A study by scientists at The University of California, San Diego, has found that chickens can sleep for up to 30 hours.
The research was conducted to investigate how the sleep of chickens impacts their immune system, which is a crucial part of keeping them healthy.
“Chickens are very susceptible to the development of a disease and, when we see it, we’re quite worried,” said Dr. Michael Grazier, a professor of animal behavior and physiology and director of the Center for Chicken and Egg Research at UC San Diego.
“This is a pretty big deal, because it’s a common condition for chickens,” Graziers research director said.
“It’s very common for chickens to die in the United States.”
According to Grazies research, chickens sleep for about 15 hours a day, and are not only susceptible to diseases, but also to the impact of environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and dust.
“The longer you spend at rest, the more you become stressed and the more your immune system is weakened,” Grieser said.
Graziers team found that even though chickens sleep through the night, they are not able to fully rest and are unable to recover.
They also have to contend with an abundance of dust, which makes them more susceptible to illnesses.
“I think the problem with chickens is that they are very resistant to viruses and the pathogens,” Gry, a co-author of the study, said.
“We’re seeing more and more viruses coming out of the farm,” Grells co-authors, Daniela Castaneda and Raul Mazzola, explained.
“The virus is not only in the eggshells, but in the chickens as well.
It’s a lot of virus and a lot more virus coming out.”
In addition to their immune systems, chickens also have an extremely efficient respiratory system.
According to the research, they can survive up to five times longer in a room that is too cold, with no air conditioning, than in a cool room with adequate ventilation.
“It’s a very efficient system,” Grol, a research assistant, said about the chickens respiratory system in the study.
“They have this respiratory system that works so well, so efficiently.
It makes it really difficult for us to diagnose disease when they’re sick.
It means that the virus can survive so long.”
Dr. Grazers research team hopes to conduct additional studies to look into how chickens affect their immune and immune system in humans.
The researchers are working with the American Red Cross to create a chicken immunology study, but hope to get the results to the public in the near future.
This article originally appeared on Wired.com