Can Chickens Tell Time?

Eggie and Me

10 Years
Mar 9, 2009
Southern California
Just kidding. Every night for the last 2 weeks we've noted that our girls all head for the coop from 7:56 to 8:03 p.m. They start making this wierd little peep noise then start heading in. There is one Barred Rock who ALWAYS is the last one in and she ALWAYS takes whatever spot she wants. Is this wierd or what??
Chickens seem to have a rather accurate internal clock.

Our automatic pop hole goes up at 5.30am, but Bella, our noisy hen, doesn't start calling to me until about 7.50am, because she knows I go out there with breakfast and to let them out on free range at about 8am. It's quite impressive really.

Bedtime does seem to be rather more flexible though. It rather depends on how interesting their day is turning out to be. If they're locked in their run at dusk, they'll go to bed earlier than if I've let them stay out on free range. (Our BO has been known to go to bed at 7.30pm if she's really bored in her run on a summer evening, whereas they should be roosting at about 8.45pm at this time of year in this part of the world.)
I think all animals pretty much know what time it is.

Dogs and horses always know when it's dinner time, because feeding's usually done on a schedule. My dog sits in the dining room at 5:00, giving me the hairy eyeball. DINNER!

With the chickens, I'd think it has more to do with the position of the sun than the actual time.
Thanks, that's exactly what I meant. My "bird" experience is strictly with exotics. They are amazing. They start in at the crack of dawn and then again with the loud noise at dusk. The girls have this really low sounding clucking and then it's the parade. With who I'm assuming is the "head" gal so to speak bringing up the rear. And believe me IF anyone dares to leave after she enters, she calls them right back in. AND THEY GO! This is just such a wonderful educational experience...

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