If you’ve payment close attention to her chicken’s eyes, girlfriend may have actually noticed something unusual…

Their eyelids nothing move, however they room able to keep their eyes clean the debris and dirt.

You are watching: Do chickens sleep with their eyes open

So, perform chickens blink? deserve to they relocate their eyelids? how do they save their eye clean?

These room all amazing questions, and I have actually answers to describe each that them!

Do chicken Blink?

Technically speaking, chickens execute not blink – no.

So, don’t go trying to success a staring contest anytime soon.

A blink is characterized as; to shut and open the eyes quickly. Chickens carry out not open and close your eyelids quickly, so they perform not blink.

The key reason why we blink is to store our eyes clean and also safe from dirt and also debris and to spread out oils and mucous secretions across the surface ar of ours eyes.

Chickens also need a way to keep their eye clean and protected, and also they can do this there is no blinking together I’ll explain…

Related – carry out chickens have actually eyelashes?

The Anatomy of a Chicken’s Eye


Chickens have a 3rd eyelid, also called a translucent nictitating membrane.

Most birds have actually this, as perform a many other pets prefer cats. They usage their third eyelid as a means to clean your eyes, lot like we carry out with our eyelids.

When no being used, their third eyelid is tucked away in the corner of your eye. As soon as needed, it quickly slips the end to wipe the surface of their eye and does ago out of sight again.

Let’s remember the they can’t usage their fingers or hand to help wipe something from their eyes. They need something much more effective than eyelids come clean your eyes, that’s why they have actually a 3rd eyelid.

You’ll see exactly what I mean if you watch the video clip below. It shows a chicken’s 3rd eyelid

Do Chickens have Eyelids?

Chickens do have actually eyelids, yes. They just don’t usage them favor we execute to blink, and do not open and close them.

They perform close your eyelids once they’re sleeping though.

Do chicken Close their Eyes as soon as They Sleep?

This is wherein it gets really interesting due to the fact that chickens are actually may be to be both awake and also asleep at the exact same time.

The left side of a chicken’s brain controls their best eye. While the best side the their mind controls your left eye. Definition they space able to operate each eye independently.

So, if you’ve ever before seen one of your flock with one eye open and also one closed, they are actually trying to get some sleep while maintaining an eye out (literally!).

The factor they are able to execute this is to be able to keep one eye open up for possible threats in the wild.

While roosting, the chicken in ~ the peak of the hierarchy will sleep in the middle of the roost through both eye closed obtaining some high quality sleep. While chicken on the edge of the perch will have one eye open to save watch for threats.

Their 3rd eyelid will certainly cover the surface of their eye, and it’s much more so their lower eyelid the closes once they’ve shut their eye.

In Summary

So, the answer come the question of whether or not chickens blink is, no. They don’t blink, at the very least not in the same means we do, neither carry out they need to.

Chickens can’t relocate their upper and lower eyelids choose we can. Instead, they have actually a 3rd eyelid that appears to wipe their eyes clean (as presented in the video above).

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It’s just another of the many interesting and weird chicken facts that we frequently don’t think around until we take a thorough look.

Enjoyed this article? inspect out execute chickens have actually eyebrows to uncover out more interesting facts about a chicken’s anatomy!


Image credits – Header image by wilhelm Moreland, rooster eye photo by young name JarošonUnsplash