When it comes to sleeping at night chickens are very much creatures of routine due to the fact their sleep patterns revolve around daylight hours.
In the winter months when the nights are longer chickens get much more roost time than in the summer months when the days are short. But when it comes to daytime sleeping it’s more a case of when they feel like it.
In short, adult chickens can sleep in the day for short periods if they’re feeling sleepy, but as a rule, they’re mainly active during daylight hours. If a chicken is sleeping for long periods during the day this could be a sign of a potential problem that requires further investigation.
Read on to find out more about chickens sleeping in the day, when they’re more likely to sleep in the day and when you need to worry if your chicken is sleeping too much.
When do Chickens Sleep During the Day?
When chickens are let out in the morning, it’s normal for them to be very active in scratching and grazing for food to refuel after a night of roosting.
Chickens are more likely to have a quick sleep in the afternoon and especially on a warm day when they enjoy relaxing, preening and dustbathing in the sun.
If you watch chickens having this relaxation time, you’ll probably see them drift off to sleep for a short period of time and they’ll often keep one eye open while they nap.
These quick chicken naps might happen while they’re standing, or they might lie down on the ground if it’s warm enough while spreading out to absorb as much warmth as possible.
It’s very unusual for chickens to go into a deep sleep during the day, especially if they’re free-range because as a prey animal they need to stay alert for potential threat from predators on the ground or in the air.
For more information on how chickens behave in the sun, take a look at the article below:
Can Chickens Sleep Too Much in the Day?
When chickens are young and growing it’s likely that they’ll sleep more in the day time than an adult chicken, this is normal and will reduce as they get older.
Old chickens are also more likely to feel sleepy in the day time and are likely to have more sleep than a younger adult chicken.
It’s more unusual for an adult chicken (between around 20 weeks and two years) to have more than a quick sleep on a warm day because they’re normally too busy grazing and scratching for food.
If a chicken of this age is sleeping for long periods in the day, this could be a sign that the chicken is unwell or unhappy (see below for more information).
Reasons Why Chickens Sleep in the Day
If you’re worried that your chicken is sleeping too much in the day then it might help to consider the following options to identify if your chicken is feeling unwell or they’re just behaving normally:
I touched on this above, but chickens are more likely to have a daytime sleep when the weather is warm or hot. This is normal behaviour for almost any animal and shouldn’t be anything to worry about.
Chickens are good at regulating their own body temperatures, but you should always make sure your birds have access to shade and plenty of water nearby to keep them hydrated.
When the weather is very cold chickens will often shelter and fluff up looking generally sorry for themselves, and in some cases, they might even go inside the coop to stay. It’s not unusual for them to have a little sleep while they’re in there.
A chicken is noticeably more happy and relaxed in warm weather than they are in the winter months.
Just like most young animals and us humans, chickens will sleep much more before they reach laying age at around 20 weeks.
This article was first published on April 2, 2021 by Pentagon-Pets.
They’ll often huddle together in a warm place and sleep together on a lazy afternoon and this is completely normal behaviour.
When chickens have lived a good long life, it’s normal for them to become more prone to daytime sleeping as they get older and their bodies become a little tired, this shouldn’t be anything to worry about but it’s also worth checking for signs of illness (see below).
If a chicken doesn’t have much space or no chance during the day to free-range outdoors of the coop, they may sleep more because there’s nothing else to do.
When a chicken is allowed to free-range, they stay active throughout most of the day by grazing for food and are often too busy to sleep.
A chicken is unwell
When a chicken is unwell it will often find a place to fluff up and stay still sometimes sleeping while the illness passes.
If you see a chicken doing this for a prolonged period and it’s something they don’t normally do then there’s likely to be a problem.
In some cases, this might pass pretty quickly, but in other cases, it might be a sign of disease or issue.
If you feel your chicken needs medical help, seek professional veterinary advice on how to best to deal with the issue.
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Pentagon Pet is the owner of this article that was first published on April 2, 2021.
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This article and its contents are owned by Pentagon Pets and was first published on April 2, 2021.