"A Happy Hen Lays Better Eggs"
Bored poultry are more likely to eat eggs, fight, make a mess, lay bad eggs, and sometimes will even eat each other. To prevent these things, adding toys can result in a more productive, happy flock!
'The Almighty Egg'
This simple toy can keep your hens pecking for hours! All you need are plastic easter eggs, screws or nails, a screwdriver or power driver with a drilling bit, twine or thin rope, and chicken treats.
-For this example I will be using a power drill, cracked corn, easter bunny plastic eggs, and twine.
-Make sure your eggs can lock together and hold strong. If they do, separate the halves, and place the bottom half facedown, so that a flat surface, AKA the bottom of the egg, is presented to you.
-Take the screwdriver or drill, and slowly make a hole the size of the treat you intend to fill it with. I made it the size of a piece of cracked corn, but just a bit bigger, and in my other two, one for raisins and another for chopped veggies.
-When the hole is made, smooth the edges, using a method of your choice. Sandpaper or a file is recommended.
-Tie a piece of twine to the top half of your egg. Conveniently, mine had 'ears' so I tied it right around them. The twine should be the length of how far it will hang from the top of your coop to just above eye-level of a hen or whatever height you like.
-Take the top half, tied with twine, to your coop. With screws or nails, make little pegs for the other end of the twine to be tied around so that the egg will hang. Make sure the nails or screws are tight so that they do not fall out.
-Take the bottom half, and fill it with the treat of your choice. To make sure it fits through, take a pencil and poke the hole. If treats fall out when pecked, it is perfect. If they all fall out, it is too big. If none fall out, make the hole bigger.
-Attach the bottom half to the top half, so you now have an egg filled with treats hanging from the top of your coop by twine.
-It may take the hens a minute to figure it out, but once they do, hours of fun are in store! Refill the bottom half as needed.
This is a great example of repurposing something! All you need is a suet cage, which can be bought for less than $5 or you can make your own!
Take your suet cage, and fill it with any large treat of your choice. Some chicken favorites are apples, bananas, lettuce, berries, bread, broccoli, cauliflower, and many more can be found HERE. Any of these treats can be stuffed into this suet cage for day-long fun! Simply hang the cage by either strong twine, thin chain or wire, make sure it is secure, fill it with treats of your choice, and your chooks will be pecking away all day long!
"Wire Ball"A chunk of lettuce or cabbage can keep your hens busy for nearly a week! Another popular thing to put in a wire ball is an apple (make sure the core is removed, as the seeds are not good for chickens!)The ball pictured above is meant for hay; therefore, there is no way to open it. An easy method would to snip some of the wire with wire cutters so that the top can be shifted up wide enough for you to slide the goodies in, or you can make your own!
Very similar to a suet cage, except this one can be used to store an entire apple or a large chunk of lettuce or cabbage for an even longer amount of fun!
I hope some of these ideas have helped you to keep your chickens entertained! Feel free to PM me pictures of your own versions of these or of your hens enjoying them for me to display on here!