My girls are feeling a little cooped up...lol...hanging cabbage didnt work

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by shoregirl68, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. shoregirl68

    shoregirl68 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    On day 4 of snow covered ground, frigid temps with no end in sight per weather station. Any suggestions other than the hanging cabbage to entertain my girls. They didn't like it when I tried it yesterday.

    It's not horribly cold, 15 degrees, but they hate the snow.

    They are given regular feed, cracked corn, and treats. Fresh (unfrozen) water twice a day We tried feeding them cabbage in little bits by hand and they "spit" it out. Meal worms are getting expensive.

    I just don't want them to start pecking at one another or get sick. We are down to 3 since the neighbors dog killed 2 more Jan 3rd. (I have post on that in predator forum).

    Plus our local supply store is out of shavings because of the weather and I want to freshen the coop up. Have straw but not really liking it.

    Any suggestions at all appreciated. This is our first winter and it hasn't been this cold and snowy in 4 years.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
  2. DavidKerk

    DavidKerk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A ear of corn hanging just high enough that they have to jump about an inch or two will keep them busy for a while. Also, you could try shoveling a little bit of their run and throwing corn in it.
     
  3. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Perhaps try some black oil sunflower seeds too. It is not too expensive when you buy the big bags from Tractor supply.
     
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    A flake of alfalfa hay works, they love to scratch it apart and eat all the little leaves. The stems can stay behind and add to the bedding. If you toss a handful of scratch or other grains into the hay all the more foraging fun to be had!
     
  5. ChickenCurt

    ChickenCurt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you have any fall or winter squashes, i.e.; pumpkins, you'll have some real happy chicks. Also, I feed a lot of grass hays, it will keep your chicks busy foraging and if you use it outside your coop the missed/fallen seeds give chickens a salad bar of sprouts plus it reduces pre-bagged feed which is healthier in situations where you can't find non-GMO feed. [​IMG]
     
  6. shoregirl68

    shoregirl68 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have Timothy hay for our guinea pigs. Any issues with my girls scratching through that. I did put straw out where they exit coop and that seemed to coax them out for some peck and scratch fun for a while.

    Great suggestions! Thanks everyone. This forum is wonderful!
     
  7. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Sure. They do love to pick all the little leaves out of the alfalfa but they will have a fine time scratching through anything you toss down. Mine also like to dig through the oat hay that my goats eat looking for the seed heads.
     
  8. hollymh

    hollymh *A Scrambled Egg*

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    We were iced over for almost a week straight and temps crazy cold, the girls stayed entertained with scratch grains, whole tomatoes--- I bought a watermelon and gave them half, I also broke some pumpkins but made it to where they had to work for the goody. I broke up the ice and they kind of just hung out in that little patch until it melted away. I like the ear of corn idea too, we didn't have any picking at each other but a few pullets got the sniffles so I brought them into the garage until it warmed up a bit, the smaller ones always seem to end up with the sniffles when we have crazy weather changes.
     
  9. Beanzie

    Beanzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pumpkins are great, too bad I didn't realize how much the chooks love them until now! We had two big ones and I smashed them both, they just went to town. I will definitely be planting some, even if it is "just for the chickens". [​IMG]

    Our coop actually used to be a double-eight milking parlor up until about 2008 when we sold the cows. There was a 'pit' in the center where you milk, and now all of the equipment is out of the parlor the pit is filled to the brim with sand. The ladies love the giant sandy area. This area is just our winter coop, so they definitely appreciate the feeling of sand/dirt mid-January. This summer I hope to make more improvements, but they are enjoying it thus far. For those who aren't blessed with a giant concrete hole to fill with sand, they will appreciate even a plastic pool full of it. [​IMG]

    Most of what you see here is sand. [​IMG] Except the part that is concrete.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. fiberart57

    fiberart57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you clear some snow from around the coop door and throw some straw down on top of it? This seems to work to get my girls out of the coop no matter how cold it is and they have fun throwing the straw around.
    I use straw because they are less likely to eat it and get crop bound. Throw some corn on the straw and they'll really have fun.

    Mary
     
    1 person likes this.

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