Entertaining my chickens???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by milliesmum, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. milliesmum

    milliesmum Hatching

    Mar 1, 2007
    Hi all,

    I am new to the forum and to chickens generally really. I have 7 hens in my backyard flock, 4 of which I rehomed from a family member a few months ago and, as they havent layed (lol) I added 3 hybrids a couple of days ago on a local farmers advice. Now I finally have some eggs after cleaning out the coop and run every week for the last 3 months or more !

    I have doubled the area in the run today to ensure that there is more than enough space for all of the hens, but would like to know what sort of toys (?) or activities I could introduce for them to keep them entertained.

    I have a large plant pot on its side with peat and sand in for them to roll and scratch in, and there is lots of dirt for them to scratch in too.

    What else could i give them? Just want to enhance their lives a little more if that is possible.

    I thought I should probably introduce them too......

    Light Sussex : Dorothy; Buff Orpington : Hilda; Black Orpington: FiFi; Poland: Amy; Hybrids: Brenda, Millie, and Molly

    LOL Kids helped with the names.....

    Would appreciate any advice at all really
  2. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Crowing

    Hi! Welcome to the forum.
    Obviously, their favorite thing to do it eat, so you can take a head of lettuce and hang it off the ground. It will take them a couple hours to peck through it. You can also cook them rice, oatmeal, or give them veggies, cat food, cooked meat and grass.
    A small handful of scratch will keep them occupied for awhile, too.
  3. milliesmum

    milliesmum Hatching

    Mar 1, 2007
    Thanks. Have hung their veg before, and have found they enjoy a bit of fresh bread hung the same way too!

    They seem occupied, I guess. Just wondering if anyone has given them other items to playwith..
  4. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Songster

    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    I have a pen (run) attached to my chicken’s hen house. I use sand on the bottom and leave their 21/2-gallon plastic water jug inside the pen. In the morning they wake up and go to the perches and wait for me to open the door to the pen so they can free-range. Then before I close the door to the pen in the evening they either go inside the coop or they like to socialize on the perches sometimes even after dark. I leave the hen house open all day and night. So I would say they like the perches for entertainment and I put a partial top over the run to keep them out of the weather. I don’t think that matters since I don’t think my chickens care to come out of the rain they just seem to like getting drenched.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  5. milliesmum

    milliesmum Hatching

    Mar 1, 2007
    Really?? mine HATE the rain and stay in the house if the weather doesnt suit them unless I put an extra cover over the run. I have mixed base runs....I was advised to have a hard standing area for during the bad weather so I have some paved area, some gravel and some soil. They have access to the house and run all day and then they are shut in at night too. So there is nothing else they need then? (obv water and food LOL)

    Excellent nice to know I am on the right track. Thank you for your advice.
  6. TheBrilliantHen

    TheBrilliantHen In the Brooder

    Jan 11, 2007
    I like to put thick branches or slices of log/stump in the run, then move them around every few weeks. They attract bugs and worms in the places they settle into the ground (and rodents if you're not rodent proofed), which are exposed when you move them, making a great place for chickens to have a scratching frenzy.

    Sometimes, I will take a shovel in the coop with me, and just plain dig a hole someplace, a little deeper than they tend to dig. They like to dig through the hole and the excavated dirt.

    Corn cobs are a favorite chicken toy, whether the corn has been eaten off of them or not.

    A bale of alfalfa for them to shred is great entertainment, and makes the yolk a deeper color.
  7. Quote:I heard that Alfalfa as poisoniose for chickens..

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