Do Chickens Get Bored?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jen71, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. Jen71

    Jen71 Chillin' With My Peeps

    195
    1
    111
    Mar 25, 2010
    Australia
    If chickens are in a large sized run, with a few other chicks, food, and water - do they get bored?
    What about that week that I have to keep them locked in their coop so they know it's "home" - do they get bored in there?

    I guess I am just feeling bad because I am at work, my kids are at school, and our chickens are home alone all day. They have eachother, I guess.

    Are there things I can do (or should do) to prevent boredom or keep my chickens interested/active/happy?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,119
    18
    201
    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Something to scratch around in . . . .

    "Activity is the life of the hen." ~ James Dryden

    S'
     
  3. underground chickenman

    underground chickenman Chillin' With My Peeps

    562
    5
    131
    May 30, 2009
    Orlando, Florida
    Yes, they get bored. During the week long lock in, hang a cabbage so the bottom is a couple of inches above their heads. They will jump up and peck at it all day. Throw some scratch or black oil sunflower seeds on the litter so they have something to scratch for. I also throw in some sesame seeds once in a while. They have to hunt a little harder for those.

    UGCM
     
  4. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    16,242
    108
    336
    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    I free range my chickens on a LOT of different types of "environments", so they're never bored.

    But if I had my girls in a run, I'd give them plenty of weeds, grass, seeds, bugs to have, put some perches and branches and stuff in their run, and so on. . . They need things to do, different things to scratch up and eat, and places to run and fly around on. [​IMG]
     
  5. MareeZoCool

    MareeZoCool Chillin' With My Peeps

    I give my chickens an old dish bucket, filled with some clean dirt. They love their personal tub for dirt baths! It's so funny, they actually stand in line, waiting their turn in the tub.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2010
    2 people like this.
  6. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    8,697
    230
    316
    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hi Jen-

    I truly do believe that chickens get bored. Some thing I like to do for them that keeps them happy is, I throw in the grass clippings from when I mow with the lawn tractor. They LOVE to scratch around and eat the freshly cut grass. Also, I use different types of flooring in my chicken run to keep them busy, like in the fall I'll put leaves in there. Sometimes I'll throw a couple of flakes of hay in there. I'll put a few landscaping rocks in there or half a log or something for them to perch on. I just change it up here and there to keep them busy. And of course, throw some apples in there or a cabbage.

    Sharon
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Jen71

    Jen71 Chillin' With My Peeps

    195
    1
    111
    Mar 25, 2010
    Australia
    This is a great help everyone. Thank you.
    I will start giving them interesting things to do while we are away.

    Any more cool ideas to keep chickens happy and occupied throughout the day?
     
  8. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,852
    37
    249
    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    Chickens are smarter than many people realize, and yes they can get bored. It's a good idea to provide them chicken appropriate activities that will keep them occupied, and by that I mean anything related to searching for food. Free ranging, or anything that approximates free ranging (e.g., time in a chicken tractor) is ideal.

    Have you ever seen the chicken camp videos on Youtube? They're amazing. Apparently, the average chicken is easier to train than the average dog!

     
  9. wisewings

    wisewings Out Of The Brooder

    25
    0
    22
    Apr 12, 2010
    Cedar City, Utah
    If you have room in your run, add a bale of hay/alfalfa. Mine will spend hours on top of it, trying to get some of the still green leaves, or picking at the sides of it. Sometimes I put the scratch on top of it, to add to the fun of looking for something. Also, I used one of those suet holders all winter when they couldn't get out to free range due to snow. Sometimes I used the suet block in it, other times I filled it with vegies for the girls to pick out. Keeps them busy all day. Hanging cabbage is still a favorite, I do it about once a week. I know how you feel about them being 'bored' when in their run & coop instead of out free ranging. But they are chickens, and they do survive without lots of stimulus inspite of what we think. Good luck.
     
  10. Lucy4

    Lucy4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think one of the easiest things to do is take an old branch of wood and throw it in the run. Full of bugs and other fun... my hens LOVE when I do that. A head of lettuce is another good trick. Yes, they get bored... but they're also easy to entertain. One of the easiest pets, in my opinion!

    Good luck.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by