We’ve all heard the saying “chickens sleep like roosters” but have you ever wondered where do roosters really sleep? In the wild, chickens sleep on tree branches, tall shrubs and tall bushes to keep themselves safe from predators. They prefer these places because their feathers blend right in with the foliage and it’s much harder for them to be noticed by predators on higher ground.
In the coop, chickens are happy to sleep on roosting bars but it depends on the individual chicken and what they prefer. Some chickens love the feeling of a tree branch and will want to sleep on a roosting bar that replicates this while others are happier with a flat surface like a 2 x 4 or recycled plywood.
When chickens are perched up high they usually go to sleep at dusk and wake up just after dawn. Roosters tend to sleep longer in the winter and chickens with young chicks often will take a few short naps during the day.
Roosters are also known for sleeping stretched out, usually with their wings tucked under their body. If they are injured (like a broken leg) or have open wounds, stretching while sleeping helps them heal faster.
If you find your chickens roosting on the floor of their coop it’s important to figure out why so you can fix it. There’s always a reason why a bird is sleeping on the floor rather than their roost, and you can often resolve it quickly with some minor changes in your flock’s environment.