How to Relieve Boredom during the cold winter months

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Frankie1001, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. Frankie1001

    Frankie1001 New Egg

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    Sep 6, 2014
    Hi I live in Scotland where the weather is horrible from now until May. I got my girls and my rooster in July so they have had a lovely time in the garden and their run enjoying the sun.
    Now the weather is cold and rainy and the days are shorter, there are in there runs during the day but by the time I come in from work it is dark and they are tucked up in their coop and this is usually the time they are out enjoying the garden, so now they only get out their runs at weekends to enjoy the garden.
    Their run is sufficiently sized for them but has anyone any suggestions on things we can do for them so they are not bored during the day while I am at work.
    In the morning I have been giving them lovely treats for when they get out the coop such as fruit and yougart or some warm porridge. We have built them a swing in their run and hung some pecking blocks but does any one have any other suggestions on making their run fun for them.
     
  2. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 21, 2012
    South West France
    First of all, [​IMG]

    There are lots of threads on BYC about winter activities to stop birds being bored, and I am sure that you will get some more ideas from other BYC members. However, it may be better if you move your question to the 'behaviours' section of the forum - it would be more suited there than in the 'emergencies and diseases' section.

    Until you move your question, and in order to give you more than the basic ideas of 'suspended fruit and veg' and 'treat toys', it would be interesting to know how many birds you have, and the size of the run. If you have enough room for a swing, then maybe you have got a bit of space to add extra items that they can climb up onto to get at treat? (A bit of a 'chicken assault course' that makes them think and work for their food!)

    Also, why can they not free range unsupervised? Is your garden too small (if you are in an urban situation then I can understand that), or do you have a lot of predators around? I live in a very rural area, with hawks and foxes, and at first was paranoid about letting my girls out of their run, but I soon realised that they know how to hide from birds of prey, and that the foxes round here only come out after dusk, so now my girls are out all day every day, even when I'm at work for 8 hours. They are much happier for it (even if I still worry like anything and rush out and check on them first thing when I get home!)
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014
  3. Frankie1001

    Frankie1001 New Egg

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    Sep 6, 2014
    We have 3 hens in one pen which about 12x12 and we have 3 bantams and a bantam cockerel in another pen which is 6x6. we stay in an urban area We don't let them out unsupervised in case someone opens the garden gate an lets them free and we have children next door who behave like wild animals so I don't want to risk it.
    I like the idea of a chicken assault course Im sure my husband could come up with something.
    I probably just feel bad as they can't get out of their pens for a few hours a day but I am hopefully starting a part time job instead of my full time one where I will be around the home a bit more,
    I thought by providing entertainment they wouldn't start behaviours such as pecking each other or self inflicted injuries or behaviours. This is my first winter with my girls and wee boy and I have become so attached and want to do the best for them.
     
  4. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 21, 2012
    South West France
    This thread has some excellent ideas:

    what-do-you-all-do-to-keep-your-birds-from-being-too-bored-all-winter-what-do-you-feed-for-treats

    One of the best things I did last year was to keep all the leaves that I raked up off the lawn, and spread them in the run just in front of the coop with a bit of scratch chucked in and mixed about. Although the girls have access to the whole garden they used to love coming back to this area and scratching around in it to find the grains. It started off as a really deep pile of leaves, and ended up as a thin layer of mulch. It also saved me a huge amount of space in my compost bin, where the leaves usually end up!
     

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