Why did the chicken cross the road? An age old question, but in this instance it is rhetoric, I’m here to tell you that this metaphorical chicken wandered the streets because she was BORED! Yes that’s right, even chickens need some mental stimulation.
The peninsula is a great place to have some backyard chickens, not only does it mean fresh eggs for us but they prove to be eager recipients of a lot of household scraps, for a list of chicken safe foods click here. Not to mention if you let them roam the garden during the day they will happily comb the place for creepy crawlies that might be making a meal of your favourite plants! However even with a landscape to roam and delicious food to eat, chickens enjoy having things to explore and try out. So here’s a few simple ideas for you to turn your coop into an adventure playground worthy of even the most sullen chook!
Create a Swingers Party! Placing a child’s swing, or even making your own out of wood and durable rope, inside your coop provides your chickens with a perch that’s unique and even dare we say relaxing! Gentle swaying and the added intrigue of new levels to jump on, from and over makes a swing a fantastic addition to your coop!
Let the music ring! Ever wanted to recreate the Muppet Show sketch with the musical chickens? Well here’s your chance! Placing musical toys such as a xylophone, triangle, bells or even saucepans, give you’re chickens an interactive toy! They do what they do best and peck, to be rewarded with sound! The important thing to remember here though is to remove any small detachable pieces that may break off and be mistaken for delicious food! It’s also best to use metal instruments and items NOT plastic, because plastic can easily weather and be broken apart by those sharp beaks, not to mention metal makes a nicer sound!
Throw in a cornsicle! Hot day? Why not freeze some loose kernels of corn, with water or vegetable stock, in an empty ice cream container? When the liquid has been fully frozen, push out or cut away the container. You should now have a large frozen cornsicle, that your chickens can peck away at and keep cool at the same time!
Water them up with Watermelon! What’s better than a tasty morsel of watermelon? Why picking the seeds out of course! Throw some hunks of watermelon into the coop and your chickens will happily peck the seeds out, devour the watermelon and help hydrate themselves at the same time!
Corn is Calling! A nice simple way to throw in a delicious treat and keep your chickies entertained. Tie an entire corn cob from the roof, the walls, the perch, anywhere! Let the chickens peck the kernels off themselves!
Mud Bath Manic! Use an old tire, a large container lid, a large shallow pot, anything that can hold some water and dirt, but isn’t deep! A fun messy way for your chickens to keep cool!
Dusty Dancing! A dedicated dusty area just for your chickens to roll about in, not only provides amusement but is also crucial to your chickens hygiene. Dust bathing is an exercise your chook uses to help keep their feathers parasite free!
Mulch Mill About! Throw out some mulch for your chooks to scratch about in, bonus is that mulch also encourages creepy crawlies to move in. So mulch promotes scratching and snacking fun!
There are many ways to entertain your backyard chickens, and we’ve only listed a few above, but it’s important to give your chickens new something to do. They are curious beings and love to explore and investigate. Letting them roam the garden is great but it’s often for their safety that they are secured in a coop, but when they are locked away there is no need for the fun to end!