Do chickens get cabin fever?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by andythescot, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. andythescot

    andythescot Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 29, 2009
    Central Mass
    Hahaha, its kind of funny to me, but do they? I mean my girls are confined to the coop/run just about all winter. That way they are safe from the otherwise desperate predators.
    But will they go insane from the confinement? Does the level of going-craziness vary by breed?

    Will they go cannibal!?!
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Chickens get cabin fever like the rest of us. They will not go insane from it. The level of confinement tolerance does vary by breed. They could turn cannibalistic if they are seriously stressed by the confinement and overcrowded conditions. Making sure the birds have enough space and offering toys/diversions to them will make a more pleasant winter for all. Dealing with feather picking in a timely manner will help to prevent cannibalism.

    Good luck.
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    When I was looking for chickens to get, I used Henderson's Handy Dandy Chicken Chart all the time. And now I use it to check out any new breed that catches my eye, to see if I would REALLY want it.

    "Accepts confinement well" was a big issue for me, at first. Now my chickens range freely, and winters here are not rough enough to keep chickens inside their coops either voluntarily or not. Mine are no longer confined to a run, either.
  4. TeriNick50

    TeriNick50 Out Of The Brooder

    Quote:What "kind" of toys?
    My hens are already bored with hanging cabbage and the flock block.

    Need some ideas!
  5. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    BOSS mixed with fall leaves, scratch thrown in a bunch of shavings, different hanging vegetables are all diversions that I've used.
  6. erlibrd

    erlibrd Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Oct 8, 2010
    I think my girls definately have cabin fever! I opened the upper portion of the door and had one jump right into my arms!! I was so surprised and loved it so just held her for a minute as she looked around at the frozen tundra [​IMG] then she was ready to go back inside.
    They do have a small covered run filled with straw they can go into if I open the pop door and let them-if it's above zero.....
  7. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    Yep. The first week we had snow this winter the girls would just stand at the open pop door and stare out at me. After that first week I guess they got bored in the coop because they could hardly wait for me to open up the pop door. Even now, with snow on the ground, they are really hoping I'm going to let them out to free range every time I open the door to let the dogs out to potty.
  8. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    "Do chickens get cabin fever?" Oh, yeah. However, they do respond well to "boredom busters" such as the cabbage & flock block you mentioned. Mine also really get excited about: ramen noodles (without the salt-loaded "flavor packet"), raw pumpkins (just chuck them hard onto the ground to crack them open, and leave them in the run. The chickens will continue to pick at them, first consuming the seeds, then the stringy portion until there's nothing left but the hard rind), spaghetti squash or butternut squash (I do cook these first just because I like to watch them eat the cooked ones!), zucchini, grapes, grape tomatoes, mixed veggies (I buy the big bags on sale and keep them in the freezer, then take out whatever amount I want to thaw. I either let them thaw in the refrigerator and then bring to room temp, or thaw in hot water. My inside birds like these, too). Got any oats or warm breakfast cereal that you've had so long it tastes "old'? Your girls won't think so! They'll devour it like little vacuum cleaners! Bread's always a hit (just note that it can cause runny poops for a short time), and most table scraps with the exception of onions and avocados. They'll knock each other down to get to grated or cubed cheese, then play "keep away" with it. (Of course, with the price of cheese being what it is, they don't get that treat around here very often!). Anyway, another thing that will help them with the boredom and keep their feet warmer at the same time is to spread out a bale of hay. They love walking through it, scratching & digging for seed heads, and it's a welcome change of texture for their feet from all this frozen ground we've been having.
  9. Crickett B

    Crickett B Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2010
    Blue Ridge Mountains
    Is there another name for BOSS? or is that a brand?
    I asked for it at the store, and received a [​IMG] from the kid at the register [​IMG]
  10. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 12, 2009
    Black-oiled sunflower seeds= BOSS. I use a Flock Block and throw straw in coop they like to scratch around in it.

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