We all know how curious chickens are and these fine-feathered beauties need a little help in keeping themselves out of mischief. Try these boredom busters to keep your chickens entertained!
Bored chickens can cause all sorts of problems, from bullying and picking on each other, to destroying your gardens. It’s of the utmost importance to supply your chickens with something to keep their minds and bodies occupied while they’re cooped up.
You might be saying I don’t even know how to entertain one chicken, let alone a whole flock.
We got you covered.
Here are some great tips on how to stimulate your hens and engage them in activities they will love!
Boredom Busters to Keep Your Chickens Entertained
Distract them with Food
Chickens are wild about food, and there are so many ways to make food part of the recreation your flock needs.
Making a rooftop coop garden for your flock takes some simple construction, and a waterproof membrane.
On the top of your coop construct a frame to plant lettuce, spinach, greens, and the list goes on and on. Not only do they get some great exercise by flying up to the roof, but they can also add some additional nutrients to their diet.
Plant a chicken garden
Growing some extra crops just for your chickens is a great way to keep them entertained. Planting melons, pumpkins, and other garden plants around the coop can also be helpful to the flock.
Add them to one side of the run or right outside so they can wind their way into the run and the plants and the bugs that come with plants many times will be most satisfying to your hens.
Alternately, plant some extra crops in your veggie garden and give the bounty to your chickens. You’d be surprised how entertaining a great big smashed pumpkin can be for your flock!
Grow these crops in your chicken garden to keep your hens from getting bored!
These are much like making suet blocks for birds. Make a large treat block with animal fat, grains, mealworms, dried veggies, and a bit of grit which will allow for hours of amusement as they peck the block apart and find all the treats inside.
If you’re too busy to make your own, you can buy one instead, they last a long time!
This toy is inexpensive to make and are such a fun distraction. Recycle one of your clean, dry plastic bottles by putting some holes into the container.
Then fill it with a combination of pellets, mealworms, dried berries or grains. Then throw it in your run to see your chickens shake a leg for hours of enjoyment.
If you want to have an upscale version of the treat shaker, you can buy a few Treat Shakers and place your treats in the bright yellow balls.
This is a great way to take your leftover veggies or a beautiful cabbage, broccoli head or corn on the cob and hang with string from the top of your run for a crackin’ good time.
You can use lots of different veggies but don’t use molded or rotten veggies because it could affect the taste of their eggs or cause digestive problems for you ladies.
Boredom Busters: Outdoor Creations
There are several fun diversions you can add to your coop/run that you can recycle from your farm or backyard.
Stumps and Perches
These can be placed throughout the run and rearranged every few weeks to keep the amusement fresh. You can add treats to them for added entertainment. Piling branches into a corner of the run is also an excellent escape for chickens at the bottom of the pecking order.
These are a snap when you grab a handful of lumber you have lying around, or in a pinch you can buy one to add to your coop!
Chickens love to roost, so this “gem” or gym gives them a new view of life and gets them some exercise to boot.
A good dust bath gives your flock the chance to dust themselves off in a box of sand and wood ash. Bath time is so tantalizing your hens will be standing in line for their turn. It is also helpful to help them to get rid of any mites or parasites.
Climbing ladders of any kind are a favorite activity of roosters and hens alike. Even if you only have part of one use a cinder block on one end and prop it up for ladder exercises to begin.
Chicken Toys for Boredom Busters
Then there are the toys that are so fantastic that your neighbors will think you’ve lost it when you place them in the coop.
Chickens are fascinated watching that bird in the mirror as they strut back and forth. You can attach a mirror either inside the coop or at the base of your run.
This is a real boredom buster, especially, during winter when your flock spends a significant amount of time in the coop. It could also be a boredom buster for you in the winter to watch your hens Just a Swingin’ through the blustery days.
These can bring hours of musical enjoyment for your ladies as they peck out a tune on this merrymaking musical instrument. It is another excellent addition in the coop during the wintertime to help with the long days.
So there you have it some great additions to your coop or run to help keep your hens happy and healthy throughout the year.
Do you have a favorite item you have placed in your coop/run? Share a photo and your story in the comments below.