Fun for chickens?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by newtothis, May 21, 2010.

  1. newtothis

    newtothis In the Brooder

    Mar 19, 2010
    Our chickens are finally outside and their run and coop is ready. It is a sand run, pretty large area and I was wondering if they need things to entertain them. The sand was just put in so no bugs or anything in that area now and I want them to be cozy. It just looks pretty boring back there to me. Suggestions??
  2. joletabey

    joletabey SDWD!!!!

    Apr 9, 2009
    western NC
    Something to roost on - and throw in a bale of alfalfa or clover hay or something for them to pick at. They like to scratch and look for bugs.
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Tether Cabbage!


    Solitary game:

    Another lone player:

    Far more interesting than the cat walking by:

    And what's left when they're done with it (within a day):
  4. Andi

    Andi Songster

    A head of cabbage or an apple is a hit (after they figure out it won't eat them and that it tastes goo). I toss a bag of grass clippings in my girls' run. They eventually get bored with it, but have a good time scratching around in it in the mean time.

    If bugs was the reason for sand, I'm surprised. Chickens will eat just about anything that will move. I have a dirt run and each week I go in with a shovel and turn a few shovels worth over. They go nuts digging for worms and enjoy the loose soil for dust bathing. Anyway, toss in a bunch of worms for them to hunt down.
  5. newtothis

    newtothis In the Brooder

    Mar 19, 2010
    LOVE THE CABBAGE! Brilliant! They are about 9 or 10 weeks, is that too young for them to have cabbage that isn't cut up into small pieces? I will toss some worms in there, they gobble them up like crazy. The sand was put there so it wasn't just dirt and mud. No fun for anyone. They have a roost in their house, you think they would like one outside as well? Thanks for the help.
  6. Andi

    Andi Songster

    Sure they would love a roost outside.

    About the initial fear of cabbage. I had to go in with cabbage and hold it. I would then tear small pieces off for them to gobble. Eventually I'd tear pieces off and hold them by the head of cabbage. Next step was letting them peck at the cabbage while I was holding it. Then its time to either set it down or string it up. I like the soccer cabbage myself. The first time I set the whole cabbage down and it moved when they pecked at it, they all got afraid of it again. I cut it in half and they were fine. Now I just put it in whole. Don't worry about if they ingest some sand with it. They have gizzards and it will aid in digestion.

    Have fun trying new stuff. I thought it was almost more fun for me trying new stuff.

    Oh, they love weeds from weeding the garden, too.
  7. karimw

    karimw Songster

    Apr 7, 2010
    Eastern IA
    My 8 week old chicks love their cabbage. I hang one up in the morning and it's gone by the time I get home from work.
  8. MeettheFlockers

    MeettheFlockers Songster

    Apr 13, 2010
    I second grass clippings and a scoop full of dirt. They love scratching around in that stuff and eating bugs.

    I also put some logs in the run that they love to jump around on. I also throw in mealworms, sunflower seeds and veggies.
  9. krcote

    krcote Songster

    May 21, 2008
    Concord, NH
    Anything you can throw in there that involves work to pick apart... mellon rinds, corn cobs, rock hard bread ends, grass clods... you name it!
  10. newtothis

    newtothis In the Brooder

    Mar 19, 2010
    Put an apple on the string and out of 6 chickens not one touched it. Odd, right?? I will toss in grass clippings but just to clarify, you mean after you cut your grass put the green stuff that is chopped off in there? I'll pick up some hay tomorrow and see how that goes. I have a few large rocks we just moved and they were caked with mud and bugs on the bottom. Can I put those in there for a while to keep them entertained? I worry about them choking on stuff, is that common?

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