Who came first, the egg or the chicken? No matter your choice, they exist today. Chickens are like humans; they will learn by what happens around them. It is up to us to keep them entertained so that each chicken learns for their good and at their own pace.
This article will list ten chicken boredom busters to keep them from being bored or getting into trouble.
10 Chicken Boredom Busters:
A pinata is a large paper-mache container filled with goodies, but we can’t give candy to chickens; it’s bad for their teeth. The kind of pinatas appropriate for chicken is healthy pinatas which are super easy to make.
To make a healthy pinata, you first choose the pinata of your choice, I found my chicken to love some cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, so I mix them around. Hang the pinata in the birds’ coop using twine or a rope.
For creatures with such a short span, chickens are very curious, so this is one way to ensure they are entertained. Dodging and pecking at the healthy pinata will be a fun game and also fun to watch. The healthy pinata will also provide them with a healthy boost of greens.
Mirrors and reflections will stimulate their interests and keep the chicken occupied. Chickens take pride in their appearance, and a mirror comes in handy for entertainment as they will constantly be checking themselves out.
It is best to use an unbreakable mirror. The mirror can be of any size or shape but secure it firmly in a safe place, so your chicken won’t knock it over as they fight over it or maybe fight their reflection.
A mirror isn’t the best idea if you have a rooster. The rooster will fight its reflection because it doesn’t take kindly to having another rooster in its territory.
3. Free Food
A chicken’s full-time day job is eating, which is the easiest way to keep them occupied.
Free food will keep your chicken entertained and help maintain the health of their bodies as well as the eggs they produce.
Providing nutritional chicken feed to your girls, allowing them to pick up small amounts throughout the day, keeps them busy, and helps eliminate competition for feed. It’s best to use a food dispenser, so you don’t have to stay in the coop all day feeding your girls.
I prefer providing the feed in crumbles instead of pellets to extend their time picking up the feed. The feed is suitable for their health and saves on feed.
Another favorite treat for my chickens are meal worms. If you learn how to grow your own mealworms, you can essentially have an endless (and nearly free) supply!
4. Jungle-like space
Tropical bird environments are ideal for chicken as it gives them plenty of room to move about and forage for food. Chickens can quickly get bored in a confined space, so providing them with the tools needed to create their own jungle-like space ensures that they are never bored and constantly engaged in an activity.
The jungle-like space can be achieved by:
Chicken adore their perches. A good chicken run will include at least one perch on almost every wall so that the girls can find themselves a place to sit. When they feel like moving around, they can hop off the perch and onto the floor to continue their exploration of their “jungle.” These perches are a great way to keep your chickens engaged in an activity. Get creative with the perches.
A swing is a fun way to keep a chicken entertained as it will give them the feeling that nothing can be better than flopping around on a swing. A swing will keep your chickens engaged enough to prevent boredom. The chickens swinging can also be a source of entertainment for you.
You can fill this space with vines, twigs, and other things to climb. Ladders are great for variety in their environment and keep them busy.
Backyard Friendly Construction
Chicken coops can be designed to allow freedom of movement. Trees and bushes are suitable for keeping the chickens entertained and active. Please make sure there are some low branches where they can sit and enjoy the sunshine.
A stump will give them a place to sit when they need to rest or allow you to attach perches. Provide your chickens with a place to dream away their boredom
5. Dust Baths (Sand Baths)
Dust baths are great boredom busters as they give them something to do. They are also a great way to keep their feathers healthy and clean and take care of their skin. With their feathers soothed, they will be more content, and for maintenance, the dust bath will encourage them to poop less often.
Providing a variety of containers keeps things interesting.
6. Bales of Hay or straw
Hay or straw is a great way to keep chickens entertained. Chickens love to peck around the hay or straw and find tasty morsels that have been left there for them. Hay and straw make it an ideal boredom buster for chickens. Hay helps clean their beaks and preen their feathers.
Putting a pile of straw or a bale of hay will keep your chicken entertained for hours.
Decorations are always fun for everyone to have, from kids to adults, and chickens are no different. Being such curious animals, decorations such as a seashell, starfish, and beach ball keep them occupied.
My girls are fond of Cds I hung in their coop. Hens love shiny things, and they always keep them entertained for hours. You can also do holiday-themed decorations, providing variety.
Having a Christmas tree in their coop could also go a long way.
8. Snacks and treats
Providing your girls with their favorite snacks now and then goes a long way to keep them healthy and happy. Chickens are very picky with what they eat; having a good variety of snacks can keep them engaged.
- Mealworms. Chickens love them and mealworms are easy to grow yourself.
- Grow Sprouts and put them in the coop or some coffee grounds to encourage them to do their preening.
- Alfalfa cake protein treats or nuts – good for their beak.
- Raw pumpkin is a delicious treat and also a great source of entertainment. Just remember to get it out of the run after your chickens have reached their two tablespoon limit.
- Pumpkin pie – a perfect treat, but watch out; they will peck at the crust.
- Rice and almond treats are also great treats. Chickens love them, especially if you add some spearmint to the rice and almonds.
- Birds love coffee, so put in your coop and let them do their preening, then toss in a piece of alfalfa cake for an extra treat.
- Dried fruit is another great treat for your girls.
9. Fun with food
Chickens enjoy “playing” with their food. They will play with their food if you provide it for them. Chicken love to be spontaneous and have fun, and there are plenty of ways you can do this.
Ball tosses are a great way to keep your girls engaged and entertained. Since chickens are curious creatures, having them play with their food (in this case, the balls) keeps them active.
Chicken are natural grazers as they always search for something to eat. You can challenge them to find their food, making it more interesting.
10. Toys and games
Having toys in the coop is a great way to keep them busy; it will also make them feel like they are at the fair.
Each chicken has their personality and will play with toys differently. Some chickens love balls, others love to bat around colorful Wiffle balls or ping pong balls, and others will toss them around until they find their favorite one, then they’ll peck away.
Provide toys with different textures, shapes, and sizes, so the birds are never bored or go without something interesting to play with or chew on. You can even get creative in the materials, use recycled tires to make a jungle gym or even add flowers or herbs. Anything interesting will keep them occupied and entertained.
You can find some good toys for your chicken online, like the chicken playground with a treat basket which is sure to keep your girls busy and well-fed.
Why It’s Important To Keep Your Chickens Entertained
Keeping your chickens entertained isn’t just something that we do for fun as chicken owners. There are mental and physical reason for ensuring that your flock always has something to do. It’s essential to keep your chicken entertained because:
- Your chicken will lose weight. To have a healthy and happy chicken, you must provide enough quality entertainment and sustenance. Chickens naturally eat to maintain ideal body weight, but if they are bored or not entertained, they will probably naturally go on a diet and lose their healthy weight. Keeping your chickens busy keeps them active, making it easier for them to digest their food as they will no longer be stuffing themselves, which helps keep their fullness factor up.
- They will be happier. Chickens play and are very active. If chickens are kept entertained, they will be happy and enjoy a much fuller life.
- They will lay fewer eggs. Sometimes when chickens are bored or not adequately mentally stimulated, they might begin to eat their eggs because they are restless. As you can imagine, this results in lower overall egg production.
- A bored chicken is a sick chicken. The birds are more likely to develop illnesses like heat blisters, feather picking, and dermatitis. Your pets will stay healthier if they have something to occupy their time with.
Keeping your chickens entertained is a very important part of keeping them healthy. If you are keeping a flock of birds, it is always best to keep them engaged.
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