I know my flock is craving warmer weather, longer sunny days, and fresh green grass. I am too. During the winter, I try to keep them busy, happy and preoccupied. They can easily get bored. Here are some ideas that I have done over the years to keep them entertained and prevent them from developing behaviors out of boredom such as egg eating and feather picking.
Make a Pinata
Hang a head of cabbage, cauliflower, or broccoli in the run and keep your chickens dodging and pecking at the hanging, spinning, ball. Click here for the instructions.
Bales of Hay or Straw
Place some bales of hay or straw in the coop or run. The chickens will spend hours searching for bugs, goodies, seeds, tearing them apart. Added benefits include insulation and helping to control wet areas in the run. (Photo Credit)
Try A Treat Ball
Fill a treat ball or hanging suet feeder and fill it with fresh goodies for the flock.
Add a Flock Block
Flock Blocks are a great way to redirect the chicken's instinct to peck. Bored chickens can peck at their eggs and one another's feathers. I like to place mine on a cookie sheet in the run. I keep it in the run only a few hours per day. This way, it is something that the chickens look forward to instead of something that is there all the time.
Add a Chicken Swing
Chickens love to swing. You can purchase chicken swings or make your own. To make your own, cut a log to approximately 18 inches long. Drill a hole through the top to the bottom of the log on each side. Thread some thick rope or chain through the holes and tie it from the rafters.
Add a Mirror
Chickens do the silliest things when you add a mirror to the coop. It keeps them busy for hours, plus they meet someone "new" each day. Learn how to make your flock their own shatter-proof mirror.