My Chicks are Bored!

liblet

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 24, 2014
9
0
14
Oceanside, California
Hello. We are new to raising chickens but have a pretty sweet little setup for our 3 Buff Orpingtons. They seem fairly happy as they are chirping, eating, sleeping and pooping! My big question though, is...they seem bored!! What is a safe little something we can put in their brooder to give them some interest? A ball of aluminum foil? A lettuce leaf? Suggestions please! (Thanks)
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
Premium member
6 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,569
14,784
761
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
How old are your chicks?
I'm a big fan of providing "enrichment" (as the zoos label it) for animals - species and age appropriate things to do, explore or eat are great ways to do this. It isn't "necessary", but anything I can do that will improve the quality of life I can offer the animals I am privileged enough to look after is fair game.
Providing structures for them to explore, climb on, etc is a great place to start. Introducing anything new to their environment will prompt curiosity - and while they may initially be suspicious, it doesn't take long for them to start hopping on/off, climb up /down, etc - especially once the first chick makes a move as the others don't want to miss out on whatever is going on. You can introduce, allow play and then remove so the novelty of that item doesn't fade as fast - rotating a few different items.
As for food - are you currently offering your chicks grit? If not, stick to chick starter/grower feed only. If you want to add "treats" to their diet, you need to provide grit first. Once you have the grit in place, you can start offering a variety of treats to supplement their starter/grower (but keep in mind they are just that, treats - they should be the "sprinkles on the cupcake", not the bulk of their diet). There are several threads that list treats for chicks here on BYC
 

liblet

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 24, 2014
9
0
14
Oceanside, California
They are about 4 days old I think. They came in on the 12th. I am afraid to add anything they could choke on and/or would be dangerous for them.
 

liblet

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 24, 2014
9
0
14
Oceanside, California
Oh...also, I have held them each for a few minutes about 4X today (we brought them home yesterday late afternoon). I would take them outside, but it is too cold for them.
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
523
448
South Georgia
Picking them up can frighten them if they haven't walked onto your open hand first. Lay your hand in the brooder and let them explore it. Add a bit of moistened feed to the palm.
 
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