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What Time Do Chickens Go To Bed?

Keeping backyard chickens is becoming more and more popular due to people starting to realize just how easy it is to keep chickens and have them produce free range, fresh eggs for you.

In addition to the food that chickens provide via their eggs, they are also excellent for pest control for your garden allowing you to grow fruit and vegetables too while your chickens eat any pest bugs or insects that may cause your fruit and vegetable problems.

Due to there being so many beginners keeping backyard chickens, we often see a huge range of questions being asked each month about how you should be taking care of your chickens.

These questions range from health and nutritional advice to the accommodation that you keep your chickens in and it really is great to see so many people getting involved with chicken keeping and taking the time out of their life to ensure they are offering the best care possible for their new chickens.

One of the more commonly asked questions that we have noticed people asking time and time again is based around what time chickens go to bed.

Although this may sound like a very basic question, there are actually a number of different variables involved that you have to factor into your answers ranging from your own schedule and when you are able to put your chickens to bed, local predatory animals in the area, the time of year for when it gets dark, and the weather and local temperatures.

Due to there being so many factors involved, we have decided to publish this dedicated article going over when you should put your chickens to bed.

What Time Do You Put Chickens In The Coop At Night?

Most types of chicken will naturally start to go back in their coop around dusk when the sun starts to go down as their natural instinct to return to shelter to avoid predators and need for sleep kicks in.

Depending on your schedule, you may have to round your chickens up and put them in their coop early though and keep in mind, the time that the sun goes down can change throughout the year depending on the season.

Most people use a cheap but high-quality chicken coop these days that will offer their chicken all of the protection they require from potential predators.

Many of these coops do some with suitable doors but many people choose to upgrade their coop to a self-locking chicken coop door to help add an additional layer of protection to their chickens.

If you do live a busy life style and know that you won’t be home in time to lock your chickens up in their coop for bed at night then you can also look at an automatic chicken coop door.

With so many people leading such busy lives these days, automatic coop doors are becoming very popular as they offer a way to automate the opening and locking of the coop to help keep your chickens safe.

What Time Do Chickens Usually Sleep?

Most chickens will naturally go to sleep just after dust but this can change depending on the time of the year as it tends to get dark later in spring and summer and earlier in the autumn and winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

This can have an effect on when your chickens will go to sleep with some types of chicken trying to stay up later in the summer months due to their natural instinct of going to be around dusk not kicking in until the sun goes down.

There are a number of little hacks that you are able to use to help you get your chickens in their coop at different times of the year when the sun sets later or earlier though.

One of the quickest, easiest, and cheapest ways you can get your chickens into their coop quickly in the winter months when it gets dark early is to install a chicken coop light as the light in the coop when dark outside will usually draw your chickens into the coop without you needing to put any time or effort into chasing your chickens.

Many people who keep backyard chickens will live in areas with natural predators so will actually have some form ofpredator deterrent anyway to help keep their chickens safe.

If you have an audible predator deterrent you are able to use it to your advantage to encourage your chickens to return to the safety of their coop during the summer months when it gets light later by triggering the deterrent to make the sounds of large predators.

How Many Hours Do Chickens Sleep At Night?

Chickens have an excellent circadian clock with most types of chicken usually going to bed around dusk and naturally waking around dawn.

There are some factors that can affect this though as chickens tend to sleep much longer in the winter months while most types of chicken will also sleep longer at higher altitudes too.

Depending on where you live, these additional factors may play into how many hours your chicken will sleep at night with some chickens sleeping for as much as 16 hours a day if they are at a higher altitude and it’s wintertime.

The average chicken will usually sleep between eight and ten hours per day though in ideal conditions.

Once chickens are sleeping, they do tend to sleep all the way through until morning without issue too.

This is one of the reasons that so many people keep backyard chickens as there are no problems with them waking up in the middle of the night wanting food and making a noise like some other animals.

What Time Should Chickens Be Let Out In The Morning?

Chickens will usually wake up around dawn so should be let out of their coop around the same time.

Depending on your location, this may require you to wake up early to let your chickens out but you are able to use an automatic chicken coop door to open and close the door to the coop without you needing to be there if needed.

As we touched on above though, not all chickens will awake up at dawn as there are various factors that will come into play.

If you do live at a higher than average altitude or are in a cold climate or it is the winter months then your chickens can sleep for most of the day.

Depending on your setup though, it can be a good idea to still open the chicken coop around dawn to let your chickens leave the coop if the do wake up and want to get out.

If you do live in an area with lots of predators then going with a coop that has an exterior fence to prevent predators from getting to your chickens is a good idea.

If your coop does not have an exterior fence then getting yourself a chicken run or building one with chicken wire can be a good idea.

Should Chickens Be Shut In At Night?

Although not essential, it is highly recommended that you do shut your chickens into their coop at night to prevent predators from getting into your coop.

It usually only takes a minute or two to go out to your chicken coop and lock the door to help keep your chickens safe with the benefits almost always outweighing the potential disadvantages.

As we touched on earlier in the article, a automatic chicken coop door is a great addition to most chicken coops as it reduces the amount of time and effort that you have to put into keeping your backyard chickens.

This can help you by removing the need to go out at dusk and getting up at dawn to lock or open the door as required for your chickens.

If you have a large chicken run that is secure and protected with your chicken coop being housed in the chicken run then you can avoid locking the coop door as it is almost impossible for predators to get into most secure chicken runs.

Just remember that foxes and some other potential predators that may see your chickens as an easy meal are often able to dig under a chicken coop with ease so locking the coop door just adds that additional layer of protection while your chickens sleep at night.


That brings our article going over what time chickens go to bed to an end. The majority of chickens will go to bed around dusk and wake up around dawn unless it is particularly cold or you are in a high altitude. Most chickens will naturally return to their coop around dusk ready to go to sleep helping to make the task of locking your chickens in their coop for the night much easier than many beginners expect.