Why Do Chickens Wake Up Early? This Is Why!

by Rob Byron

Do you have a pet chicken in your backyard? If yes, have you ever wondered why your chickens wake up early? 

We are all familiar with the crow of the rooster every morning. It is their alarm clock that means it is the start of a new day. However, how about the hens? They don’t crow as roosters do, but why do they wake up early? So what is the reason why both hens and roosters wake up so early?

Why do chickens wake up early? Both hens and roosters wake up so early because of the sunrise and the presence of daylight. Once the light of the sun hits the cage of your chickens, your chickens will know that it’s already morning. They will eat, mate, socialize, and play throughout the day. 

However, there are lots of things you can learn about why chickens wake up early. I have a long and broad answer to that question. What I have given you above is just the summary. Also, I am going to answer various questions that are related to our subject. So if you are ready, let us go!

Related Article: Why hens run before mating? 

These Are The Reasons Why Chickens Wake Up Early

Like I have mentioned above, chickens wake up early because of the light of the sun. Once the light hits the cage of your chickens, they will know that it’s morning already.

The eyes of chickens have cones and rods in the retina. Rods are the one that is sensitive to the light, while cones are sensitive to colors. Chickens have lots of rod cells, and it helps chickens to detect the intensity of light. It is the reason why chickens have better eyesight than humans.

Also, roosters can see the sunrise an hour before we see it. That is why they will wake up first, and this is when you will hear them crow. 

Getting up early in the morning is essential for both roosters and hens. They need to get sufficient sunlight to produce their eggs. However, even though chickens have impressive eyesight, they have a hard time seeing in the dark. It makes them vulnerable to predators at night. Also, this is the reason why they sleep early. 

The light of the sun is the only reason why roosters and hens can see. That is why chickens only get the resources they need during the daytime. They can’t look for food and water at night because they are prone to predators.

They must be back at their home before the moon shows. When they don’t find food before it gets dark, they will become hungry once they wake up.

If you own a chicken, you have to make sure that they are having fun and active early in the mornings. However, if your chicken seems lethargic during the daytime, it may be a sign of sickness, and you must bring your chicken to the vet for a checkup.

What Time Do Chickens Wake Up?

We all know already that chickens wake up so early. So, what time do chickens usually wake up?

What time do chickens wake up? Chickens usually wake up with the sunrise, which is between four and eight in the morning. However, it depends on the season and their location. Once the rooster and hens wake up, they will do the essential things they do, such as laying eggs and crowing. 

Chickens wake up very early in the morning. This is what all keepers are saying. The reason for that is already discussed above. Chickens are sensitive to light even if their eyes are closed. So when the sun rises, they will wake up immediately. The light of the sun is essential for your chickens for so many reasons! 

What Time Should You Let Your Chickens Out In The Morning?

After your chicken wakes up, you should let them out of its cage. But, what is the best time to let your chickens out?

You should open the cage of your chickens to let them out at sunrise or after sunrise. The best time is between four and eight in the morning. Also, it depends on the season and your location. 

You have to let your chickens out consistently every day in the morning. It should be a habit! When you do this, your chicken will know when they should go out and go home. However, this may change throughout the seasons but will happen gently and slowly. 

Letting your chickens out at the same time in the morning every day may be challenging. Especially if you are working, studying, or you are struggling to get up in the morning. However, I have a tip for you. You can use an automated door opener for the cage of your chickens. It is easy to install and has excellent quality! Check it out on Amazon

By using this door, you can automate it to open at the same time each morning and close it at the same time when night arrives. Also, this door is guaranteed safe! It will make your chickens safe throughout the night.

This automated door is essential for a chicken keeper like you that has a busy life. If you are too busy and forget to close the door of your chickens’ cage, it is a game over for your chicken, especially if there are predators around. Try considering this automated door!

What Do Chickens Do In The Morning?

After chickens wake up in the morning, they will become busy. The hens will lay eggs and eat breakfast alternately. However, the hens that wake up earlier will start laying eggs, which I consider good. 

The first thing chickens do in the morning is to stretch their legs and wings before going out from their cage for breakfast. However, there are some hens and roosters that will continue sleeping, which is normal. They will come out later.

After they eat their breakfast, chickens will look for a spot to poop. The hens will go back to their favorite nest spot. Their nest spot should be comfortable and should be away from their bowl. When the hens get settled, they will start laying eggs. 

If you have many hens, they will continue to lay eggs throughout the morning. They will take turns on the nest boxes you have provided. I recommend you to have two nest boxes for every five chickens to avoid any problems. Laying eggs may be noisy and irritating for humans. 

Once your hens quiet down, it means that they finish laying their eggs. When that happens, it is time to collect their eggs. You need to collect all of their eggs immediately because they might eat them or other predators may eat them. Rodents are the common animals that will eat your hens’ eggs. 

Once your hens finish laying eggs, they will start to run and play. Expect that your hens will become so active after laying eggs. Chickens are very social animals! They will spend most of their day eating, laying eggs, and socializing with other chickens. 

Your chickens may also get a dust bath. They do this to cool themselves down and keep their feathers clean and pests free. During summer, chickens will also enjoy sunbathing because they love the warmth on their feathers. 

Morning until early afternoon, you should expect your chickens to run around your backyard. When the sun starts to come down, they will know it since there is no sunlight already. When your chickens sense that there is no sunlight already, they will go back inside their cage. 

Why Are Chickens Noisy In The Morning?

Chickens may be noisy in the morning, especially if you have roosters. During the morning, your rooster will crow, while the hens will communicate to other chickens. 

However, chickens have different personalities. Some chickens are vocal, while some are not. If you own a flock, expect that there will be an introvert and extrovert chicken. The extroverted chickens are the ones that will make most of the noise. 

The reasons why both of your hens and roosters make noise in the morning are:

  • Your chickens want to confirm if the other chickens are safe
  • Your chickens are excited to get out of their cage
  • Your chickens are hungry or thirsty
  • Your hens are laying eggs
  • Your roosters are crowing
  • Your hens are singing to their eggs

If you have lots of chickens, expect that it will be noisy during the morning. If they see some food or water, expect that they will make more noise. It just means that they are happy! 

Once the sunlight hits the cage of your chickens, they will start to wake up and make their morning noises. When your hens are noisy, it is a good thing because it means they are laying eggs. However, it still depends on the personality of your chickens. 

But if one of your chickens is noisy, others are most likely to join in. The noise of your chickens may be different. You can hear your chickens at 4 am, and in the coming hours, you will perceive nothing. 

How To Keep Chickens Quiet In The Morning?

Like I have mentioned above, chickens are noisy in the morning because they want to get out of their cage, they want food and water, or the hens are laying eggs. 

If your hens are laying eggs, it is inevitable to hear noises from them. But if your hens are still noisy even after laying eggs, there might be a problem. 

You can reduce the noise your chickens make in the morning by pouring food into their food bowl and putting in some water. Letting them out of their cage may also reduce noises. 

Why Do Chickens Sleep Early?

The reason why your chickens sleep early is that they can’t see clearly in the dark. That is why there is no reason for them to stay awake. Also, they will go back inside their cage before the sun goes down fully to avoid predators nearby. 

Sometimes you will hear your roosters crow at night. It is normal! Roosters naturally protect their beloved hens. Crowing is their way to alert their hens that there is a predator.

It is also their way to say to the predator that a rooster is guarding his flock. Predators are the ones that cause your rooster to crow at night. 

However, if there are two roosters inside a cage, lots of crowing may happen during nighttime. They do this to assert their dominance over the other rooster. If you want to avoid crowing during the dark, you need to make sure that there will be only one rooster per cage. 

However, you can’t stop your rooster from crowing if the predators nearby are the ones that are causing it. It is the only way roosters can scare the predator and signal their flock that there is an enemy.

What Time Do Chickens Go To Bed?

Chickens wake up early to enjoy the light of the sun. They have a hard time seeing in the dark. That is why they are only awake during the day. Chickens will go back to their cage to sleep when the sun starts to hide. However, what is the exact time chickens go to bed?

What time do chickens go to bed? Chickens will go back inside their sleeping areas around dusk, and they will sleep once the sun is completely down. However, some chickens may stay up a little later, and soon they will sleep. Chickens will try to get off the ground if they are not living in a cage to avoid predators. 

Final Thoughts

The life of a chicken keeper is busy. These naughty chickens will wake you up in the morning even if you don’t like to wake up yet. However, if you don’t love to wake up so early, you can consider buying the automated door I have told you about above. It will make your life easier! 

Chickens are consistent birds! They follow their schedule every day. The body clock of chickens is aligned with the sun. The moment the sunlight hits the cage of your chickens, they will start to stand up and make some noise. 

The reason why this happens is that the brain of chickens is light sensitive. Sunlight is essential for hens to become healthy and produce quality eggs. So if you want good quality eggs, you need to put time into opening the cage of your hens for sunlight.

Wherever you live, you should expect your chickens to wake you up in the morning to let you know that it is the start of another day. When morning comes, expect your chickens will talk to each other since they love socializing. 

However, some chickens are quiet, and these are introverted chickens. But if your extroverted chicken suddenly becomes silent, there might be something wrong. You need to bring your chicken to the vet immediately. 


Rob Byron
Learning about and helping all kinds of animals has been in my blood as long as I can remember. I've been part of many different animal associations over the years so I decided to create this animal info blog with my family who are all involved with animal rescue in some capacity. Also, Because Animals Matter!
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