What Do chickens Do All Day? 5 Daily Chicken Activities

If you’re considering raising chickens, you may be wondering what they do all day. Do they need you to be around to attend to them all day or can they fend for themselves?

These animals can be very busy creatures, but busy doing what? This article explores the question of: what do chickens do all-day

Chickens love routine, they spend their days foraging for food, taking dust baths, pooping, playing with each other, and laying eggs. They can be left in the coop all day long as long as they have food, sunlight, water, and space to run around

What do chickens do all day?

Chickens are fans of routine, these animals will usually stick to doing the same things daily. Activities that chickens do all day include:

Looking for food: 

Animals of all types are always out looking for food, chickens look for food by foraging. When a chicken goes out to forage, it looks under, above, and beside anything it can in search of bugs and grubs. 

Foraging is a great way to find food, it is also a great way for the chicken to get some exercise in and relieve boredom.

Chickens that get a healthy amount of exercise in daily will be healthier and produce more eggs. Exercise also helps maintain the bird’s bone density, body weight, and strength.

Foraging for food and chasing bugs also makes chickens very happy.

Dust baths: 

Chickens will take breaks and indulge in a dust bath when they can. Dust baths help chickens stay clean, they also ensure that the chicken’s feathers are maintained and well kept, the baths keep lice away too.

Laying eggs:

Laying eggs is a major part of a chicken’s routine.

These animals lay their eggs in the morning, as long as they have 12 to 14 hours of daylight, these animals will lay eggs throughout the day, you can collect eggs daily or even twice a day. Chickens will lay about 2 to 3 eggs a day


This is another major activity the chickens do throughout the day. These animals can poop quite frequently, as often as every 20 minutes or so.

They cannot control when they do it and they cannot stop themselves from pooping the way humans can. Chickens do not have the same muscle sphincter that humans do.

On the bright side, chicken manure is actually very helpful for your garden

Other amusements:

A chicken’s day is not only spent looking for food, if these birds want to amuse themselves they will play with toys like tetherballs, chicken swings, or twine that you may have left out.

If the birds cannot find ways to amuse themselves, they may start squabbling with other birds, pecking other birds, picking at their feathers, and bullying smaller birds.

This can also happen if the birds have been in the coop for too long

If the chicken is living in the wild it has to keep an eye out for predators as it goes about its day. This makes their lives more difficult than domesticated chickens 

What do chickens do at night? 

Chicken sleep at night just as humans and many other diurnal animals do, they prefer to be tucked away somewhere when sleeping. Being hidden keeps them safe from predators.

Because they are social creatures, these birds are often huddled up and roost close to one another. This is helpful as one bird can alert the whole flock about predators in the area.

Chickens will be asleep for most of the night and non-daylight hours

Can chickens stay in the coop all day? 

Chickens can stay in the coop all day, in fact, they sometimes choose to stay in the coop all day.

As long as the coop is not crowded, has light coming in from multiple windows, has enough space for the chicken to move around, and has sufficient water and food for all the chickens for the day, then the birds can stay in the coop as long as they want to and as long as you want them too 

In order for chickens to have enough room, the coop should be designed to have 2 to 3 ft.² of space for every chicken that lives in the coop, a run in the coop would be helpful as well.

The run will keep them busy when in the coop

Do you have to let chickens out at dawn? 

If you want to let chickens out at dawn you can, but this is not necessary.

As long as chickens have food and water in the coop, have enough space to walk around, and have light coming in from the windows, then you don’t have to let them out at dawn.

You can let them out later on in the day, in fact letting them out at dawn can expose them to predators who hunt between dusk and dawn


Can chickens be outside all day?

Chickens can definitely be outside all day, being outside is the best for these animals because they have ample space to forage, ample space to run around, a lot of sunlight, and can take dust baths wherever they like.

Going outside is also good for baby chicks. If they are too young to go outside all day, they can go outside for short periods of time, this will help them get used to being outside. The temperature outside can affect whether a chicken wants to go outside or not.


In conclusion, chickens will forage, lay eggs, poop, take dust baths, and amuse themselves during the day. They can either stay in all day or be out and about during the day, being out is better than being in for chickens.

They can stay in the coop all day as long as the coop is large enough so all the chickens have room to walk around and run freely, has enough food and water for the chickens, and has good amounts of sunlight coming in 

If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other chicken related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Can I shoot a hawk attacking my chickens?, Chicken behavior with humans, what is normal?, Do chickens like mirrors? all you need to know, Why do chickens chase you? all you need to know

What Do chickens Do All Day? 5 Daily Chicken Activities
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