Do I need to prevent my chickens from being bored??

jgarreth

Chirping
7 Years
Apr 13, 2013
45
3
89
We have 10 hens...6 mixed (RIR? RSL?) and 4 EE. I have a completely enclosed run with sand. It has 3 perches outside for them and inside the coop it has 2 perches and then the nesting boxes. My question is this...do I need to put other things out in the run to keep them from getting bored?? They don't free range but I am out with them at least twice a day and always bring them treats. (greens...etc.) I just don't want them to be bored and start turning on each other. We have one EE that is the head hen and she is almost like a hawk...I don't want her to get mean. Thanks!!
 

BunkyB

Songster
6 Years
Mar 12, 2013
251
16
101
Blue Mountain, Nova Scotia, Canada
If you are worried about boredom put some old unwanted CDs or DVDs on string and hang them in a couple of places for them to peck at and see reflections. That can be amusing to watch. You can even take a head of lettuce and hang it in a mesh bag free swinging as well. That will occupy some time. Freshly mowed grass raked up, toss a pile in the pen and some scratch on the floor.

Only so many things you can do to keep them occupied but that is a start... Steve
 

jgarreth

Chirping
7 Years
Apr 13, 2013
45
3
89
Thanks! I clipped their wings today and we are going to try and let them out in the yard while we are out there with them. We have dogs and I don't want my dogs to antagonize them so I only want to let them out when we are with them. I knew they liked shiny things because they are always pecking at my wedding ring...lol.
 

mfr4550

Chirping
7 Years
Jun 17, 2012
45
1
84
Ogden, Utah
Keep your dogs restrained at first until you teach them that the chickens are a part of your "pack" and not to be antagonized. My dogs and chickens are able to roam the yard freely with each other. You may not have to clip the entire flock's wings. I only clip the wings of the lightest birds as they will hop fences which encourages some of the others to follow.
 

jgarreth

Chirping
7 Years
Apr 13, 2013
45
3
89
Today my husband let the birds out in the main yard with all the dogs. He sat outside with them for about an hour. My 8yr old Shih Tzu was apparently super intrigued by them. She usually sits out by the coop and just watches them. I wasn't sure if it was because she wanted to "get" them or just was curious. My husband said that the entire time they were roaming around, she made sure she was in the middle of all of them. Almost like she was keeping count. She just kept looking at them all, keeping track of them and wagging her tail or she would just plop down in the middle of wherever there were at. She wouldn't let our cat near the coop the other day. It was so funny!
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,040
581
Southern Oregon
The amount of space seems to be the biggest indicator of chickens pecking each other. If they have enough space, they'll likely be fine.

That said, I do have an old Christmas tree and some empty horse troughs in my run, just to give them something to break up line of sight. I also keep some pieces of plywood on the ground (but I have dirt, not sand) and flip them over every so often to let the birds scratch in the bugs and worms under them. Truthfully, that's more entertainment for me than for them!

I do also move things around occasionally, just like moving the waterer to another spot. Just to give them something to think about.
 

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