Chickens can be quite creative when it comes to keeping themselves entertained. Free-ranging is their go-to for busting boredom, but some chickens don’t have that luxury and others just get bored when there aren’t enough bugs around in the winter months. A bored chicken is definitely not a happy chicken and despite all the health issues they can get, they can cause havoc in your yard trying to entertain themselves.
What Happens When Chickens Get Bored
When chickens get bored they can get themselves into loads of trouble and form some nasty habits. One of these nasty habits is pecking at themselves or another chicken to entertain themselves. This habit can lead to feather loss, injury and animosity among your flock.
Another thing you would definitely want to avoid is egg eating. Bored chickens often turn to egg eating as a form of entertainment. Unfortunately, this nasty habit takes away your precious breakfast eggs, and there is no guarantee that they will stop after they learn to eat eggs.
Treats might seem like an excellent option to distract your birds, but too many treats can lead to health problems. Fortunately, there are other ways to entertain your flock.
Ways To Entertain A Chicken
Now that you know why you should entertain your chicken, let’s get to the how.
Bales of Hay or Straw
If you want to entertain your chickens for hours on end, simply put a bale or pile of straw or hay in the chicken coop or run. Your chickens will have tons of fun scratching through the pile to search for insects and other hidden goodies until the pile is no more.
Make a Pinata
Unlike pinatas for humans that are filled with candy, you can make healthy pinatas for your flock. Some of the favourites are cabbage, cauliflower or broccoli. Simply take your chosen vegetable string it up with some twine in the coop or run and watch your chickens dodging and peck away at the swinging goodness. This option isn’t just a fun game for your flock, but also provides them with some healthy greens.
Get a Chicken Swing
A chicken swing is always a great addition to any chicken coop, even for chickens that get to free-range. A swing will keep your flock and you amused for hours. Swinging back and forth is a delight for chickens and a great activity to help with that pesky boredom problem.
Chickens have a pecking order and get very interested in any new additions to the flock. Hanging a mirror in your coop will entertain your flock endlessly. You will find your hens pecking, squawking and prancing around in front of the mirror trying to figure out where this new chicken came from and why it’s not intimidated at all.
The mirror can be any shape or size as long as it is safe and secured properly. You don’t want your girls to knock it over and get hurt while they fight over who can peck the intruder in the mirror first. If you have a rooster, it isn’t the best idea to have a mirror. Your rooster will ruthlessly attack the intruder rooster until they hurt themselves or break the mirror. Better find an alternative.
Make a Chook Crumble
Every chicken deserves a treat every now and then. The best is to make them a delicious chook crumble and entertain them at the same time. You can use a mix of nutritious ingredients such as cracked corn for your hens to peck at rather than pecking one another.
You can add as many or omit as many ingredients as you please to keep your flock always entertained. Remember not to overfeed this treat as it can lead to health problems such as obesity.
Chickens absolutely adore their purchase. They use them for some much-needed resting time as well as for play. Adding some extra perches around the coop and the run outside will allow your girls a different perspective of the great outdoors keeping them amused in times of boredom.
You can use pieces of wood, branches, ladders and any other thing you can think of to create a maze of perches for your flock to frolic on.
Keeping your chickens active and giving them a different view of their surroundings is the best way to keep your flock entertained. Your hens will keep being happy and you will be amused at all their antics. Your imagination is the limit when it comes to chook entertainment.