If you have met me, or been to one of our workshops on Keeping Backyard Chickens, you will know that I am passionate about all things chook-wise, and one of the things I am most passionate about is how intelligent your girls are.
In-fact chickens are as clever as human toddlers, they are capable of understanding basic concepts, reasoning and physics and at times much smarter than most. They even have the capacity to memorise shapes, patterns and though it isn’t determined that they see colour, I certainly think they can.
So it is quite common for your girls to get bored throughout the day, particularly if they are in a limited area. Let me try and give you a visual, imagine if you put 6 young children in a pen measuring 10’ x 4’ with food, water and shade? Chances are they would eat and drink, then there is a good chance they would cry, get bored, and start bullying each other. Well the same applies to your chickens.
So I have created a list of boredom hacks for your girls, but my favourite hacks are the easiest and cheapest and you know me, something that can be recycled.
Two of my favourite boredom hacks are the Chicken Piñata and a Chicken Treat Roller. The Chicken Piñata is easy to make you will need twine and scissors as your tools of the trade, then using your weeds, any leafy greens that need removing, flowers, anything really that you can hang inside the coop or run or even from trees in the garden. Here is one we created on the weekend.
Then you can create a Chicken Treat Roller, which involves recycling a plastic jar or bottle, putting holes in the sides and filling up with black sunflower seeds, cracked corn or feed. Your girls will peck at it and in some cases it is normal for them to roll it around the ground and play a game of soccer amongst the brood.
Here are some other ideas that you can create to help eliminate boredom amongst your girls.
1. Grazing frames.
2. Jungle Gym.
3. Sprouting Seeds/Fodder for Chickens.
Now summer has arrived, it would be great to make up some ice blocks for your girls, made up of Watermelon, berries etc and give to them on a hot day to keep them cool. You can also through in all your grass clippings, fresh mulch or hay for them to scratch about and dig through, this will keep them occupied for hours.
If you are still struggling with the intelligence of your girls, then look at this video of Little Miss Sunshine from Edgars Mission and hopefully you will get inspired to create some fun for your chickens.