Entertainment for your flock?

HollyWoozle

Songster
Jun 12, 2018
242
664
166
Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
Just curious really - do any of you offer your flock anything for entertainment? By that I mean treats, toys, different elements to their environment and that sort of thing. I know that's probably a step too far for some of you but I'm just interested to know. I enjoy watching our flock and seeing how they interact with different things!

Ours have a wellington boot which they greatly enjoy pecking. :lol: My mum got annoyed with some of them pecking her boots all the time so she gave them one of their own. They also have an old seed tray filled with water so it's like a shallow pool, plus a few items hanging from trees (some blocks of corn/seeds for example). Their dust bath is now a giant old tractor tyre which they greatly enjoy. We also have a few chairs in there, mostly for us to sit on, but they seem to enjoy climbing on those too. Lastly I have a little ball which you fill with food and they can roll it around and knock food out.

I'm thinking about making them a swing but maybe that is pushing it. :D
 

WallyBirdie

Songster
Aug 2, 2019
528
1,228
226
I've always meant to add a swing but didn't get around to it. But mine are allowed on our chairs and benches. They have their own flowerbed that became their own dust pond, shallow pans of water to wade through. They have platforms to climb under/over. They have perches...
It's mainly my young ones that enjoy playing. My older ones just get excited for treats (usually bread, fruits and vegetables, and the occasional small handful of catfood).
I have one pullet named Gandalf that actually plays with empty water bottles and caps. She enjoys pecking the bottles and picking up / carrying the caps. She gets so excited, then it turns into a game of keep-away, and they all want the cap.

My little guineas need a fair amount of entertainment. They climb on everything. If left unchecked, they end up on the roof (which is fine as long as they're safe) or... in one instance, one got in the car (window was down). They are better behaved (and fun to watch) if they are kept busy.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
71,281
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SW Michigan
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Stimuli is good, but I'd avoid having too much of it be edible.
Not good to unbalance their overall diet.
There lots of other things to add to a run for 'enrichment',
and you can move them around for a change of pace.
Here's some ideas:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/
...and mine specifically:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/page-2#post-21590290


A mountain of grass clippings keeps my chickens and quail happy for hours. Easy enough to pile it back up into a mountain repeatedly until there's simply nothing left
This makes me cringe...good way to get a clogged crop.
 

HollyWoozle

Songster
Jun 12, 2018
242
664
166
Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
Thanks @aart, I’ll take a look at those links.

We wouldn’t give grass clippings here. We lost a hen to an impacted crop after my stepfather strimmed some long grass (once she was dead we cut open the crop to check the cause and it was jammed full of it) - never again.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
71,281
72,505
1,557
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Thanks @aart, I’ll take a look at those links.

We wouldn’t give grass clippings here. We lost a hen to an impacted crop after my stepfather strimmed some long grass (once she was dead we cut open the crop to check the cause and it was jammed full of it) - never again.
Yep, have seen several cases.
Tho it can depend on the type of grass, how long the clippings are, and various other factors.
 

chickens really

Crazy Call Duck Momma
Premium member
Sep 8, 2015
59,490
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The Funny Farm....Alberta, Canada
I have tree stumps a large rock and a swing. The adult birds don't care about the swing but baby chicks love hopping from the stumps to the swing then fly off only to line up and do it again. I have sand in my Run so they definitely dig holes and have great dust baths. :frow
 
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