Playing with your chickens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MedfordChick, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. MedfordChick

    MedfordChick Chirping

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    Aug 18, 2010
    Hi, we live in the city, so we can't let our chickens wander about freely. This means that in the winter they are generally confined to their coop and small run, since we can't move their tractor around the yard in the winter. They are doing well and all, but I feel sorry for them sometimes, because it must be boring being in that little enclosure all day. Are there like activities or games you can play with chickens to give them some attention and exercise? Or am I being silly?
     
  2. mrslb333

    mrslb333 Songster

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    Jun 15, 2010
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Mine enjoy a good game of scrabble although the older ones can be sore losers and this can cause arguments, lol.
    On the serious side maybe just breaking up the day would help with the boredom you could try different food treats like hanging an apple from the roof of their run with string so they have to work at getting some or maybe some corn in one of those dog toys that randomly dispense treats when the move it things like that should keep them entertained. [​IMG]
     
  3. MedfordChick

    MedfordChick Chirping

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    Aug 18, 2010
    [​IMG]

    This is the size of their run.
     
  4. MedfordChick

    MedfordChick Chirping

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    Aug 18, 2010
    Quote:lol Thank you for the ideas (and the laugh).
     
  5. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller

    Quote:[​IMG]

    I have heard of scattering scratch in the pen so they have to dig around for their treats. And skewering cabbage and hanging it for them to peck at. Also making a cage and stuffing it with alfalfa the leafy portion. for them to peck at too. alfalfa is very nutritous for them too. Outside of making their run temporarily bigger thats all I can think of.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011
  6. old geezer

    old geezer Songster

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    Sep 2, 2010
    cambridge , ny
    [​IMG]--no , you defenitely are not being goofy or silly , or what ever---i have 2 runs much larger--a tree branch jungle gym and an apple on a string for them to peck at and bounce arround,,[​IMG],,,but i will still sit on a bucket outside in the run and talk to them--stroke their backs , and pick them up and tell them how pretty the are---trust me--they respond with coo's , soft purr's and little low sounding buk; buk;s--[​IMG]-sometime they will even snuggle into you arm----most any of God 's creatures will respond to love --[​IMG]-well ,i won't test the theory --[​IMG]---but i'll draw the line at lion's , tiger's and bear's--[​IMG]--oh my ...[​IMG].
     
  7. wbruder17

    wbruder17 Songster

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    I like to call it Cabbage tetherball. Hanging a cabbage using a screw and some string. Lettuce works, broccoli too, etc. Its very funny to see them all in a circle waiting for the "ball" to come back around to them to peck. Sometimes they have to dodge it, and sometimes it will hit one in the rump and then they squak and scatter, only to come running back. ITs very amusing to watch and they really seem to love it. Keeps em busy for a good amount of time.
     
  8. aprhardy

    aprhardy Chirping

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    Dec 3, 2010
    Floyd Va
    What a wonderful topic! Thanks for asking MedfordChick! I'm new to chickens too and was wondering what I could do to entertain them on the days I don't let them out to free range bc of weather. I like the ideas posted, I'd got the hen treat balls from Randall Burkey (www.randallburkey.com) but was slightly disappointed with their size, and that only a few hens could get around one to play, but they did seem to enjoy it. The ideas listed in here are so helpful to me also! Thanks every one!
    [​IMG]
     
  9. KimM

    KimM In the Brooder

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    Jan 9, 2011
    Get them a bale of hay. Mine love it. I just plunked it in the run and they have a blast pulling pieces out of it, scratching through it, playing king of the mountain etc.
     
  10. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    You can take a cement mixing tray from Home Depot and fill it with sand or dirt partway. Make it not too heavy. Put that in the run for a few hours so they can take a dirt bath.

    Also, you can dig up a square of sod and put it in the run. They will eat the grass off it. My chickens love it.
     

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