Why Do Chickens Sunbathe? 

Have you ever seen your chicken all fluffed up, wings are both spread, and completely lying on the ground with a stretched out leg?

This is their appearance when they are sunbathing in direct sunshine!

Just like how humans and other animals need sunlight for some health benefits, chickens also sunbathe from time to time whenever they can. 

Chickens love sunbathing and you would often see them getting relaxed and in a comfortable position to enjoy their moment.

They also bask themselves under the sun to help spread oils in their feathers.

This is the reason why they also tend to preen and groom themselves while getting the sunlight. 

Chickens may also sunbathe to regulate their body temperature, especially during cold seasons.

Sunbathing also helps them drive away any parasite from their body due to the heat coming from the sun.

In general, chickens will not only find time to relax, but they are also trying to clean themselves and maintain their feathers. 

Do Chickens Bask In The Sun? (In More Detail) 

Chickens bask in the sun and try to stay in a place where they can get lots of sunlight.

Basking in the sun will also help them gain vitamin D which is essential for their health.

Chickens also lay on the ground and receive warmth through sunbathing to keep their temperature. 

Sunbathing may also help your chickens spread the natural oils in their feathers which help them maintain their appearance.

This will also help kill the parasites and other microorganisms that could not withstand the heat from the sun.

You should also remember too much heat is not good for chickens

It can be really dangerous

One sign of a chicken feeling too hot is when their wings are away from their body

I go into more detail in my article – Chicken holding wings away from body

Why Do Chickens Lay On Their Side In The Sun?

There is nothing wrong with your chickens if you see them lying on their side under the sun.

In fact, this is just their way to completely relax themselves and feel comfortable.

Chickens lay on their side to sunbathe and feel warm. 

Most chickens will lay on the ground to fully enjoy the direct sunlight they are getting.

You would often see them doing this whenever there is bright sunlight available in your area.

Laying on their side in the sun also signifies that the area is safe and comfortable for them to relax, and your chickens are perfectly in good health. 

Check out my article – Do chickens sleep during the day? 

Why Do Chickens Lay Down And Spread Their Wings? 

Seeing your chickens laying down with wings spread out might really shock you for the first time.

After all, the position would seriously make you think that something’s wrong with them.

However, chickens that get into this position only intend to fully bathe themselves in the sun.

Spreading their wings would let them receive warmth and enough sunlight in their covered areas.

Since the sun gives vitamin D and other benefits to your fowls, it is completely normal to see your chickens exposing their wings.

It will also allow your birds to enjoy the warmth from the ground, making them feel relaxed and comfortable. 

Chickens will lay on the ground and spread their wings out to also ensure that all parts of their body would receive enough sunlight.

This may also be beneficial for your chickens to keep their feathers properly maintained in their covered areas. 

Do Chickens Need Lots Of Sun? 

Sunshine provides Vitamin D to your flock, and this vitamin plays a vital role in keeping your chickens’ health in great condition.

Chickens need lots of vitamin D, so they can have smooth egg production, healthy feathers, and good bone health.

Hence, it is only safe to say that chickens need lots of sun as well.

Hens need at least 14-16 hours of daylight to stimulate themselves and lay eggs.

They also need a lot of sunlight to kill bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens living in their body.

Aside from these reasons, chickens also have to receive a huge amount of vitamin D  amounting between 3,000 to 5,000 IU/kg per day.

This is to prevent any deficiencies that could potentially affect their bones and overall health.

Do Chickens Like Sunlight? 

Chickens absolutely love sunlight and they would surely sunbathe very often.

This is why it is best to have at least a good spot for them where they can bask themselves in the sun.

Chickens love the warmth they are receiving which is a great aid for them in regulating their temperature.

It is highly recommended to let your chickens bathe in the sun as often as possible, since it will give them lots of benefits too.

Fowls will also put themselves in a comfortable and relaxing position, so they can fully enjoy the direct sunshine available. 


There are a lot of benefits to receive when you let your chickens bask in the sun.

Vitamin D, killing pathogens, and maintaining their health are just some of the main benefits that your chicken can gain from sunbathing. 

Chickens love basking in the sun, and it is clearly evident to their comfortable position when doing it – laying on the ground, all fluffed up with their wings spread on the ground.

Sunbathing gives them warmth that they need and also makes them feel relaxed.

It is important to let your chickens receive direct sunshine as often as possible. 

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