The typical brooder:
-A cardboard box
-Heat lamp and bulb
-Food and water
Pretty boring in my opinion... I sure wouldn’t want to be spending 6 weeks in that! Not only is it incredibly boring, but it can lead to some nasty habits as well!
With nothing to stimulate them, baby birds (especially chicks) will turn to each other for entertainment and unfortunately, their idea of fun is pecking. Pecking face, feathers, vent, you name it! And eventually after all of that pecking, the bare spots will become pink and that invites picking, cannabalism and eventually death. Why not fix the problem before there even is one?
These 5 boredom busters will help keep your flock entertained, happy and healthy in the brooder until they are ready to go outside!
You’d be surprised at how much the chicks will enjoy staring/pecking at their reflection! This gives hours of endless fun and is easy to install: just hang it on a wall!
2. Perching Bar
Chicks enjoy practicing their perching skills by hopping on and off a make-shift perch! While they probably won’t roost/sleep on it yet, it provides stimulation and fun, and gets them ready for when they are older. All you need is some wood to construct one, and you can even use a stick from outside, just make sure to clean it off before use!
I provide fluffy little balls for my chicks to roll around, cuddle up against and hop on. They like the fluffiness of them and it provides fluffy surfaces to peck at, other than their friends! Cat toys or large Pompoms work great, just make sure that the babies can’t eat them!
4. Clumps of Weeds or Grass
Putting in pulled up weeds gives your chicks a fun treat to play with! Leave the roots and dirt on; it provides the grit they need to properly digest it. Mine love scratching around and eating weeds, especially dandelions! Just make sure that the plants you’re giving haven’t been sprayed with any chemicals that could harm them.
5. Outdoor Trips
Who doesn’t love to go outside? Visits to the backyard are a great way to introduce chicks to their future life and is probably refreshing after being stuck inside all day! Supervising them is a good idea, as is having them
in a secure pen that they can’t get out of!
Hopefully this will help make your babies boredom free!