Margaret asked in PetsBirds · 1 decade ago

Do chickens need sun?

I am thinking about getting chickens and i found the perfect spot in my backyard for a coop, and a chicken run, but it's a little shady! Trees hang over it and some sunlight peaks through trees. DO chickens need the sun to get essential vitamins like we get vitamin D from the sun? So in this case would I be alright to place the coop there or would i need to find a new spot?

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hey Margaret,

    Yeah, chickens need sunlight to gain Vitamin D from it, but be careful not to have the chickens in direct sunlight, otherwise it may do them more harm than good. Building the right style of chicken coop is the key, if you ask me :-)

    To build a chicken coop which attracts just the right amount of sunlight, you can find a free blueprint over at .

    This shows you everything you need and the exact steps you need to take to build a chicken coop for your hens and roosters.

    I hope I've helped :-)

    - James.

  • 1 decade ago

    Chickens DO need access to sunlight exactly the same as humans for Vitamin D.

    Chickens with Vitamin D deficiency are prone to ricketts (just as humans are) and it can also throw out the balance of calcium and phosphorus in the body which can cause issues in the production of egg shells so it might also cause deformed eggs or affect the lay rate. Chickens lay more frequently with access to light which is why battery sheds and barns use extended hours of artificial lighting.

    You will also find that birds with restricted access to sunlight will become very pale, their combs will also become pale and in the case of large single combs they will fall to the side limply even in birds that are supposed to have an upright comb. Frequently when kept in particularly dark areas, the comb will also grow larger in attempt to absorb the maximum amount of vitamin D they can. I know several show breeders who use this trick to improve comb sizes for show, but it's not very healthy for the bird and no one I know does it for an extended amount of time.

    It's hard to tell if your "perfect place" is OK from your description as there is no way to tell exactly how much sun the area gets- you are certainly going to want an area which gets full sun at least for a few moments a day, while still having shady areas for protection. If there are parts of the proposed area which never get any sun at all, I would be inclined to say choose a new spot. Not just because of lack of sun, but because these sorts of areas if they get wet (as they can frequently do depending on the surrounding vegetation) they frequently stay wet for a long period of time and can harbor all sorts of nasty bacteria, diseases etc in the damp soil. It's very unhealthy for the birds to be in long term contact with such conditions and drainage should always be a major priority when choosing the site for your coop- it needs to stay either perfectly dry or dry out fast (not always easy in some areas)

    Hope this helps.

    Source(s): I am a breeder or champion Araucana, Wyandotte and Japanese chickens
  • 1 decade ago

    Almost all animals including ( humans and chickens) need sunlight so that we can get Vitamin D and other essential proteins for our bodies to grow and stay healthy.

    -- PA

    Source(s): Biology class
  • 1 decade ago

    Chickens do need sun cause if they dont get sunlight they want lay like they should and its always good to have sunlight cause it keeps them warm.

    Source(s): Been raising chickens for several years
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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago


    I built an amazing chicken coop (it looks better than my house). Here is the site with the full plans


  • They need sun and shade both so they wont get hot and so they wont get cold!

    Source(s): research
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