can sleep well and wake up fresh.

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