How Do Chickens Sleep in 2 of the Top Ways They Can?

Sleep is something necessary for both humans and animals, especially chickens. You cannot simply help yourself by doing it, right? Neither do chickens. However, sleeping may put them in danger, in particular for predators.

So, how do chickens sleep? There are two possible ways how they take a nap or long hours or sleep. Should they sleep in a nesting box or should they stay way up in a safe roost? Either way, you need to make sure that your flock is in a safe place even if they drift into a good night’s sleep.


Methods on How Your Chickens Sleep

There are two main ways your chickens fall asleep: it can either be in a nesting box or a roost. Let’s have a closer look at each method:

Chickens Sleeping in a Nesting Box

If you arrange your coop correctly, but your chickens still don’t use their roost, then they may still be young. So, they may still not know the whole process yet. If that is the case, most of them will figure this out eventually and use their roosts to sleep.

However, they still want to sleep in their boxes, let them be. As long as they are safe and warm, you can help them by trying to lift up their boxes in a higher place at night. That way, their predators won’t access them easily.

Also, if your chickens have silky feathers, then they prefer to sleep on the floor and snuggled with others just like puppies. If that applies to your flock, then you cannot get them into the roost right away. However, you can raise their nests up off the floor. Moreover, some chickens like to keep their warmth when they stay in a cozy nest. Their feet and body stay warm, so they have all of their energy to keep their temperature warm while sleeping.

But, you should remember that you should keep their coop draft-free, especially during winter. Also, their nesting box should be damp-free at night. When you do so, they will choose to sleep in a less drafty nest than in a roost. Also, when your hens start their natural hiatus from laying eggs, they may feel broody. That’s why they want to keep their bodies warm during cold nights. So, they stay in their nesting boxes instead of their high roost.

Flock Sleeping in a Roost

On the other hand, some chickens want to stay up high when they sleep. These are sound sleepers. These birds feel safe when they are in their roost, especially when predators are roaming around the area.

Your flock often takes pecking order seriously. So, those of the highest rank can grab the largest roost, leaving the lowest areas to the chicken in the lowest order. Also, when you let them sleep on the ground or in a nest, your chickens can be prone to pathogens, parasites, and bacteria. So, you may train them to perch on their roosts when they sleep.

How Many Roosts Will You Need

For a smaller flock, you will be required to prepare one roost. It will have plenty of space for your chickens. In fact, it may allow around 25 centimeters of space for every chicken.However, it may have insufficient room when you have bantams. Moreover, you need to remember that chickens want to cozy up when they fall asleep.

They need protection and warmth for the cold months. So, do not get surprised when they all clasp together on a section of the roost.

On the contrary, when you do not have a large flock, your coop may need more than one perch.

It will give your birds enough room to rest. However, make sure that you put one roost below the other one. You need to take note than hens tend to poop more than roosters. So, you need to place the other perch below.

Why You Have to Stop Your Chickens From Sleeping in a Nesting Box?

The reason why the majority of chicken raisers and handlers dislike their hens sleeping on a nesting box is that they tend to poop often. So, their nests get soaked with their dirt right away.

What you need to take note is that all your chicken need is to proper diet with whole seeds such as safflower, flax, and black oil sunflower. That way, you can increase the calorie intake of your chickens and boost their healthy fats.

Chickens need enough calories to keep warm. So, you should also offer them vitamins every week to support their health and nutrition. By doing so, your chicken won’t need their nesting boxes anymore.


As long as your coop is safe and secure, you do not need to choose between a nesting box or a roost. That alone will keep them dry and protected from predators.

Thus, you can let them sleep wherever they want. When you do so, your chicken will stay healthy and happy for more years to come!

Katie Barnes

I’m Katie, a homesteader, I love everything that has to do with simple living. This is my personal blog sharing everything about homesteading, DIY tips and very clearly tutorial for everyone who love improving their house.

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