Why Do Chickens Sleep On Top Of Each Other?

Chickens are often seen sleeping in their coop, perching or soundly roosting.

However, if you are a chicken owner, it is likely that you have already witnessed your fowls sleeping on top of each other.

Pretty sure it has occurred in your mind as to why they are huddling together

This article will let you find out the reasons behind your chickens’ way of resting on top of each other

Cold weather, predator threat, or space problems are commonly the reasons why your chickens would sleep piling on each other.

You may also see your young chickens doing this too.

Initially, you would have probably dismissed this scenario as normal chicken behavior.

While that may be the case, sleeping on top of each other may result in dangerous situations for your fowls.

It is best to address the underlying problem, so you can let your chickens sleep peacefully and comfortably. 

Let’s get into more detail

Why Do Chickens Lay On Top Of Each Other? (3 Possible Reasons) 

Chickens huddle together for various reasons.

It is important for you as their owner to know what could be their drive of laying on each other to prevent potential issues in the future. 

Here are the common reasons behind your chickens’ behavior. 

1. Cold Weather

Probably the most possible reason why your chickens decide to sleep on a pile is because of bad weather.

Your chickens would likely share their body heat to regulate their temperature, especially during the cold season. 

Though chickens are good enough in maintaining their body temperature, there are times that they need to huddle together to keep themselves warm as they roost. 

2. Predator Threat 

Chickens will lay on top of each other in fear of predators.

When a potential predator is nearby, the instinct to huddle together to protect themselves and the other chickens would kick in.

Loud noises and other stressful factors to your fowl may also trigger this behavior.

3. Roosting Problems

If there are no perches available for your chickens to use, they would likely huddle together to roost.

This can also happen if the provided perches are not comfortable or are placed too high. 

Check also the available roosting space for your chickens as well.

Laying on top of each other is likely to happen if there is an insufficient space for all of them  

Do Chickens Like To Sleep Close Together?

Sleeping close together is commonly observed among chickens’ sleeping patterns.

They like to sleep closely with one another for both comfort and protection.

They will also do this to share their body heat and keep them warm under cold weather. 

In most cases, there is no certain reason to be alarmed.

Chickens sleep together because it is what their instincts are telling them to do.

Just make sure that there is still enough space for them to prevent any problems like suffocation.

This leads me to my next point

Can Chickens Smother Each Other? 

It is always a best practice to separate your chickens if you have seen them sleeping on top of each other

Chickens can smother each other, especially those who are in the middle or placed below in the pile. 

This is why huddling together comes with a risk as it can kill your chickens through suffocation.

However, this does not always happen.

Generally, young chickens are the most common victims of the consequences of piling together as they are young and inexperienced. 

Adult chickens would naturally move away from the pile if it suffocates them or makes them uncomfortable.

Still, it is best to discourage them from huddling together and offer solutions to their problems. 

How To Discourage Huddling?

If it’s adult chickens, it’s not a problem

But there is always a risk so it’s better to be safe than sorry

To stop your chickens huddling, it would be a good idea to build a larger coop

That way there is enough space for your chickens to sleep

Another thing you can do is add more perches that are at a reasonable height

This would encourage your hens to roost on the perches rather than sleeping on top of each other

Do Chickens Like To Huddle And Sleep? 

Chickens like to huddle and sleep together during cold seasons or whenever there is a predator threat.

Oftentimes, it is due to keeping each other warm and cozy.

Huddling together also offers a sense of comfort and security for your flock. 

Though you might see them piling on each other especially during winter, it is best to discourage them from doing this to prevent suffocation.

Better yet, make solutions that would not trigger their instinct of huddling together. 

Make their coops warmer to help them regulate their body temperature especially whenever there is a cold or bad weather.

You can also give them a larger coop or appropriate perches, in case the problem has something to do with their home or roosting areas. 

Also add another layer of protection to your coop to give your chickens an extra sense of security and be at ease against predator threats. 

Here are some related articles about chickens and sleeping which I’m sure you’ll find interesting

Do chickens sleep during the day?

Do chickens sleep at night?

Chicken keeps falling asleep

Chickens sleeping on the ground

Wrapping Up

Chickens may often sleep on top of each other because of bad weather, roosting problems, or fear of predators.

Though it helps them find comfort, warmth, and peace, it is necessary to break your fowls apart whenever they huddle. 

Huddling together may lead to suffocation and kill your chickens.

Hence, it is best to do alternatives that would give the same amount of warmth, comfort, and security to them.

You can either make their coops warmer or safer to prevent them from sleeping in a pile. 


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