Keeping Chickens Without Free Ranging

Love this article! There are some of your suggestions I am doing with my chickens already and some other that i will adopt from now on. I been keeping chickens since 2012 , my flock started with 3 hens and a rooster in a 3x4 coop with 10'x3' run.At some one point I had 9 hens and a rooster and upgrade both the coop and the run . I let them free range in our small backyard /garden /patio/ alotment for at least 1 hour in the evening every day. Now my flock is only 4 hens and a rooster and most of my hens are not laying as they use to, but they seems to be happy.
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Tips for another addition:
- a chicken garden / square meter container with grass and herbs. Made with beams and mesh on top. This way, they can peck a little green every day through the mesh.
- Berry bushes. For shelter and treats in summer.

I also have an old garden bench in the run. But I'd rather not sit on it because of the poo. A real chicken swing was too difficult. Now the swing has a 3th rope to keep it a more steady.

I have 8 small bantams, in a coop (3m2) and run with lots of shelter (15m2). They are allowed to free range a few hours a day when someone is at home.
I worry about my chicks when I sell them to people, but I always give them this website. This is an excellent article on keeping chickens in a smaller area, with great ideas of how to keep them occupied.
Coconut oil treats and swings....gotta do that :p
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Totally agree that chickens can be happy without free ranging. There should be no guilt associated with confining chickens to a run where they are safe from predators. Thank you for all the suggestions to provide diversions to the chickens confined to a chicken run. I added a pallet compost bin to my chicken run, with the front panel only half height and the other half of that pallet on top. My chickens love jumping in there to find kitchen scraps, composting material, and sun bathing on the top panel.
Great article I’m already doing a lot of the thing you’ve mentioned but now have more ideas. 2 thumbs up
I loved how you included so many different kinds of things that you could make for you chickens!!! I will definitely try some especially the chicken swing!!:love:woot:D:pop
My ladies are coming soon. I am reading every article that I can find so that I don't mess up. This is good simple advice & good idea to keep the cost down.
Lots of ideas to keep your chickens entertained inside!
Good information on setting up a run with the chicken in mind. If birds can't free range, they can certainly enjoy a healthy run!
Great info as I worry so much when my chickens are in the yard......
lots of great ideas!

Just a few and my ladies may never want to free range

Thank you for sharing
Some terrific ideas on how to keep a confined flock content!
Very good tips on keeping flock happy in a run. Going to do the chicken tether ball and the coconut oil scratch treat. Already do frozen pumpkin, fresh & frozen strawberries. Made them a chicken jungle gym (roost on top, ladder up to roost, swing that 2 hens can be on at the same time under the roost). Was glad to see I have already done things to make them happy.
These are great ideas! I plan on incorporating some of them into my chicken run.
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