Toys? Anyone else do this?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by fledgling, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. fledgling

    fledgling Songster

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    Apr 8, 2009
    Keystone Heights, FL
    I have a theory about baby animals and mental stimulation. Puppies, kittens, calves and foals all seem to be better problem solvers as adults if exposed to a variety of stimuli as babies. Toys play an important role in mental growth.

    So, um, my baby chicks have had toys in their brooder since day 1. I use a brightly colored plastic ball that tinkles when moved (cat toy), a parakeet mirror, a bell, toilet paper rolls and a bird ladder. The first day, every group of chicks I have raised pecks away at the cat toy and move it all around their brooder. I love to watch them interact with the toys and they seem to enjoy discovering a new toy in their brooder. I will rotate toys in as they grow to keep them stimulated. Their favorites will go to the laying hen suite with them when they grow up. [​IMG]

    Anyone else this silly about toys for baby chicks? [​IMG]

    I have pictures, if anyone is interested.
     
  2. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    No...... not till now! [​IMG] Puppys get toys, [​IMG] as well as kittens, [​IMG] ferrets, [​IMG] parakeets, [​IMG] so why not. Tomorrow my chickies get toys! [​IMG]
     
  3. sharol

    sharol Songster

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    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    I've been adding something each day. Today I put an additional roost bar (this time with the 2 inch side up (of a 1x2)) a little higher in the cage/brooder - maybe 10" high. I didn't figure they would get on it for a while, and when I checked on them later, the 2 most dominant chicks (yes, already) were up there duking it out. The Delaware won temporarily, but pretty soon they all had it figured out.

    Earlier there were 4 of the 7 in a tight little row on the lower one (1" side up - about 3 inches off the floor).

    They have a chunk of sod with grass that I rotate in and out as it recovers, a dirt bath made from a cookie sheet, a stick from the yard, a feather duster, and a toliet paper roll. They have an amazing capacity for play, don't they?

    [​IMG]
     
  4. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

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    Oct 18, 2009
    Connecticut
    I LOVE those ideas! I've got three day old Silver Spangled Hamburg chicks in brooder right now and they are SO getting a chick gym in the morning! Thanks for the fun ideas!

    [​IMG]
     
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I always included an empty toilet paper roll in the brooder with the other stuff. Plus a baby roost bar, too. When I got the bantam chicks, they were SO small I added a feather duster for them to snuggle into.

    I also *ahem* encouraged them to learn how to get out of the brooder. Never put a cover on it. Cheered 'em on when they made it to the edge of the brooder to perch and look around. I've always set the brooder(s) up in the bathroom - easy to clean! - and as they got older the chicks would sometimes be found standing in the middle of the bath mat, or up on the counter peering at its reflection in the sink faucet.

    They had full run of the bathroom, but always jumped back into the brooder to go to night-night.
     
  6. DragonEggs

    DragonEggs Songster

    May 11, 2010
    Borger, TX
    OMG You're BRILLIANT! I work with animals, why didn't I think of this? Glad Wal-Mart is open 24 hours!
     
  7. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

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    Oct 18, 2009
    Connecticut
    BTW: YES, let's see the pictures!
     
  8. NYchickies

    NYchickies In the Brooder

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    Jul 21, 2010
    That's a great idea! My chicks are SO fascinated when I put my hand down with rings. Honestly, I think that any mental, or physical stimulation is going to produce a healthier adult.
     
  9. sharol

    sharol Songster

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    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    With 3 dogs (one a dachsund) and a cat, I can't let them out. My doxie is completely obsessed with them and drives us crazy trying to get to them. I'm just hoping that when they get bigger, he will lose interest. That sounds wonderful, though. That way they learn to "go home" to roost on their own.

    Quote:
     
  10. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Quote:He might not. Another reason I chose the bathroom was the door opening OUT, so no little pushing paws (of my doxie) could push the door open when I wasn't around. He NEVER got to go in there to look at the chicks after the first visit.

    Once the chicks were outside, my Zorro could not stop barking at them, whining and running back and forth along the run fencing. He became my "predator check" for loose fencing, holes, any places a predator might get into the run. When Zorro found such a weakness, I would repair it.

    He still managed to kill 3 young pullets when they were at the awkward few weeks old stage.

    After a WHOLE lot of work with him, he leaves the full grown chickens alone. (It helped when the rooster took him on! And then when the two ducks got bigger and ALSO nipped him.) I must be absolutely vigilant when I have chicks under 12 weeks of age (or that size). The bantam breeds got a whole lot of his attention until the rooster convinced him those little birds were under his protection too.

    I have a second doxie who absolutely AVOIDS the chickens at all costs. He's heard me screaming at Zorro, hosing him with a tight stream of water, chasing him and dragging his little butt back into the house. Dooley doesn't want that kind of attention at all. (Zorro is 12, Dooley is 3.)

    Good luck with yours!! I can say NOW, after a LOT of work, that the only thing Zorro really wants is whatever treat I've given the chickens. He's a greedy thief.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010

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