The boredom issue....

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ChickenWisperer, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. ChickenWisperer

    ChickenWisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2008
    Well, 2 of my most agressive hens are starting to rip out my poor little Bo X RIR cockerels hackle feathers, and im convinced its boredom - their run is devoid of all life.

    So - does anyone have any suggestions on some ways of pre-occupying my chickens? They already get corn or scratch grains, ive thrown dead leaves in there, and they get grass every day. Oh dear......[​IMG]
  2. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    i am dreading the loooong winter, where they can only go out in their run...and have no yard time..poor things!..[​IMG]
  3. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Okay--the old hanging cabbage? Do you have some roosts in the run? Rotten logs with bugs. Pieces of sod (no chemicals!). Corn cobs. A dust bath. Branches with leaves that they have to jump for. Birdseed under leaves. I'm sure people could add ideas to make a veritable chicken Disneyland!
  4. ChickaD

    ChickaD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2008
    central Vermont
    Our chickens stay occupied for a while of happy pecking whenever I toss in some corn cobs from our supper.......the whole game lasts longer if you give them ears with some corn still on them, but even cleaned off ones are a big hit. You've already mentioned giving them weeds, which also helps. I give them more than they'll eat at once, so they can keep scratching through them...sometimes I try to include the roots and attached soil so they can look for worms or bugs. One time I piled up a huge pile of weeds in their run, meant to be a compost pile, and they just eventually used up everything!

    Another idea: is there a way you can make them a spot where they can amuse themselves by taking a dust bath? If you can add some dry powdery dirt, possibly mixed with some wood ashes and food grade diatomaceous earth or Stall Dry (sold by Tractor Supply, is a mix of DE and absorbent clay), they should love it and do themselves (and you) a favor by getting protection from lice & mites while they're's funny to watch them run through the pecking order as far as who gets to dust bathe first.
  5. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    I'm hunting for some good oat straw/hay to spread across part of the coop. Lots of digging and some whole oats for food.
  6. Sequin

    Sequin Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2008
    My chickens Love to investigate dangling items. So, maybe put in a new roost or a few unreachable hooks and hang a variety of items(maybe some food and some non-food toys) from them so they can play and work at getting their snacks that way. If it is possible, maybe re-arrange things inside their coop/run - like adding new branches to climb on and investigate. Or, maybe think of getting a chicken tractor and rotate the chickens in that during the week so they each get some new ground to explore.

    I don't know if any of that helped or not, but I hope it did.
  7. the simple life

    the simple life Chillin' With My Peeps

    I just bought some of these for the times they will be cooped up due to bad weather coming, lots of snow or anything like that.
    They cost me $12.99 at my local feed store.
    Purina has a store locator on their website.
    Says its suppose to help with pecking.

    Flock Block SunFresh[​IMG] Recipe

    What it is...

    Whole Grain Enrichment Supplement

    For free-ranging poultry and game birds
    Encourages natural pecking instincts to help reduce cannibalism
    Contains oyster shell and grit
    Available in a 25# block
    Guaranteed Analysis
    Protein, not less than 8.0%
    Lysine, not less than 0.30%
    Methionine, not less than 0.25%
    Crude Fat, not less than 2.5%
    Crude Fiber, not more than 4.0%
    Calcium (Ca), not less than 2.3%
    Calcium (Ca), not more than 2.7%
    Phosphorus (P), not less than 0.65%
    Salt (Nacl), not less than 0.70%
    Salt (Nacl), not more than 1.2%
    Sodium (Na), not less than .35%

    Cracked Corn, Whole Wheat, Whole Milo, Whole Barley, Whole Sunflower Seed, Molasses, Oyster Shell, Calcium Lignin Sulfonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Granite Grit, Salt, Propionic Acit (A Preservative), Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, L-Lysine, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine, Biotin, Vitamin A Acetate, Nicotinic Acid, Riboflavin, DL-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate, Cholecalciferol, Menadione Dimethylpyrimidinol Bisulfite (source of Vitamin K), Folic Acid, Cyanocobalamin, Manganous Oxide, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite.
  8. ChickaD

    ChickaD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2008
    central Vermont
    What a cool idea - thanks for sharing it! Now if I get one of those blocks, I just have to hope our "gals" don't peck at each other as they jockey for position near the block...ahhhhh, chickens! [​IMG]
  9. ChickenWisperer

    ChickenWisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2008
    Great Ideas guys! Thanks so much! I'll start trying some stuff to see what works best.

    Here are a few out of my own pocket, that I have tried so far:

    Watermelons, with seeds still intact - they love it.
    Old tomatoes - not rotten! - might do the trick.
    Oat straw! It is pretty swell, untill theres nothing left to peck at.
  10. krcote

    krcote Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2008
    Concord, NH
    I have an apple tree that has got more fruit then I know what to do with. I stuff apples into the fencing at all different heights- THEY LOVE pecking at them.

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