Do Chickens Get Bored?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chickaroo!, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. Chickaroo!

    Chickaroo! Chillin' With My Peeps

    815
    1
    161
    Dec 27, 2007
    I have 4 hens and I only recently starting letting them free range on Sat/Sun when I'm off from work and can supervise them. I was wondering though, when they are made to just be in the run, can they get bored? [​IMG]
    If so, what can I put in their run to keep them from getting bored? [​IMG]
     
  2. MRNpoultry

    MRNpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 2, 2008
    Gibsonville, NC
    I let my chickens free-range all week, but when we go on vacation I put some straw or leaves in there with them. If your coop don't have a bottom and is portable you chould move them over a garden. I through strach are some other treat for them to find in there run, anything will work as long as it keeps there minds.

    Hope that answers your questions
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2008
  3. Crazy4Chicks

    Crazy4Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 20, 2007
    Glendale, AZ
    I noticed that when my hens were bored - they started to peck at each other - so I would rake up the leaves and whatever was in thier run - and watch them tear through the piles - and just rake it back up all over again ( DH thinks it is pointless ) but they like it - and when I was doing other yard work I throw in the yard rakings and let them have fun.
    I also bought them live feeder fish and let the hens go nuts along with eatrh worms from the fishing dept at wal*mart LOL

    also my hens LOVE a mud puddle - after I wash out the duck pool I let the hose run and make puddles they are like a bunch of little kids jumping in them - just watch out they fling mud in all directions LOL

    Julie
     
  4. Chickaroo!

    Chickaroo! Chillin' With My Peeps

    815
    1
    161
    Dec 27, 2007
    So, you can actually let the chickens eat feeder fish?! [​IMG] Really??!! How many per chicken?
     
  5. airmom1c05

    airmom1c05 Chillin' With My Peeps

    954
    1
    151
    Feb 3, 2008
    Raymond, Mississippi
    There's another thread along this line that suggested tying up greens for them to jump and peck. Also small pet toys suspended for them to play chicken "tetherball". Someone even suggested hanging bells for them to ring! LOL! I want to try the bells. Just imagine.....a musical chicken coop! I like the idea of watching them play with toys. There's a man from the UK on YouTube whose chickens will chase a frisbee as far as he can toss it. It's hilarious. I have a child's rubber softball in my pen. When I toss it, Brandy runs to check it out....sometimes! LOL! The highlight of your chickens' day is when you appear with TREATS! Since treats aren't really good for them every day, I trick mine into thinking they're getting treats by hand feeding layer pellets (which they won't eat from the feeders for some strange chicken reason). I think they're too large for them, so I break them into smaller bites and hand feed them. They are all so jealous of each other getting treats, that even the ones who don't like particular foods will eat them if they see another bird eating it.
     
  6. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    11,744
    17
    321
    Apr 6, 2007
    Iceland
    I don't think chickens can get bored. Boredom is a complex mix of
    emotions, probably limited to humans. However, lack of stimulation
    and an outlet for any animals energies can cause various anxieties
    and behavioral disorders ranging from feather picking to fighting.
     
  7. airmom1c05

    airmom1c05 Chillin' With My Peeps

    954
    1
    151
    Feb 3, 2008
    Raymond, Mississippi
    PurpleChicken, forever more I will now think of you as TechniChicken! You sound like some sort of chicken Psychiatrist! LOL! I love it!
     
  8. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    11,744
    17
    321
    Apr 6, 2007
    Iceland
    Quote:Thanks. [​IMG]

    My answer is simply a combination of my own observations, a lot of things I have
    read here, and too many episodes of The Dog Whisperer.
     
  9. Chickaroo!

    Chickaroo! Chillin' With My Peeps

    815
    1
    161
    Dec 27, 2007
    I like the idea of the bells also. I think I will try that. I just started (indoors for now) growing cherry tomato plants and some beans. Some are sprouting so, when I can I'm going to transplant them into planters and put those in the run for them.
    Thanks for the responses [​IMG]
     
  10. Scrambled Egg

    Scrambled Egg Flock Mistress

    Aug 29, 2007
    Fayetteville, NC
    That little cutie pie sideways chicken!! is right about the bungeed greens, they love that, good exercize and as the purple chicken whisperer says, stimulation. Nccountrygirl uses some kind of houdini cricket escape tube that allows them to jump on the crickets that get out and then play keep away. Lots of things you can do for them, course no one on this site would ever spoil a chicken!! [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by