What is in your run for "entertainment"?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CoopDeViIIe, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. CoopDeViIIe

    CoopDeViIIe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have read alot about what people put on the floor of their chicken runs, but I'm curious what some of you have put in the run specifically for the chicken's entertainment or well being? Any shrubs to play in, or perches to climb?
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    Chickens are not real big on playing - not in the way a puppy or a kitten plays. What does interest them is to scratch around in the dirt and find bugs. They also find dust-bathing beneficial (and feels good too), and sun-bathing apparently feels good because mine do it a lot.

    In my chick pen, I have some large branches for them to jump on and off. I also have a low roost for them to jump on and off. They don't sleep on it since they sleep in the coop at night, but they enjoy practicing jumping onto it and having a place to nap during the day.

    In my brooder, I place a bowl of common garden dirt, right from day one, and I've found even day-old chicks will peep excitedly while scratching through it to find tiny pebbles, minerals, and what-have-you. When they graduate to the chick pen, there are areas they can scratch up and continue that. My adults also have lots of areas to scratch, dust-bathe etc.

    In winter I will sometimes get them a flock block to peck at since there is no forage available. Some people hang a cabbage to give them something to do as well.
     
  3. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    I have several once live tree branches, one is huge and extends the entire width of the pen, they love it! i also throw some grass clippings in, scratch, fruits(tomatoes, grape sized are a fave to peck at)

    Basically i do my best to mimic behaviours they could do if they were 100% loose(which they cannot do here or they'd be dead to be rather blunt lol) I have tree stumps, pine cones, sticks.. and the floor is dirt, it's also smack dab beside some huge cedar trees which are growing into the run(it's chain link)
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
  4. Mine have a few spare tires to play on. they love them, and they are black so they stay a little warmer in the winter from the sunlight. Dirt/dust bath, a large stump - they love to pick at it as it rots away. a log or two to play on. My girls are fenced in a 100X300 foot area that has lot of pine trees, so they play with the trees as well.

    I keep a folding chair and footstool in there. They play with ME!!!!! [​IMG]


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    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
  5. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    Lovely picture! I hadn't thought of a spare tire? do you lay them flat, put them upright?
     
  6. i just put it flat on the ground. They mess around the inside and will perch on the sidewall of the tire. When it snows i run the shovel over the top of the tire to clean it off and the sun just melts it quickly. they have a warm soft perch. I used a 4 wheel tire, a lawnmower tire and two regular tires over the space of the run for them.
     
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  8. Queen Bee

    Queen Bee Out Of The Brooder

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    I agree, my chickens don't play as such... They are more food driven so----I hang the suet cake cages in the coop and stuff them with greens/bread/cabbage 1/4s what ever I have. I have a dish pan that I fill with water and in the summer, I freeze milk jugs full of water and I put them out in the dishpan to cool them off. I use a 3x3 pc of plywood to cover a handful of birdseed which I have watered and left to sprout for a few days, I move it around doing the same thing each time.. I grow approx. 2 acres of sunflowers --I cut them and hang the entire head/stalk for them . We also plant a large patch of greens , each day they get a 5gl. bucket full of them roots/dirt and all.. They get whole pumpkins/winter squash in the fall, I rake all the leaves and throw it into their run.. I also give them bird seed daily..summer time they get grass clippings from the mower.. I have too many predators to let them free range all the time so I try to fill the voids with things they would find if they were out...
     
  9. CoopDeViIIe

    CoopDeViIIe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I like the tire idea, I have some old truck tires in the garage I can use for that very thing.
     
  10. some GREAT ideas! I am borrowing some of yours. I like the sprout ideas with the birdseed. Do you ever have a problem with them getting moldy?
     

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