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Sleeping chickens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MLWoods, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. MLWoods

    MLWoods In the Brooder

    Aug 23, 2012
    Okay, I have read a million times that chickens are practically catatonic when they sleep. My 5 week old pullets seem to be very light sleepers. The minute I peek in on them they are up and ready to go. We just put them out in the coop this week, so I check on them before I go to bed around 11, they see me and they pop right up. Also, they hop onto the roosting bars and chill out there, but very rarely do I see them sleeping there. I guess I am just curious about when these habits develop. Any thoughts to share with the beginner?
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012

  2. coffeeshopgirl7

    coffeeshopgirl7 In the Brooder

    Aug 30, 2012
    Do you keep a light in their coop? If not, do you turn on a light when you check on them? Light triggers physiological responses in chickens. It lets them know when to sleep and even when to lay eggs. I keep my coop on a timer that turns the light on in the morning and off at night, so they have a nice dark place to sleep, just how they like it. If yours don't seem to be sleeping and you keep a light on them, try switching to a red bulb. You'll be able to see them but it won't keep them awake at night. If you don't keep a light in the coop at night you can pick up a cheap flashlight with a red bulb, that way when you check on them the light won't wake em up.
    Just a theory. My parents keep a light on in the coop 24/7 and they don't seem to have any problems, although they don't get very many laying seasons out of their birds.

    By the way, hello from your neighbor to the north.[​IMG]
  3. Melabella

    Melabella Crowing

    Jun 2, 2011
    Until just a few nights ago, I had to keep my 10 week olds in the feed room in my horse barn. I would have to open the door around 11pm to give late night flake of hay to the horses, and I would always hear the peep peeps when I came in. Some of them would even jump down off their perch and I would notice that they would then go to the feed and start eating crumbles. For the past three nights they are finally in their permanent run and coop and when I peek in there, they are dead quiet. I think they just respond to hearing us. I am sure they are just responding to you, we have so much interaction with them, I think they are conditioned to interacting with us!

    How any pullets do you have? What kinds?

    Welcome to BYC, I've learned so much, glad to have another newbie like myself aboard!

  4. MLWoods

    MLWoods In the Brooder

    Aug 23, 2012
    They have the 250w red bulb on them every night, I keep it off in the day when they are in the coop, and if they are in the yard they are plenty warm. It's getting chilly at night, so I keep the part of the coop where the roosts are about 75• F. I just peek thru the windows at them all snuggled together, (NOT on the beautiful tree branch roosting bars) then they all get up. Maybe it is just grown up hens that are knocked out cold at night?!?
  5. mickey328

    mickey328 Songster

    May 4, 2012
    Northern Colorado
    I've noticed no catatonia in ours, LOL. If I open the door, they'll stir...but I do have to use a flashlight or it's so dark even I can't see. They don't get all crazy when we peek in, but they definitely wake up. All's quiet as soon as we close the door, though. Of our 6, only 3 or 4 of them regularly roost...the others either cram in the nesting boxes or cuddle together on the floor. They're well and healthy and laying great, so I don't worry too much about it :)

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