1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

My confined chickens are slowly going mad

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chicken.Lytle, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    My six formerly free range chickens are not happy that I have confined them to a measly 800 square foot fully enclosed run. They are going stir crazy.

    What are some free or super-cheap things that will amuse them?
     
  2. pharmchickrnmom

    pharmchickrnmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,109
    142
    226
    Apr 13, 2010
    I hang a head of cabbage in my tractor and they have fun pecking at it as it swings back and forth. I also mix some boss in their litter so they will dig for it and turn over the litter at the same time. I also have a moveable run attached to my tractor (although its winter so nothing is moving!) and I open the door every day and give them the option of going out. Only time it stayed shut was when we got a snow storm last weekend. My 8 girls live in a 4x8 tractor and are okay with being cooped up for a day or two. Any longer than that and I get bawked at bigtime! Perhaps some branches put in there would give them something different to do. Good luck.
     
  3. BethieofVA

    BethieofVA Chillin' With My Peeps

    492
    6
    131
    Mar 27, 2010
    Yorktown, Virginia
    Chicken.Lytle :

    My six formerly free range chickens are not happy that I have confined them to a measly 800 square foot fully enclosed run. They are going stir crazy.

    What are some free or super-cheap things that will amuse them?

    800 sq foot that is a house! I have eight perfectly content chickens in a 40x40 run!! They have a roost, stump and lots of ground to peck and scratch.​
     
  4. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:800 sq foot that is a house! I have eight perfectly content chickens in a 40x40 run!! They have a roost, stump and lots of ground to peck and scratch.

    Did I mention they were spoiled? [​IMG]
     
  5. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    I rake up dry leaves, throw down some bird seed (you could use scratch) and put the leaves on top.. They LOVE it..

    I stuff large suet cake cages w/ greens/veggies from our garden/ stale bread/ cabbage/ leaves/ even big plugs of ground that I dig up w/ grubs/worms in.. I cut four holes into the sides of a large pumpkin and put it in there...

    place a lg. hand full of birdseed on the ground water them, place a board on top of the seeds (I do ten different places)... remove the board in a few days..they seed will be sprouted let them eat one a day and start all over.. My girls think it is heaven..
     
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    When I am not free ranging, I sometimes dig up a square of sod and dump it in the run. They CHOW DOWN and eat all the grass in no time. But they have a ball. Then I just take my shovel and either fill the hole with chicken poo or dump the dirt clod back into the hole sans grass.

    I bring the grass to them, instead of bringing them to the grass. [​IMG]
     
  7. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

    2,435
    15
    171
    Oct 7, 2010
    Conroe, Texas
    If you have a PetSmart in town then buy some live crickets. Open the crickets up in there and watch the show!
    Hide goodies in strategic spots with leaf litter n such to make them feel like they are foraging.
    Someone else (can't remember who as I have been reading way too many posts) said that they found putting raisens and raw peanuts in a heavy duty freezer bag. Close the bag up and toss it in. The chickens will go nuts trying to work the goodies out.

    Move stuff around occasionally for a change of scenery.
     
  8. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,867
    13
    171
    Jul 26, 2009
    Get them a kiddie pool or similar container, and fill it with about six to eight inches of play sand. They'll spend several hours a day dust bathing in the sand.
     
  9. PepsNick

    PepsNick Back to Business

    May 9, 2010
    Egglanta, GA
    Bugs, treats, cabbage (which hasn't ever worked for mine), putting the feed in a new container which somehow encourages them to eat it, adding roosts, sand boxes, playing 'hide and seek' with worms, letting them jump in my lap, all works great.
     
  10. barbieszoo

    barbieszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    229
    2
    103
    Sep 7, 2010
    Stillwater, OK
    Quote:How do you hang/secure the cabbage? I'm new at this. Thanks! So many great suggestions on this thread! I'm enjoying the ideas.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by