Chicken Toys – Chicken Foraging
The chicken vets says that - A chicken that is provided with foraging behaviours, interactive chicken toys, environmental enrichment and mental stimulation will be a happier layers and more content, Chicken vets suggest this will lead to less feather pecking, less dominance bullying, better egg production – and even less egg eating and possibly better longevity.
You may already giving your backyard hens “toys” without realizing it. Any activity that encourages intellectual – thoughtful or energetic chicken behaviors is great! .
The Chicken vet -enrichment activities
- Human interaction - from fetch games - to training and rewards - its is really easy to train a chicken as they are so clever!
- Foraging through compost heaps - great.
- Providing table scraps - in inovative ways
- Free ranging - in the garden
- Climbing jungle Jim or chicken climbing frame - furniture- eg large swing – wood structure. .
- Compost piles . The chickens will enjoy digging up insects and grubs and worms etc
- Hanging a desired food treat eg a cabbage - watermelon from a rope.
- Interactive Treat dispensers. - easy cheap and freely availibe from pet shops - usually sold for dogs.
- Dust Bathing Area. old tire filled with dust for them to dust bathe in. is perfect.. You can mix in some Diatomaceous earth
- Climbing/Perching places.. An old tree that fell down on your property (or you cut down) can be erected in the run for this purpose. So easy use your carpentry skills and imagination
- Pet bird toys
- Mirror (the unbreakable varieties for babies cribs or parakeets etc. are ideal. Better safe than sorry.) An old cd on a string would be an excellent substitute for this as well. .
- Make a chicken swing
- Old stump or branch full of bugs, grubs and other creepy crawlies. This works for any piece of wood. Just leave it in one place for a few days to a week or so and let the bugs seek refuge under it – then just flip it over and let the flock go to town.
- newspaper to shred
- Cricket tubes (or just let crickets loose in the coop when they will be confined for an extended period of time). You can find these at most pet stores.
- Sunflower heads complete with seeds
- DIY bird feeders.
Use your imagination. Encourages their natural behaviors of eating, scratching, pecking, bathing, flying, perching or flock socialization!.
the chicken vet