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environmental enrichment for chickens?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by watchdogps, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. watchdogps

    watchdogps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2011
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    I plan to mostly free range my birds, but at first they will be confined to a barn room, and a run, till they get used to the area, and until we have more perimeter fencing in place. Are there any things that chickens like to "play" with? Seems to me that having something to do is good for an animal, no matter the species, and when they are a little more limited in space I dont want them to turn to picking on each other.
    Any chicken toys?
     
  2. buckabucka

    buckabucka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Mine love to dig through a bag of leaves. I saved bags of leaves last fall, and they really enjoyed an occasional bag dumped in the run this past winter.
     
  3. classicsredone

    classicsredone Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The feed stores around here just got these balls that you put scratch or boss in. The chickens have to roll it around and play with it in order to get treats. It keeps them busy for awhile. Another thing they love is a cabbage. They'll pick at a cabbage together for hours.
     
  4. andi6313

    andi6313 Out Of The Brooder

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    I do the same for my chicks with the piles of leaves from my flower bed and they love it! Especially if I dig down enough to get small bugs and worms in the pile. Ginger is usually the first on the top of the pile and they scratch it down in no time. They also enjoy piles of sand, it helps in the coop too. They do a lovely job spreading it around for me. And the cabbage head is a great idea! I also have a small Suet feeder I stuff full of lettuce for them to pick out and eat. I hang it on the fence, they have to chase it around a bit, but it keeps them busy![​IMG]
     
  5. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Quote:Cabbage hung on a rope..... Cabbage tether ball LOL...

    Put the feeders up on a bench or a chair where they have to do a couple of flaps to get up to. Good for exercising their wings necessary for free ranging. If you have heavy birds you may have to keep the levels lower so they can get up and down easier.

    I have also seen the feeders set up high and putting a ring of tall steps around the outside so that when they drop food down they have to hop back down and reach between the steps to get the fallen bits. But take care they cant get caught... I tried to find the picture of one but I cant find the link If I do I will post again

    Same goes for the waterer put them up on a shelf where they have to fly a little to get to it. Make it a separate shelf from the food.

    The leaf bags are a good idea too.

    But the idea is to duplicate their own foraging in the wild.
     
  6. CacklingCarolyn

    CacklingCarolyn Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:What was the ball thingy called? Who manufactures it? I would love to see a picture of it.
     
  7. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

  8. classicsredone

    classicsredone Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:What was the ball thingy called? Who manufactures it? I would love to see a picture of it.

    I'm having my husband try to track it down...it seemed to disappear when he "cleaned" the garage. They're yellow balls with holes on either end, and they pull apart. Elastic keeps the two pieces tied together. If I remember right they were just called chicken treat balls, and I've seen them at a few feed stores now for about $2.99. They're similar to these dog toys, except that they pull apart so it is easy to fill with BOSS.

    http://www.petzcentral.com.au/products/Amaze%2da%2d-Ball-Treat-ball.html
     
  9. classicsredone

    classicsredone Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay - had to stop at the feed store anyways today. The ball is made by Lixit. It is supposed to be on their website, but I'm having trouble finding the video mentioned on the tag. I did find it on another site, though. They say to fill with mash or crumbles, but BOSS works perfectly. I've seen it priced between $2.49-$2.99 locally.

    [​IMG]

    http://www.theparrotstore.com/chicken-fun-toy.html
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
  10. Animalian

    Animalian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    Australia
    If you have snad/wood chips/shaving in the bottom of the coop, pour meal worms onto it, but let them dig in a bit and hide before letting the girls at it so they have to scratch around and 'hunt' for the bugs
     

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