If you have pet chickens, you’re not required to entertain them, but we do think it’s at least half of the fun of owning the birds. It’s a mutual action in which you entertain the chickens, and, in return, they entertain you straight back. Fortunately, it’s not in any way expensive to keep chickens in fun and all these tips should be within reach of any budget.
So, to get you started we have 40 Fun Ways To Entertain A Pet Chicken And The 10 Best Toys For Chickens which include chicken football, human perches, singing to chickens, chicken mirrors, a chicken pinata, treat balls, chicken swings, roosting ladders, treat spirals and a loofah shredder among many more. We hope that you and your chickens get hours of fun from them.
How To Keep Pet Chickens From Getting Bored?
We’re not entirely certain that chickens actually get bored, though if you isolate them with nothing to do – they will certainly appear bored (they get listless and lethargic, rather like we do) but “bored” is a very human emotion and chickens may not feel that way.
However, we don’t think that it can hurt to try and keep your pets entertained if you want to and there are a huge number of ways that you can keep yourself from getting bored while you play with chickens who may or may not be bored but are certainly more interesting when they appear to be having fun.
40 Fun Ways To Entertain A Pet Chicken
Chicken games and human games are a little bit different and the good news is that – by and large, you don’t have to work very hard to help your chickens have a good time. They are easily entertained and a game that might start feeling “old” to you is likely never going to feel “old” to your chickens because, they won’t remember playing it before.
However, not every chicken finds the same activity fun and you might want to explore a few different ways of entertaining your chickens before you find the right amount of fun for them.
- Put a bunch of grapes on a string and hang it up. This combines the chicken’s other favorite activity of being fed with a new way of eating. It’s a sure-fire win.
- Put down a layer of dry leaves in the run. Chickens love to play with old vegetation, they scratch about in it and make their own mulch.
- Pop some grass seed in a tray and grow it. Once it’s grown, hand it over for your chickens to demolish.
- Give your chickens an old cat toy (ideally, one that looks like a mouse). Chickens will happily chase anything smaller than themselves even imaginary mice.
- Hide their food somewhere else than their regular feeder (just make sure there are no contamination risks). Watch them play seek the meal.
- Pop down some slices of nice, refreshing watermelon in the summer. Chickens love to peck out the seeds and the high-water content might actually help with hydration.
- Throw down a tennis ball and watch them play. To be fair, if you’re a chicken there’s not much difference between a plastic mouse and a small green/yellow ball.
- Put some CDs or DVDs on strings and hang them up in the coop. Then watch them spend some time watching themselves. This is much cheaper than using mirrors which work equally as well.
- Slice a butternut squash down the middle and let them have at it. Pretty much the same principle as watermelon but with squash.
- Pretend to be a chicken and make chicken noises at your chickens. It might be best if you don’t let your neighbors turn up during the performance, but your chickens will love it.
- Oddly chickens love nettles and if you hang some from the chicken wire – they’ll be only too delighted to eat it all up.
- Take some grit and scatter it all over their run and then let them go find it. As you might have guessed by now, you can’t really go wrong with anything chickens like to eat when it comes to chicken games.
- If you’ve been pruning the garden, why not stack up all the bits at one end of the run and watch your chickens play detective with them?
- For a real treat find some rotting wood (packed to the brim with grubs, centipedes, woodlice, etc.) and pop it in the run. It’s a snack pack teeming, quite literally, with life.
- When you weed your garden, you can also pop the remains of your weeds in the run – chickens will investigate anything green.
- Fill a plastic container (which has some holes in it) with birdseed. Then leave your chickens to figure out how to get inside it.
- When you mow your lawn, throw the clippings in the run. This will end up mulched and the chickens will revel in the process.
- Take your chickens favorite snacks and tie them to a piece of string and then dangle it in front of them and see how high they’ll jump for it.
- You could even plant some things that chickens love to play in – think lettuces or cabbages.
- One thing that seems to go down really well is the chicken pinata which does not involve hitting chickens but rather filling an egg box with corn and hanging it up to tempt them, the mayhem this causes is brilliant
- Take ordinary garden items (but safe ones) like rakes and shovels and pop them in the run and see how much they confuse your chickens
- Get some newspaper and pop it in the run, not every chicken will take to the profession of media critic, but some will get shredding almost immediately
- Make piles of things in the run. One really strange thing about the chicken psyche is that they’re OCD about piles – they hate them. They’ll try to level them to restore their feelings of harmony with the world.
- If you’re doing some edging around your floral borders, let your chickens watch you and chuck them the things you dig up – they tend to be full of very yummy worms!
- Get some straw and build a nesting area in the run – this, of course, works best if you have some broody hens.
- Buy some pecking balls and initiate a game of chicken football, they won’t bend it like Beckham, but they’ll have a great time, regardless.
- Get some log stumps and up end them and place them in the run, chickens love to sit up high and watch the world go by.
- Sing to your chickens. You don’t need to be Adele; it turns out that chickens will happily listen to any happy sound coming out of the mouth of the person who feeds them.
- Get a corn cob and hang it from the roof of your chicken coop and watch the spectacular efforts to see how much they can munch before it’s all gone.
- Get them out of the run and running free in your backyard, under your careful and watchful eye, of course.
- Make yourself into a human perch and let your chickens stand on you. This makes for a great Instagram photo too.
- Cut an orange in half. Then eat the chunks of orange yourself. Fill the empty half with veg that was left over from your meal. Pop the orange half in the run.
- Give your chickens a hug. We’d like to note that you should be sure of the temperament of a chicken before offering it a hug.
- Get a suet feeder and fill it with tasty vegetables. Then pop the feeder into the coop and let them chow down.
- Construct a chicken climbing frame. It’s OK you don’t need a woodworking degree, just get some branches and some wood and prop it up against each other. The chickens won’t sue if it falls over, they’ll just flap away.
- Get some apples pieces and float them in a tub of water. Let your chickens “bob” for them like you would on Halloween.
- Teach your chickens to eat from your hands. We like to wear leather gloves for this but, in theory, as chickens have no teeth, you can’t get bitten.
- Take a pumpkin and carve out the interior. See which chicken claims it for its home, first.
- Put some bright and glittery objects on a piece of string and hang it up and let them go pecking at it.
- Get an old tire, lay it on its side and fill it with dirt. It makes for the most luxurious chicken mud bath ever.
One thing you will have noticed is that chickens aren’t the most expensive animals to entertain, they are quite literally happy with almost any activity that involves food. However, if you want to spend some money on fun stuff… we’ve got some cool toys for chickens now.
10 Best Toys For Chickens
Ware Manufacturing Little Red Hen Treat Spiral
This is a posh version of hanging a corn in the cob from the roof of the coop on a string, it’s also a bit neater and holds more than one cob. You can pop up to 3 cobs in it and at one time and then your hens will see how quickly they can strip them but the toy deliberately minimizes the amount of space available to them – so, it takes quite a bit longer than normal. Chickens seem to love it.
Lanermoon Chicken Toys Swing Hanging Mirror with Bell and Molar
Instead of cutting up CDs, you could actually just buy your chickens a mirror. This one is designed for chickens – so, it’s fully peck-resistant and won’t shatter on contact with a surprised beak. The bell rings whenever the chicken scores a hit on themselves, encouraging them to do it more. The frame is also bite-resistant though as chickens don’t have any teeth pretty much everything is chicken bite-resistant.
Coops & Feathers Portable A-Frame Roosting Ladder
If there are no tree stumps about or they just don’t fit with your idea of what lawn furniture for chickens ought to be like – you can always go with the Coops & Feathers Portable A-Frame Roosting Ladder. Simply clip it open and your chickens have a place to play, preen and perch that’s completely safe in the run. As with all these things try not to put it over a hard surface, chickens can injure themselves falling onto hard surfaces.
BWOGUE Wooden Chicken Flexible Ladder
This is a peculiar toy which is specifically designed to try and relieve boredom in the coop – it’s basically a rope ladder bridge for chickens. The chickens seem to enjoy climbing it and we’ve found that people seem to absolutely love watching them do it. The ladder’s made from wood and steel for genuine longevity in use.
Vehomy Chicken Toys with Natural Colorful Loofah Shredder
If you prefer a little destruction with your chicken fun then you might opt for the Vehomy Chicken Toys with Natural Colorful Loofah Shredder. They come as a pack of several toys because the aim here is for your chickens to rip them to pieces, rather like expensive newspaper. Not so expensive, however, that it’s going to put off pet owners who like brightly colored loofah balls rather than boring old newsprint for their chicken’s fun.
Lixit Chicken Feeder Toy
This is a really easy toy to play with and it’s very good value for money. You don’t need to hang it up and, in fact, if you do – it won’t work, so it’s probably best not to. You pull it apart and stuff it with small treats (mealworms, scratch, that kind of thing) and then pop it back together and roll it into the run. The chickens will then give it a jolly good thrashing as they try to get at the contents.
Fowl Play Products, The Chicken Swing
OK, this is the most expensive toy on our list, and it won’t be for everyone, but we couldn’t resist the idea of a chicken swing for our chickens and we find that they rarely leave it alone, which is probably a good thing. Watching a chicken swing back and forth in seeming joy is enough to keep us happy and our Instagram feed full of happy chicken snaps too.
Manna Pro-Farm 667799 Chicken Toy Treat Dispenser
It would be impossible to get away from food in chicken toys and we return to another roller-style chicken feeder which you can pack with loose mix or feed and drop into a run anytime that your chickens are seeming a little listless or bored. It’s well made and ought to endure a lot of uses before it finally collapses under the weight of chicken claws.
Precision Pet Chicken Treat Ball
This is a more elegant way of hanging chicken treats from the ceiling of the coop if you don’t want to use scraggy bits of string. The Precision Pet Chicken Treat Ball can be filled with veggies and left in the coop to give your chickens a happy snack time. It is supposed to “Stimulate chickens’ natural foraging instincts by providing a challenging feed source” and while we don’t know if that’s true, it certainly sounds impressive.
Ware Manufacturing Chick-N-Veggie Treat Ball
This is a great way to introduce your flock to fresh green treats. Fill it with a head of lettuce and roll it into the run. The chickens will chase about after it like a footballer on a Saturday afternoon until all the tasty goodness inside is exhausted. It’s a surprisingly cheap toy which is one of our favorites, it really is a lot of fun for chickens and humans alike.
So, there you have it 40 Fun Ways To Entertain A Pet Chicken And The 10 Best Toys For Chickens. We hope that in among all those ideas, you’ve found something that sparks your imagination and that it sends you outside to have a bunch of fun with your feathered friends. They may or may not get bored, but they can certainly have a super time of things when you put your mind to it.
Here are some of my favorite products for chickens and their coops:
- Organic Fertilizer MicroLife 6-2-4 or 8-4-6
- Temperature Controller for inside your brooder or coop
- Mite treatment for chickens Diatomaceous Earth food grade
- Automatic watering system cup for chickens
- Automatic chicken feeder (vermin-proof)
We have just written a great article about the 12 best ways to pamper your dog, why not head over and read it.