Bored Chickens...how to entertain them?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chicky Joy, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. Chicky Joy

    Chicky Joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2008
    Unfortunately our chickens can't really be allowed to free range. They are 21 weeks...about half of our 8 hens are laying. They are also looking really bored. They have a 12x12 coop and a 12x8 run. I've noticed that they are starting to dig in all the corners and by the door of the run. I know they would like to be let out to roam the yard but I don't see a way that could happen due to our other animals and other issues. What I was wondering was if anyone had any suggestions for keeping the ladies entertained? I'm pretty creative but new to chickens so I could use some help.
     
  2. blue fire

    blue fire Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would put a few Bird toys from the pet store in there and hang food scraps and stuff up off the ground so that it is hard to get to and put stuff in there for them to climb on.
     
  3. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

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    I've heard that hanging a head of lettuce or other fruit/veggie from the top of their run will keep them entertained b/c they'll have to jump at it.
     
  4. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

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    You could also go buy crickets at the pet store & let those loose. That'll DEFINITELY keep them occupied... for at least a few minutes.
     
  5. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Digging holes means they are dust bathing...
     
  6. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2008
    California
    You could add a small child plastic swimming pool filled with dirt so they can dig and dust bathe.

    I use a length of the plastic/nylon cords that come wrapped around hay bales (but any strong thread/string would work) tied tightly around an apple and hang it in the coop. The chickens love to peck at it. For the size of your flock, I might suggest 3 apples so eveyone can get in on the fun.

    I also hang lettuce, broccolli leaves, kale, any kind of greens.

    Anne
     
  7. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2008
    California
    I also stacked wooden crates in the pen and then moved them around every couple of days for the chickens to play in. This was before they were old enough and big enough to get out and free range a bit.

    An old wooden ladder is also something fun to play on.

    Anne
     
  8. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    My Coop
    I hang grapes... and you should see them fly!

    Here is a 10 week old White Rock going for the gold!

    [​IMG]
     
  9. wishin4chicken

    wishin4chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My daughter is a zookeeper and all of this she calls "environmental enrichment." She was always our animal lover and now spends her time coming up with ways to make captive exotic animals lives better. [​IMG]
     
  10. Chicky Joy

    Chicky Joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2008
    Good ideas. We actually have some grape vines on the property that were here when we moved in. Hopefully we get some grapes this year.

    The holes they are digging are right up against the walls/doors of the run. I don't know if they are attempting an escape or what. They seem to dust bathe in other areas.
     

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