Standing on roost and not sleeping

Jami F

Chirping
Sep 11, 2020
48
58
89
Western Kentucky
I have three hens that go into their coop at night really well and climb on their roosts. Sometimes they settle down and snuggle. But, I have gone out there in the middle of the night and they are standing on the roost and not sleeping. Is this normal? Also, one always tries to go up and roost on a shelf that is higher than the roost and I keep carrying her back down to the roost. Also, they want to face the wall instead of out, is this normal? Sorry for all the questions, I’m a newbie. Thanks!
 
I didn’t open the door, I just tiptoed outside and peeked in the little window. Lot of wind and leaves rustling, maybe that kept them awake? Should I turn off the red light? It’s 30 degrees here at night.
 

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What's the red light for? Does it stay on all night? They don't need it.

Chickens go through sleep cycles and can wake up and fall asleep again, wake up, preen themselves, sleep again, wake up, shift position, sleep again etc. Most animals don't sleep like us humans - zonk out and lie dead for 8 hours. That's a very human luxury, borne out of the privileged position we have in the animal kingdom - capable of securing ourselves in fortresses where nothing is going to come and eat us, so we don't need to sleep with one eye open and can afford to be dead for 8 hours straight every night. Chickens are prey. They sleep lightly and sporadically. If your chickens seem rested in the morning and go about their business looking healthy, then there's nothing to worry about.

P.S. I have a camera in the coop with night vision and spy on them after they go to sleep. I've checked on them at all kinds of hours out of curiosity, including in the middle of the (human) night. It's rare that they're all perfectly still and sleeping. There's always some kind of little movements, somebody is adjusting, preening or whatever. But they're fine in the morning.
 
What's the red light for? Does it stay on all night? They don't need it.

Chickens go through sleep cycles and can wake up and fall asleep again, wake up, preen themselves, sleep again, wake up, shift position, sleep again etc. Most animals don't sleep like us humans - zonk out and lie dead for 8 hours. That's a very human luxury, borne out of the privileged position we have in the animal kingdom - capable of securing ourselves in fortresses where nothing is going to come and eat us, so we don't need to sleep with one eye open and can afford to be dead for 8 hours straight every night. Chickens are prey. They sleep lightly and sporadically. If your chickens seem rested in the morning and go about their business looking healthy, then there's nothing to worry about.

P.S. I have a camera in the coop with night vision and spy on them after they go to sleep. I've checked on them at all kinds of hours out of curiosity, including in the middle of the (human) night. It's rare that they're all perfectly still and sleeping. There's always some kind of little movements, somebody is adjusting, preening or whatever. But they're fine in the morning.

That is great information, and I didn't even ask the question. Thanks! :celebrate
 
Your heat lamp is unnecessary - 30 degrees is no problem for a healthy young or adult chicken - and yes it probably is interfering with their sleep. That said, it's also normal for them to not sleep straight through the night, and with our coop cam we can see them standing or moving around a little bit even in the darkness.
 
They can't see at night... So they are anxious about daybreak. Quote It's rare that they're all perfectly still and sleeping. There's always some kind of little movements, somebody is adjusting, preening or whatever. But they're fine in the morning. That's why they aren't still in the dark. They feel fear of predators. Maybe. My theory.
 
Quote Also, one always tries to go up and roost on a shelf that is higher than the roost and I keep carrying her back down to the roost. ... Answer chickens like being high up. They love more height off the ground. I say let her be up there on the shelf. It she's cold in winter she'll cuddle on her own. If she poops on the other birds.... Get a chicken hammock. I seen a pic online. Make it easier to clean the poop. If you can't reach it easily... ladder? Like a tree. They prefer higher branches. Don't hate me please. I'm only guessing.
 

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