Chickens are mostly active in daylight. They wake up at dawn, eat breakfast, lay eggs if it is a hen, wander around, and look for food like worms, bugs, slugs, and more that they can find.
When dusk hits, the chickens will return to their coop and sleep. But do chickens sometimes break their daily routine? If they do, why would they do that? Do chickens sleep during the day?
Do chickens sleep during the day?
Chickens can sometimes sleep during day time when they didn’t have enough sleep at night. This is normal since street light, noise, or some factors can prevent them from sleeping.
It could also be that chickens prefer sleeping in the warm sun or taking a nap to rest. Without enough sleep, chickens – and humans as well – are prone to being ill and dysfunctional in the daytime.
The sleeping pattern of a chicken
Sleep is crucial for chickens and animals in general. The idea is that they can move around after having enough rest. Chickens’ sleeping pattern is pretty similar to that of mammals, and they developed it their own.
Chickens can experience rapid eye movement – or REM for short – for a few seconds once they undergo deep sleep. It is a normal movement of the eyes that shows how their brains maintain to be active when having dreams.
The chickens’ sleep deprivation
Chickens’ senses are sensitive, so a bit of noise can easily make them awake and aware of their surroundings. But they can recuperate from lack of sleep in spite of the sound.
When the background is ideal enough, the chickens can enter deep sleep, which makes them vulnerable to predators outside the coop.
Therefore, you need to secure your coop so that predators can not reach the chickens. Just a small hole or crack can let the curious and hungry predators find their way inside.
Do chickens sleep standing up?
Chickens can often nestle off the ground and fall asleep at that very spot and expose themselves to threats. They are totally unaware of their surroundings when sleeping, so they tend to perch, not stand up when sleeping.
When a chicken finds a comfortable spot to perch, it will be its favorite spot. Even if it managed to escape or roam around the area in the daytime, it will still go back to this spot.
Can chickens sleep in the rain?
Chickens consider rain as being ideal for them to hunt since they think they can camouflage themselves from predators. In the case of sleeping, the chickens won’t be bothered by the rain, especially light rain.
But if the rain is heavy or there are thunderstorms, the chickens would move to more comfortable places. Rain won’t interrupt your chickens’ sleep. Still, you should provide their favorite perch spots with covers.
The chickens’ natural sleeping spots
Chickens in the wild want a comfortable spot that is high above the ground like domesticated chickens. So they will seek out roosting in bushes or tall trees to avoid predators at night.
They try to sleep at a high place to avoid predators since they are unaware of their surroundings once they go into a deep sleep.
Should chickens sleep on the ground?
While chickens prefer roosting at night on high spots to avoid predators, sleeping on the ground isn’t something they will be bothered with. Some chickens favor sleeping on the ground, and some only start to roost when they’re older.
How to train your chickens to sleep off the ground?
Sleeping higher above the ground brings many benefits to your chickens, so it makes sense that people would want their chickens to sleep off the ground.
However, some chickens are not aware of how they should act. So, oftentimes, they have their own ways of sleeping. Those ways are not generally observed in most chickens.
Here are the methods:
Put them where you want
The straightforward step you can perform from the start is bringing them to their perch while it is nighttime. If the chickens happen to jump off, try to put them back gently.
This method may take some time and could be tedious, but the chickens will get accustomed to the spot eventually and see it as what they need to do.
Make sure they stay there
Large roosts will be challenging for baby chickens since they have trouble hooking their claws onto them.
So, it would be best to prepare them a good size roost to get a good grip. This is important for chickens since you don’t want them to slip off the roost while they are in deep sleep.
Put them back inside the coop
If the above method can’t change your chickens’ behaviors effectively, you can try to put them in the coop for a few days until they are adapted to your training.
So, do chickens sleep during the day? They sometimes can do so since they need to make up for the time they didn’t sleep the previous night due to factors like noise, predators, or light sources.
Alternatively, the chickens may also prefer sleeping under the sunlight or taking frequent naps in a day to rest. Without enough sleep, chickens may be susceptible to illness or dysfunction in the daytime.
Chickens are quite sensitive, so any small noise could wake them up. If they see a threat at night, they may even crow to warn the flock. The light sources at night can also trigger their senses and make them crow as well.
When the background is ideal enough, the chickens can enter deep sleep, which is when they are vulnerable to predators, so chickens prefer to roost somewhere off the ground to avoid any potential threat.
Sometimes, the chickens can sleep on the ground just fine, but you should try to make them sleep above the ground for their own safety.