Chickens enjoy getting busy. Most of the time, they are constantly rushing around, scratching, and pecking at stuff. They are social creatures and like to interact with other chickens. It’s important to give them plenty of things to keep them busy. A coop with a lot of wood shavings, an obstacle course with toys and things for them to scratch and peck at, and nesting boxes where they can lay eggs all give chickens plenty to keep them entertained.
Now when they can’t find anything that resembles those activities, they get bored. When you find that your chickens become bored, this can, later on, lead to unhealthy behavior and may result in serious health issues.
Any activity that allows for natural chicken behavior can be considered playing, so anything that encourages that can be called a toy! If you have chooks, then it’s best that you have several toys to keep them occupied.
Have a look at these ten toys for chickens that you can easily make to keep them entertained and healthy all the time… 🙂
10 Toy Ideas for Your Backyard Chickens
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1. Interactive Treat Dispensers
This is a very easy project that you can do using empty plastic containers. As much as possible choose a sturdy one, like a soda bottle or a peanut butter jar. Simply drill holes that are just big enough for the chicken treats to fall through. Make sure to remove any loose plastic pieces that your chooks might accidentally ingest. Fill it with chicken feed, put the lid back on, and give it to your chickens!
2. Shredded Newspaper
All animals love shredding paper! Dogs, cats, parrots, even your chickens! It’s the perfect way to entertain your furry friends and give them a little stimulation. Plus, it’s a great way to recycle all that extra paper you have lying around the house. So next time you’re looking for a fun activity for your animal companions, remember that shredding paper is always a good option!
3. Perching Places
Aside from the chicken roost inside the coop, they should also have a climbing structure outdoors which allows for some physical exercise. You can easily do that by simply putting together some tree branches. You can also build one that is higher and with more climbing ‘steps’ for a chicken jungle gym!
4. Old Tree Stump/Branch
If you have trees in your yard, here’s a good use for a fallen branch or a dead tree log. Simply leave them in one place for a few days and wait for bugs and other creepy crawlies to seek refuge under it. After that, you can turn it over and let your chickens find and peck away the treats!
5. Old CDs
Chickens see color better than we do. So if you still have some old broken CDs in your recycle bin, they will surely love this colorful recycled toy! Simply hang it anywhere where they can reach it. You can also use broken ones by sticking the pieces to a softball.
6. Compost Piles
Chickens are known to be social creatures that enjoy the company of others, so it’s no surprise that they also enjoy a little ‘work’. If you want to create your own compost, they will gladly help. Chickens will eat all the bugs and worms, and shred, turn, and mix everything else! This is definitely a win-win situation for all involved.
7. Dust Baths
Dust baths are a great way for chickens to stay clean. But aside from that, they also serve as a venue for socializing and ‘playing’. Dust baths are basically like chicken spa days, and who doesn’t love a good spa day? Read more about it here.
Your chicken will need a dust bath area that is about 10-12 inches deep and at least a foot wide. You can use a kiddie pool, a plastic bin, or anything else that is deep enough and has smooth sides (no sharp edges!). Fill the bottom of the bath with about 4 inches of sand, dirt, or a mixture of the two.
Once your chickens are in the dust bath, they will start flapping their wings and throwing the sand/
8. Pet Bird Toys
Just like with the old CD, anything colorful that stimulates their curiosity will definitely entertain them. Now, these baby toys are really great for chicks, since it’s not really advisable to give them ‘food toys’. Baby chicks love to explore and play, so giving them something that they can peck at and chew on is the perfect way to keep them entertained. Plus, it’s a great way to help them develop their coordination and motor skills.
We’ve shared the benefits of having a chicken run before, and this idea is definitely on this list.
If you’re a chicken enthusiast, you know that there are endless benefits to having a chicken run. Not only does it provide your chickens with a safe and spacious area to roam, but it also gives them a chance to get some much-needed exercise.
But did you know that you can also make a mini chicken run for your chicks? It’s a great way to let them get some fresh air and explore, without having to worry about them getting lost or getting into trouble.
To make a mini chicken run for your chicks, simply cut the top off of a plastic container (like a milk jug or 2-litre soda bottle) and let them enjoy passing through it like little kids on a playground! It’s a
10. Rope Swing
Here’s a great exercise tool for their feet to help keep them on their roosts. All you need is two cuts of ropes and a wooden rod or tree branch to create a swing. This is especially good for their feet and legs, which tend to be weaker than other parts of the bird’s body. This exercise will improve their balance, increase strength, and prevent the wearing away of the footpads. Make sure the swing is level!
You can also make your chickens happy with these Eight Healthy Homemade Treats For Your Chickens and Things That Will Keep Your Chickens Healthy and Happy…
Looking to build a chicken coop but don’t want to spend a fortune? Check out our free chicken coop plans here…