I've read a lot about putting different kinds of fruit, leaves, grass, etc. into the run so that the chickens have things to poke thru. Has anyone done anything with their pens to give them non-food related things to do? (I've run out of grass clippings & branches, & mine are VERY picky about what they'll eat.) You know, things like ramps, ladders, tunnels, etc. The guy at the hatchery thought I was nuts to even ask.
My DH and I built several "chicken trees" from old, dead trees:
The chooks seem to enjoy hopping around on them, flying up & down, etc. I also have several large plastic bins - automotive parts bins - that I lean up against the posts and move around every few days. Even 5-gallon buckets moved around for them to hop up & down from is interesting to them. I took an old, plastic garbage can that had a big hole in the bottom and sawed in in half, lengthwise, to make a "tunnel" of sorts - they like that, too, but tend to lay eggs under it once in awhile.
i am using a swing as support for my hawk netting, seems chickens like to swing like parakeets...
the first time I told DBF that I was going to mom's to bring back a couple bags of leaves, he said "bring BACK?" hahaha. chickens love scratching thru stuff! I also turn shovelfuls of dirt over for them and will throw a bit of scratch in the leaves and in the fresh turned dirt (if its low on yummies like grubs and worms)
While there are certainly many people that feed grass clippings, there are also several documented cases of long grass strands clogging crops and causing big problems. For this reason, I have never fed gras clippings.........Pop
My project for this fall or next spring. A chicken swing. I have an old wooden step ladder I put in the pen and then take out for a while to keep it interesting. I like the leaves idea with scratch thrown in. They love the hunt. My hanging feeder is full but they love it if I throw out a scoop of chick feed.