How to keep chickens entertained in a run....

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by fasschicks, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. fasschicks

    fasschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 10, 2013
    South Central Wisconsin
    Does anyone have any ideas on how to keep hens entertained while being in a run (mine is all sand - 15x7 for 6 birds)? I am afraid with having them in a sand run all day/every day they will get bored and not do a lot of pecking/digging (or at least not find anything to eat besides their feed). They will be pretty much confined to their coop (6x7) and sand run (7x15). On the weekends, I will try to get them to range in a movable penned area, but during the week (especially winter), they will be in the coop/run most of the week.

    Would love to hear all of your ideas - even if they are quirky. I would love to make their life as enjoyable/entertaining as I can.

    Fass
     
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Forest Grove, OR
    Here's a few ideas:

    Put veggie scraps in a suet cage and hang it.

    Hang a whole cabbage (like a tether ball).

    Get a seed block.

    This is a great time for pumpkins. Cut one in half and they will clean it out, gooey stuff, seeds and all.
     
  3. jimmywalt

    jimmywalt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine are cooped just like yours............

    I throw in grass clippings (they eat and pick through a lot of it), large amounts of leaves (to pick through), vegetables (corn on the cobb), breads/buns to pick at and eat, straw to fluff up, kick around, and eat the seeds that are within it.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Southern Oregon
    Toss scratch or regular feed in the run. They'll spend lots of time scratching through the sand for the feed.

    I don't think it will work with your sand, but in my run I keep pieces of plywood laying on the ground. Every so often I flip them over and let the flock enjoy the buggy goodness that's developed underneath.

    folks here have also drilled small holes in 2 liter bottles and filled with feed or scratch, let the birds chase the bottle around and eat the feed that comes out.

    Large veggies they have to peck at a lot are also good--cabbage is a classic. Winter squash, melons, pumpkins, things like that. Even apples. don't chop any of these up, the idea is to let them peck at them.
     

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