Fun and Interactive Toy Ideas for Your Chickens to Enjoy in the Coop.
It’s important to keep your birds happy and engaged. One way to do this is by providing them with interactive toys. Not only does it give them something to do, but it also helps to prevent boredom and aggression within the flock.
In this article, I’ll share some of my favorite interactive toy ideas for chickens.
Hanging Treat Dispensers
Hanging treat dispensers are a fun and easy way to keep your chickens entertained while also giving them a nutritious snack. One way to create your own hanging treat dispenser is to take a plastic bottle and cut a few small holes in the sides. Then, fill the bottle with chicken feed and use a few pieces of wire to hang it from a tree or the roof of your coop. As the chickens peck at the holes, the feed will slowly be dispensed, providing them with a fun challenge and rewarding treat.
If you’re not up for a DIY project, there are pre-made hanging treat dispensers available for purchase. One popular option is the Manna Pro Treat Ball, which is a durable plastic ball with small holes for dispensing treats. Simply fill it with your chickens’ favorite treats and hang it in your coop. The ball can be easily cleaned and refilled as needed.
Another pre-made option is the Ware Manufacturing Chick-N-Veggie Ball, which is a similar concept but designed specifically for vegetables and other healthy snacks. The ball has large openings for placing veggies like carrots, cucumbers, and peppers, which will slowly dispense as the chickens peck at the ball.
Hanging treat dispensers not only provide entertainment and a healthy snack for your chickens, but they also encourage natural pecking behavior and mental stimulation. Try switching up the treats and placement of the dispenser to keep your chickens engaged and interested.
Chickens are social creatures that thrive on interaction and stimulation. A mirror is a great way to provide them with a sense of companionship and can help to reduce boredom and stress. While it may sound surprising, chickens can actually recognize themselves in a mirror and become fascinated by their own reflection.
To create a mirror toy for your chickens, you can simply hang a small, unbreakable mirror on a wall or in a corner of the coop. The mirror should be positioned at chicken height and securely fastened to prevent it from falling and causing injury. It’s best to use a small, lightweight mirror to reduce the risk of accidents. You can also use a convex mirror to create a fun, distorted reflection that will keep your chickens entertained.
Introducing a mirror to your chickens may take some time for them to get used to. Initially, they may be frightened or unsure of the new object in their coop. To help them feel more comfortable, you can try placing the mirror in a quiet area of the coop and gradually move it to a more central location as they become more accustomed to it.
It’s important to note that while mirrors can be a fun addition to a chicken’s environment, they should not be relied on as the sole source of stimulation. It’s important to provide your chickens with a variety of toys and activities to keep them engaged and entertained. Additionally, be sure to monitor your chickens’ behavior around the mirror to ensure their safety and well-being.
Swings are a popular and simple way to keep your chickens entertained and active in their coop. They not only provide a fun activity for your birds, but also help them to exercise and relieve stress. Making a chicken swing is easy and can be done using a few basic materials.
To make a chicken swing, you will need a small piece of wood, some rope, and a few eye hooks. First, drill two holes in the wood at either end. Then, thread the rope through the holes and tie the ends of the rope to the eye hooks. Finally, hang the swing from a tree or the roof of your coop, making sure it’s secure and stable.
You can also purchase pre-made chicken swings that are designed specifically for your feathered friends. The Ware Manufacturing Chicken Swing is a popular option that comes with a wooden perch and a durable rope for hanging. The Fowl Play Chicken Swing is another great choice, with a sturdy wooden frame and adjustable rope length to accommodate different coop sizes.
One thing to keep in mind when using a chicken swing is the height at which you hang it. The swing should be low enough for your chickens to easily reach and swing on, but not so low that they can hit the ground or other objects in the coop. A good rule of thumb is to hang the swing at about the same height as a roosting bar.
In addition to providing a fun activity for your chickens, swings can also help to prevent boredom and aggressive behavior in the coop. When chickens are bored or stressed, they may engage in pecking or other aggressive behaviors towards each other. Providing them with a swing or other interactive toy can help to keep them occupied and reduce these negative behaviors.
A vegetable piñata is a great way to provide your chickens with a nutritious snack while keeping them entertained. To make a vegetable piñata, start by choosing a head of lettuce or cabbage. Tie a sturdy piece of string around the stem of the vegetable, making sure it’s tight and secure. Next, tie the other end of the string to a hook or beam in your coop, making sure it’s at a height that your chickens can reach.
Once you’ve hung the vegetable piñata, sit back and watch as your chickens have a blast pecking and pulling at it. As the vegetable starts to break apart, the pieces will fall to the ground, providing your chickens with a tasty and healthy snack.
You can also get creative with the types of vegetables you use for your piñata. Carrots, broccoli, and kale are all great options that your chickens will love.
One important thing to keep in mind when using a vegetable piñata is to make sure that it’s hung at a safe height. If it’s too high, your chickens may injure themselves trying to reach it. Additionally, be sure to monitor your chickens as they play with the piñata to make sure they don’t accidentally ingest any string or other non-edible materials.
Puzzle feeders are a great way to keep your chickens mentally stimulated while providing them with a tasty treat. The concept is simple: the chickens have to work to get the treat out of the container. Making your own puzzle feeder can be a fun DIY project, and it’s easy to customize to your chickens’ preferences.
To make your own puzzle feeder, you will need a plastic container with small holes cut in the sides, some chicken feed, and a few small toys or treats. Start by cutting several small holes around the sides of the container. These holes should be big enough for the chickens to see and smell the treats inside but small enough that they can’t easily reach in and grab them. Next, fill the container with chicken feed, and then add the toys or treats. The idea is to make it a bit of a challenge for your chickens to get to the treats.
You can also purchase pre-made puzzle feeders for your chickens. The Chicken Ware Chick-N-Maze is a popular option, which is a plastic maze with a treat inside that the chickens have to work to get to. Another option is the Little Giant Hanging Poultry Feeder with Anti-Scratch Vanes, which has a built-in puzzle mechanism to prevent the chickens from wasting feed by scattering it around.
Puzzle feeders can be a great way to keep your chickens entertained, especially during the winter months when they are spending more time in the coop. However, it’s important to monitor your chickens to ensure that they are not becoming frustrated or aggressive towards each other while trying to access the treats. Additionally, be sure to clean and sanitize the puzzle feeder regularly to prevent the buildup of bacteria or mold.
Tunnels are a fun and unique way to keep your chickens entertained and provide them with a new activity to explore. By creating a tunnel in your chicken run, you give your feathered friends a fun obstacle to navigate and a new area to explore. Not only does this provide them with mental stimulation, but it also helps to promote exercise and movement, which is essential for their overall health and well-being.
To create your own tunnel, you can use a large piece of PVC pipe or a wooden box with a tunnel-like shape. Drill several holes in the sides to allow for ventilation and light, and make sure that the tunnel is secure and safe for your chickens to use. Place it in your chicken run and watch as your chickens investigate and explore their new toy.
If you prefer a pre-made option, there are several chicken tunnels available on the market. The Omlet Chicken Tunnel is a popular option that is designed to connect to the Omlet Chicken Run, but it can also be used as a standalone toy. The tunnel is made from heavy-duty, waterproof material and features a foldable design for easy storage. It also has a safety release mechanism in case a chicken becomes stuck inside.
Chickens are naturally curious and playful creatures, and they love to peck and play with objects that catch their attention. One fun and easy toy you can give your chickens is a ball. It’s a simple yet effective way to keep your feathered friends entertained and mentally stimulated.
When choosing a ball for your chickens, it’s important to pick one that is lightweight and small enough for them to peck and chase around. Ping-pong balls or small rubber balls are great options. Avoid using anything heavy or hard, as this can potentially injure your chickens.
You can simply toss the ball into your coop and let your chickens have fun with it. Alternatively, you can create a simple game for your chickens by placing the ball in a designated area of the coop and encouraging them to “kick” it around or play a game of “chicken soccer.”
Playing with a ball can provide more than just entertainment for your chickens. It can also help to improve their coordination, balance, and overall physical health. As your chickens peck and chase the ball around, they’re getting some exercise and burning off excess energy.
In addition to store-bought balls, you can also make your own using materials you have at home. One idea is to take a small plastic container and fill it with chicken feed, then roll it around until the chickens learn how to get the food out. Another option is to create a simple ball using old tights or pantyhose filled with rice or beans.
Providing your chickens with interactive toys is a great way to keep them happy and engaged. Whether you choose to make your own toys or purchase pre-made options, there are plenty of options available to keep your chickens entertained. Hanging treat dispensers, mirrors, swings, vegetable piñatas, puzzle feeders, tunnels, and balls are all great options to consider. With a little creativity and effort, you can keep your chickens happy and healthy for years to come.