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Submit your ideas on helping beat winter boredom in the coop/run

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by BJ, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. BJ

    BJ Songster

    Mar 20, 2007
    What do you do to help with winter boredom? I let my girls out in the run every day...but they don't get let out into the yard for their evening free range in the winter. The cold weather came so quickly this year! The girls don't have as much to do, and I don't want them to start pecking each other for lack of anything better to do.

    I need some ideas on combating winter boredom!
  2. skand

    skand Songster

    Sep 29, 2008
    Odessa, Tx
    Get some bird toys for parrots?
    bells, hanging blocks, a ball ?
    Although, I do know mine don't like football. Especially, Popcorn the leghorn roo.
  3. I gave mine a head of cauliflower in each coop Sunday.

    Skand, you are so bad...
  4. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    The birds are on my schedule so that I can better interact with them. My schedule, altho' I'm up both earlier and later . . . well, they're a lot younger than I am [​IMG].

    Morning, they are pretty much on their own and they seem to be kind of slow off the roost. Their pop door is open by the time it is light so they can come out onto their sunporch. They have been allowed all the way out into the backyard at least once each day even tho' it may be only for 30 minutes, or so.

    After dark and when they've left the sunporch for the lighted coop, I try to provide some entertainment. Mostly, it is just showing up with snacks - usually just a little bit at a time. That way I can stretch the goodies over the afternoon. They sometimes go in just a few minutes after 3PM.

    By 8 o'clock, I have already been out at least 2 or 3 times. This is when I refill the feeder and give them fresh water. I leave the coop door open as I carry things from the garage and back & forth across the lawn. They stand at the door and watch for me but won't come out into the darkness. By 8:30 and with full crops, they are on the roost.

    So, I'm their entertainment. I've thought about wearing a clown suit [​IMG].

  5. cheeptrick

    cheeptrick Songster

    May 1, 2007
    New Hampshire
    digitS' :

    So, I'm their entertainment. I've thought about wearing a clown suit [​IMG].



    I'd nail two BIG galvanized nails at beak level and stuff a cabbage/cauliflower on it every week. It helps with my birds...they really LOVE pecking at it. I have 2 of them set up on opposite walls.

    I also have an old garden mirror in there and they seem to really enjoy sitting there looking at them selves.

    I let them out in the snow too...during the day.

    Keep your roos to a minimum and make sure you've got enough space per bird and you will not have problems with chickens being bored and pecking each other.

    Having 3 kids playing with them daily also is good thing to have! [​IMG]
  6. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I love the Flock Blocks, although here they cost $10 each. My chickens love to peck at it and a Flock Block literally stopped them from pecking each other last winter when I had a full capacity hen house.

    I also will scatter Scratch around the hen house floor and that gives them something to scratch around looking for.
  7. Chirpy, how much are the flock blocks? I need to pick one of those up next time I'm in town...
  8. Hobbley_Farm

    Hobbley_Farm Songster

    Sep 9, 2008
    Pilot Mountain, NC
    I found that scraps of meat really liven up the chickens. It's like a mass confused football game! 1 Gets some meat, everyone tries to swipe the meat, someone does, then it's off again! It's a hoot!
  9. wendy

    wendy On the Hill

    Jun 14, 2007
    central louisiana
    what is a flock block and where do you buy them?

    i use a suet basket and put things in there. i throw out bird seed and boss in the run to have them peck at. there is also a big can i hung from the tree and drilled some holes in it. i put bird seed in there too. the chickens swing and peck at it to get the seeds out. entertains them for hours!
  10. Flock Blocks are a Purina Product, so they'd be at the Purina Dealer/feed store.

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