Do Chickens Dream?

November 18, 2013
Sleeping roo at the Mother Earth News Fair

I’d like to think they do, when they are snuggled together perched upon the roosts at night. As the moonlight fills the sky, their sleeping little brains drift from place to place.

Sometimes, I think they must be dreaming of a big bowl of warm oatmeal, filled with delightful ingredients like meal worms, sunflower seeds, raisins, and a drizzle of yogurt. What a wonderful thought, filling their tummies with warm goodness on a cold winter day?

Perhaps they are playing some make shift game of tether ball with a freshly hung cabbage pinata in the run. As one pecks from one side, the other one returns the serve.

Do broody hens dream about their eggs hatching?

Other times, I like to think that they are dreaming of their old dear friends who have passed over to the rainbow bridge. What would that interaction be like? What do they “chat” about? Would they bring a tasty meal worm as a treat for their friend?

Do chickens have flying dreams? Do they dream that they have hands and arms and can do all sorts of things like write notes, scratch their backs, or open the latch to their run? Do they dream of crossing the road? Do they dare to dream about where those humans go during their time away from home? Do they dream about me? I dream about them.

Their dreams, like ours, are probably based upon emotions. They might dream of scary predators or spying hawks passing over head. They surely dream about love. They must dream about their adventures, fantasies, food and friendship. I wonder if they ever wake up sad, that things were ever only a dream. Or do they sometimes wake up relieve to find reality different?

I like to dream myself. I can’t think of anyone, even chickens, who wouldn’t? I hope they dream big!

Photo Credits: Tilly’s Nest


Author/Blogger/Freelancer-Sharing adventures with backyard chickens, beekeeping, gardening, crafting, cooking and more.



9 thoughts on “Do Chickens Dream?”

  1. Since we dream when sleeping, it's reasonable to believe that chickens do as well. I don't think anyone really understands the function of dreams and sleep but all animals sleep. There must be some biologically important reason for this.

    • Given my medical background, I enjoy new emerging literature. A recent medical study in people actually believes that deep sleep associated with dreaming is associated with clearing the brain of detritus that accumulates during the day. Lack of sleep is now actually being associated with memory problems.

  2. To dream or not to dream, that is the question? I have also heard that deep sleep helps clear the plaques and toxins in the brain – and lack of deep sleep may be a cause of Alzheimer's. What was I doing……. oh yeah, looking for my keys…… what am I typing? Oh. Shoot. I didn't get enough deep sleep last night! 🙂

  3. There is no question they dream. My Dominique house roo Ross sleeps on my leg and his eyes, beak & head are twitching like anything else sleeping. Some times he talks in his sleep. I never thought I would have a pet house chicken. But Ross isn't a normal chicken. He has begged to be petted since I hatched him. He is a clean nut. He gets upset when I curse at the TV. I don't know what soul inhabits him but it's not chicken!


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Sharing an inspired life from the New England seaside. Chickens, Bees, Gardens, Art and Yummy Goodness.