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Do Chickens Get Bored?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

If chickens are in a large sized run, with a few other chicks, food, and water  - do they get bored?
What about that week that I have to keep them locked in their coop so they know it's "home" - do they get bored in there?

I guess I am just feeling bad because I am at work, my kids are at school, and our chickens are home alone all day. They have eachother, I guess.

Are there things I can do (or should do) to prevent boredom or keep my chickens interested/active/happy?

Thanks in advance!

3 boys and 6 beautiful chickens make a happy home! :) 

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3 boys and 6 beautiful chickens make a happy home! :) 

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post #2 of 17

Something to scratch around in  . . . .

"Activity is the life of the hen." ~ James Dryden

S'

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post #3 of 17

Yes, they get bored.   During the week long lock in, hang a cabbage so the bottom is a couple of inches above their heads.  They will jump up and peck at it all day.  Throw some scratch or black oil sunflower seeds on the litter so they have something to scratch for.  I also throw in some sesame seeds once in a while.  They have to hunt a little harder for those.

UGCM

I have it on the inside scoop that the chicken came first via priority mail and the egg arrived about 20 weeks later.  Mystery solved!

Hiding out in suburbia with 1 Red Star, 7 Black Stars, 3 Barred Rocks, 1 Buff Rock, 2 Black Australorps and 1 somewhat tolerant wife.
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I have it on the inside scoop that the chicken came first via priority mail and the egg arrived about 20 weeks later.  Mystery solved!

Hiding out in suburbia with 1 Red Star, 7 Black Stars, 3 Barred Rocks, 1 Buff Rock, 2 Black Australorps and 1 somewhat tolerant wife.
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post #4 of 17

I free range my chickens on a LOT of different types of "environments", so they're never bored.

But if I had my girls in a run, I'd give them plenty of weeds, grass, seeds, bugs to have, put some perches and branches and stuff in their run, and so on. . . They need things to do, different things to scratch up and eat, and places to run and fly around on. smile

Silver Laced Polish, Tolbunt Polish, and Shamos
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Silver Laced Polish, Tolbunt Polish, and Shamos
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post #5 of 17

I give my chickens an old dish bucket, filled with some clean dirt. They love their personal tub for dirt baths! It's so funny, they actually stand in line, waiting their turn in the tub.


Edited by MareeZoCool - 4/13/10 at 7:39am
~ MARIE~, ZOey's nana in COOLville, Ohio
1 rooster(OEGame/Andalusian mix), 1 B.A./OEG hen,1 Black Jersey Giant hen, 1 Black Astralorp hen; 1 - ~White Plymouth Rock "Klucky". 1~Delaware hen.
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~ MARIE~, ZOey's nana in COOLville, Ohio
1 rooster(OEGame/Andalusian mix), 1 B.A./OEG hen,1 Black Jersey Giant hen, 1 Black Astralorp hen; 1 - ~White Plymouth Rock "Klucky". 1~Delaware hen.
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post #6 of 17

Hi Jen-

I truly do believe that chickens get bored.  Some thing I like to do for them that keeps them happy is, I throw in the grass clippings from when I mow with the lawn tractor.  They LOVE to scratch around and eat the freshly cut grass.  Also, I use different types of flooring in my chicken run to keep them busy, like in the fall I'll put leaves in there.  Sometimes I'll throw a couple of flakes of hay in there.  I'll put a few landscaping rocks in there or half a log or something for them to perch on.  I just change it up here and there to keep them busy.  And of course, throw some apples in there or a cabbage. 

Sharon

Currently keeping a flock of 14 chickens, one rooster and 13 hens.  I have three Easter Eggers, three Golden Buffs, two Marans and six Buff Brahmas.  My hobbies are gardening, chicken keeping, and beekeeping.  I'm married with two sons, a step son and daughter, and two really cute grandkids!
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Currently keeping a flock of 14 chickens, one rooster and 13 hens.  I have three Easter Eggers, three Golden Buffs, two Marans and six Buff Brahmas.  My hobbies are gardening, chicken keeping, and beekeeping.  I'm married with two sons, a step son and daughter, and two really cute grandkids!
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post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

This is a great help everyone. Thank you.
I will start giving them interesting things to do while we are away.

Any more cool ideas to keep chickens happy and occupied throughout the day?

3 boys and 6 beautiful chickens make a happy home! :) 

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3 boys and 6 beautiful chickens make a happy home! :) 

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post #8 of 17

Chickens are smarter than many people realize, and yes they can get bored. It's a good idea to provide them chicken appropriate activities that will keep them occupied, and by that I mean anything related to searching for food. Free ranging, or anything that approximates free ranging (e.g., time in a chicken tractor) is ideal.

Have you ever seen the chicken camp videos on Youtube? They're amazing. Apparently, the average chicken is easier to train than the average dog!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8aRfz2VCnE

post #9 of 17

If you have room in your run, add a bale of hay/alfalfa. Mine will spend hours on top of it, trying to get some of the still green leaves, or picking at the sides of it. Sometimes I put the scratch on top of it, to add to the fun of looking for something. Also, I used one of those suet holders all winter when they couldn't get out to free range due to snow. Sometimes I used the suet block in it, other times I filled it with vegies for the girls to pick out. Keeps them busy all day. Hanging cabbage is still a favorite, I do it about once a week. I know how you feel about them being 'bored' when in their run & coop instead of out free ranging. But they are chickens, and they do survive without lots of stimulus inspite of what we think. Good luck.

Living the good life in Southern Utah with a wonderful husband of 30 years, 13 spoiled hens (3 RIR, 3 Dominikers, 3 Easter Eggers, 2 Light Brahmas, 2 GLW & 5 babies in the brooder:2 Speckled Sussex, 2 BA, 1 Buff Brahma)
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Living the good life in Southern Utah with a wonderful husband of 30 years, 13 spoiled hens (3 RIR, 3 Dominikers, 3 Easter Eggers, 2 Light Brahmas, 2 GLW & 5 babies in the brooder:2 Speckled Sussex, 2 BA, 1 Buff Brahma)
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post #10 of 17

I think one of the easiest things to do is take an old branch of wood and throw it in the run.  Full of bugs and other fun... my hens LOVE when I do that.  A head of lettuce is another good trick.  Yes, they get bored... but they're also easy to entertain.  One of the easiest pets, in my opinion!

Good luck.

We can see a thousand miracles around us every day. What is more supernatural than an egg yolk turning into a chicken? 

-S. Parkes Cadman

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We can see a thousand miracles around us every day. What is more supernatural than an egg yolk turning into a chicken? 

-S. Parkes Cadman

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