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How to stop boredom??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bonita5kitten, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. bonita5kitten

    bonita5kitten In the Brooder

    Nov 6, 2009

    My chickens normally get a good run in the morning and also in the evenings - as long as I'm home they're running around. However, now that the days are so much shorter they are in bed before I get home from work.. so they're overall run time has decreased significantly. As a result, I'm really concerned they will get bored during the day.

    This is my first autumn / winter of keeping chickens so I'm very much on a learning curve and would welcome any advice. Does anyone have any ideas or know of any products which will help break the boredom for my girls during the day?

    By the way, they dont appear to be displaying any behavioural changes at the moment but just want to be proactive.

    Many thanks [​IMG]

  2. OrpingtonManor

    OrpingtonManor Building the Castle

    Nov 15, 2008
    Martinez, CA
    I don't know how big your coop is, but if there is room inside, you can hang a cabbage as a chicken pinata. Mine love it! [​IMG]
  3. hen-thusiast

    hen-thusiast Songster

    Apr 8, 2009
    Quote:Our ladies love when we do that. Just be prepared, we gave ours purple cabbage and it turned their poop teal! [​IMG]
  4. bonita5kitten

    bonita5kitten In the Brooder

    Nov 6, 2009
    Thats a great idea, thanks I'll definately try that.

    I read somewhere that you can hang old cd's from the top of their coop but to be honest I wasnt sure if this would really do much. Have you tried this?.. or know if its effective?
  5. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Songster

    Apr 14, 2007
    Since, my girls only get to free range a few hours a day, I worried about them being bored... I have two really large suet cage feeders. I stuff--really stuff them-- them full of what ever I have on hand...(right now it's) greens from the garden, I have put pumpkins, tomatoes, squash, cabbage, lettuce, loaves of hard bread, fresh corn on the cob, apples, peaches, pears--like I said anything I have on hand and I hang them just above their head height... My girls love it and when I let them into the run, it's the first place they check..

    I also, have several different feeders @ different heights, w/ different grains/food--such as BOSS, oats, premium birdseed with nuts, berries, etc.. Every week I throw out some birdseed, oats, crickets, mealworms and cover w/ leaves or shavings...giving them something to hunt for.. I use a few pots of birdseed, oats and let them sprout and grow a little then place it in the run. I have a few growing at different stages because it takes them only a few minutes to devour it.

    You could just place a whole pumpkin w/ a small hole in the side--my girls LOVE theirs...
  6. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Crowing

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY
    I think the hanging of the cd's is to keep predators away outside the coop - I do this with mine, the glare of the cd's keeps hawks away fromt he run. I really am not sure what purpose there would be to hang them on the inside of the coop? What would that do to keep them busy??
  7. JENx

    JENx In the Brooder

    Sep 14, 2009
    Leicester, England
    They are suposed to like the reflection of the CD's and peck etc. I've got a couple hanging but they don't take any notice!

  8. bonita5kitten

    bonita5kitten In the Brooder

    Nov 6, 2009
    I've got a mirror in their free range area and its quite funny to watch them peck at it.. you can almost see the confusion on their faces as they try to work out where the extra chucks have come from!!

    Some really great ideas, than you so much. I really like the pinata idea also hiding treats under leaves etc.. I shall give it a go [​IMG]
  9. bonita5kitten

    bonita5kitten In the Brooder

    Nov 6, 2009
    So before I left for work this morning I put a huge pumpkin (in two halves) in with my girls and they went absolutely crazy for it!! It was so funny to see them all sticking their heads deep inside and then emerging with orange bits hanging from their beaks.. looked like they had beards!!

    Thanks for your responses and I will give each one a go in due course.. I dont want to spoil the chucks too much or else I'll run out of ideas!!
  10. cap1717

    cap1717 6 chooks, 1 slave. . . me!

    Jun 12, 2009
    Yup, hanging treats is a great way to amuse / occu;y them. If you have room, you might also want to scatter some straw in a part of the coop, and sprinkle some "scratch" on it. . . my girls love their straw/ scratch areas. I also (here in Phx, AZ) leave a shallow pan of water for them to "wade" in. . . may not be appropriate in the winter in colder parts of the country, but they do love that, too.

    I hang bunches of kale, lettuce, an ear of corn, etc. . . will have to try a cabbage, great idea!

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