Coop accessories to make it more entertaining for my girls?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by EllaM, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. EllaM

    EllaM Out Of The Brooder

    23
    1
    26
    Sep 11, 2013
    Hi all
    Recently I've been feeling that my coop is very lacking of entertainment value for my hens.
    Does anyone have any ideas of or know anything I could add to make the coop more fun?
    It can be anything from something new and interesting to look at for my girls
    or even a whole new feature I can add to the coop.
    All ideas welcome!!!!

    Thank you!!!!!
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    36,684
    4,692
    566
    Feb 18, 2011
    Ohio
    Bale of hay, they get tons of entertainment digging through one. Toss a handful of scratch on top, don't even have to open it up. Less entertainment and more space adding is new perches or ladder systems, gives them more usable space / room in the winter.
     
  3. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,042
    59
    221
    Jul 30, 2008
    Missouri
    When "entertaining" domestic animals one must only look at what these animals want to do and by that I mean what comes naturally.

    Kelsie is correct in her ideas. Chickens (their wild cousins or free range birds) will spend a good portion of their day searching for food. So providing and environment in which scratching is encouraged is a great way to relieve boredom. So hay/straw, leaves, untreated grass clipping, pine shavings etc. in the run and like Kelsie said throw a little scratch around and they will spend quite some time scratching looking for tidbits.
    The roosts and ladder idea is an excellent one. Chickens will spend time preening and seem to like to do so elevated a bit.
    I have several old ladders propped around my run. The hens love to sit and preen or take a noon day nap. The birds lower in the pecking order seem to love them the most as it is a way to get away from the "bullies". I got my ladders for free, found them sitting out with peoples trash.
    I have banana plants and this time of year I cut some of the leaves off and throw into the run. It keeps my hens busy as they peck at them and eventually consume them. I buy the $2 pumpkins at Aldi's. One will last about a week, keeps the hens busy. My tomatoes are still producing but most have blight so into the chicken run they go.
    Make sure they have several places to dust bath.

    So as you can see there are numerous ways to keep hens from beating their little beaks against the fence in sheer boredom. Just takes a little thought/imagination as to what it is that comes naturally to them. Many things can be done for free or at very little expense.
     
  4. MoonShadows

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

    1,162
    116
    178
    Jan 23, 2013
    Pocono Mtns
    My Coop
    Another one I like is to take a cabbage, put a hole through it, attach it to some strong string or light rope, hang it just above the girls heads in the run. They will play with that cabbage and grab bits of it for hours.

    When they get tired of that, they can always go back in the coop and play pool or watch the wide screen TV I put in there for their entertainment....just kiddin' [​IMG]
     
  5. Irishhenman

    Irishhenman Chillin' With My Peeps

    583
    43
    113
    Jul 2, 2013
    Ireland
    I had a friend who was a tech genius. He attached a mechanism to the back of a romote control car (a pretty heavy duty one that went over bumps and things easily) that dispensed meal worms every couple of seconds. He used to drive it around his covered runs every now and again and the hens would go mad chasing it around. It is probably too high tech an idea for you (it defiantly is for me) but. I thought. I might share his plans
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013
  6. EllaM

    EllaM Out Of The Brooder

    23
    1
    26
    Sep 11, 2013
    All these ideas are fantastic! Irishhenman that sounds entertaining for both the chickens and the owners! Unfortunately I don't have the slightest experience in tech lol. Thank you for all your suggestions!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by