Wanting out of the run!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mommysongbird, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. Mommysongbird

    Mommysongbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2011
    Small Town, Virginia
    What can I do to ease my girls 'nerves'? They want out of the run so bad, they can taste it! I feel so bad for them to have to stay in the run all the time (or the coop). Our EE will pace back and fourth under the coop and stare out to the other side of the fence. Our other girls will do the same, but they pace the whole length of the run sometimes. Is there anything I can do for them? Are they bored? Do they need something in the run???

    They CANNOT freerange b/c of where we live and because of dagerous plants that are on the property (periwinkle) and then there is the railroad tracks and the road. So again, freeranging is NOT an option.
     
  2. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    TOYS!

    Get them things to perch on and mixed it up. I have some small logs and a 2 x 4 run through two cinder blocks in my run. But I move them around all the time.

    I also have my compost bin inside their run and try to turn it once a week and leave them several inches of stuff to root through looking for bugs, etc.

    Get a treat ball that you can fill with seeds and let them knock that around trying to get the seeds out. I got mine from Treats for Chickens.
    http://www.treatsforchickens.com/categories/Toys-for-Pet-Chickens/

    I also bought a wire basket (I think it's a suet holder for a woodpecker block) that I'll stuff w/ spinach or other greens and let them pull and peck at that for a while.

    I only let my girls out for 20-60 minutes each day when I'm home from work. It's not safe for them to be out with out someone home to watch them. So they live for that little bit of freedom. I recommend you never let them out our they will come to expect it and will only get more frustrated.
     
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    You can cut a square of sod and deliver it to them like a pizza in the run. Or grass clippings (using yard scissors), but only 2-3 inches long to prevent impacted crop.

    They will literally tear the sod apart and all that is left is roots, even tearing the dirt out of it. [​IMG]
     
  4. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

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    Bay Area, CA
    Quote:Oh, yes, great suggestion. I've been told that sod from the store has lots of chemicals and fertilizers on it. So you might want to grow your own. I did this for a while and the hens do love it.

    I also grow nasturtiums in the garden and will yank out a few vines from time to time and let them scratch those apart and eat them.

    A big bag of leaves dumped into the run can provide hours of amusement especially if you spike it with seeds or better yet, crickets and/or meal worms.
     
  5. Mommysongbird

    Mommysongbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2011
    Small Town, Virginia
    Quote:Thanks for the Treat Ball link. I have never seen anything like that. We had a wire basket thingy that use to be our rabbits, but I cannot find it anywhere, so I am going to have to either buy another, or make one! Also finding things to put in it is going to be hard, especially with winter coming.

    I am going to have hubby to build a 'playground' of sorts for them too, maybe that will help.

    One of our girls jumped out of the egg door one day. I didn't know she was in the coop until I opened the door and realized that the coop-to-run door was closed so she could not get out into the run. So when I opened the egg door, she jumped out and just kinda squated down and sat beside me.

    Buffy, our EE is at the end of the pecking order, so she seems to be the worst at wanting out.
     
  6. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

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    Bay Area, CA
    Quote:Thanks for the Treat Ball link. I have never seen anything like that. We had a wire basket thingy that use to be our rabbits, but I cannot find it anywhere, so I am going to have to either buy another, or make one! Also finding things to put in it is going to be hard, especially with winter coming.

    I am going to have hubby to build a 'playground' of sorts for them too, maybe that will help.

    One of our girls jumped out of the egg door one day. I didn't know she was in the coop until I opened the door and realized that the coop-to-run door was closed so she could not get out into the run. So when I opened the egg door, she jumped out and just kinda squated down and sat beside me.

    Buffy, our EE is at the end of the pecking order, so she seems to be the worst at wanting out.

    Yea, those EE's can be high strung too and not so easily confined. Mine was always the first to SHOOT out of the gate to get to the garden when I opened the gate.

    For the treat basket, you could just put it on the ground or hammer a stake into the ground and slip it over it.
     
  7. Mommysongbird

    Mommysongbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2011
    Small Town, Virginia
    Quote:Oh, yes, great suggestion. I've been told that sod from the store has lots of chemicals and fertilizers on it. So you might want to grow your own. I did this for a while and the hens do love it.

    I also grow nasturtiums in the garden and will yank out a few vines from time to time and let them scratch those apart and eat them.

    A big bag of leaves dumped into the run can provide hours of amusement especially if you spike it with seeds or better yet, crickets and/or meal worms.

    Don't really have any sod, we barely have enough grass in the yard sometimes. We have been pulling as many dandelions as we can find, since that seems to be a favorite. We have kudzu vine and they LOVE the leaves from that, as a matter of fact, that is the ONLY leaves we have. There is an apple tree next door, guess I could try to get some leaves from that before they are all gone. Everything is turning so quickly around here right now.

    Trying to find other treats for them, but don't want them to eat too many and then not eat their layer feed, which is something I have noticed when we give them grass and dandelines and the Kudzu leaves. They will eat all of that and just leave their feed. I have not given them any scratch for a few days b/c the mornings have not been too cold.
     
  8. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

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    Bay Area, CA
    Treats for Chickens sells these seed sprouting kits. I sprout wheat and sunflower seeds and give those to the hens. They LOVE them. Just something different. And you probably don't need a kit do sprout them. It just makes it easy since you need to rinse the seeds 2x daily.

    Others will chime in too. I get the best ideas from people on this group. Things that are so simple and seem so obvious but I never would have thought of them.
     
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    could you put some bamboo or reed fencing around the run so the chickens cannot see out and notice the grass is greener out there.
     
  10. Nonny

    Nonny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Mine do that as well, but usually it's because they're waiting for me to come out and give them a snack and some attention. Once I've done that they'll happily spend the rest of the day in there dust bathing and scratching up the ground.

    Occasionally I'll put a quarter of a pumpkin in there for them, or an old cabbage from the greengrocer (I get them free - the ones that aren't quite good enough to sell) and chuck in a bit of straw for them to scratch around under.

    Mine are used to having the whole yard but they're having to stay in the run a lot lately because we're landscaping.
     

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