Chickens love to get busy. They enjoy running around, scratching and pecking at things all the time.
Now when they can’t find anything that resembles those activities, they get bored. And when they do, it could lead to unhealthy behavior and cause serious health problems for your chooks.
Your chickens are going to peck each other, pull at each other’s feathers (including theirs) that could get them injured.
Aside from you having to treat those injuries, situations like these are extremely stressful for chickens. When your chooks are stressed out, they won’t lay eggs and continue to be healthy, happy chickens.
This problem occurs more commonly in backyard settings since they are confined in (small) coops with not much to do. So if you are raising backyard chickens, it’s important to always make sure your pets have something they can ‘play’ with.
Any activity that allows for natural chicken behaviour 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… 🙂
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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 soda bottles 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!
All animals love shredding paper! Dogs, cats, parrots, even your chickens!
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!
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!
Chickens see colour better than we do. So if you still have some old broken CDs in your recycle bin, they will surely love this colourful recycled toy! Simply hang it anywhere where they can reach it. You can also use broken ones by sticking the pieces to a soft ball.
Chickens enjoy ‘work’, too! If you want to create your own compost they will gladly help. They will eat all the bugs and worms, and shred, turn and mix everything else! Definitely a win-win situation. 😉
Dust baths are a way for chickens to stay clean. But aside from that it also serves as a venue for socializing and ‘playing’. Read more about it here.
Pet Bird Toys
Just like with the old CD, anything colourful 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’.
We’ve shared the benefits of having a chicken run before, and this idea is definitely in this list.
You can also make a similar version for the chicks by using containers. Simply cut out the other end of the container, and your chicks will enjoy passing through it like little kids in a playground!
Here’s another 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. Make sure the swing is level!
You can also make your chickens happy with these Eight Healthy Homemade Treats For Your Chickens…