While we would all love for our chickens to be freely foraging in picturesque pastures, urban chicken keeping has to be a compromise between freedom, available space and flock safety. Keeping your girls challenged, happy and healthy while protected from neighborhood predators in a backyard space is a juggling act. A chicken run is a great solution that will protect your chickens and give you options for egg-cellent flock entertainment. These 5 chicken run additions make it a fun and fresh place to be, for any chicken and their keeper.
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Get your girls pecking with this easy to make chook toy. Simply make some holes in a clean and dry plastic bottle and fill with their favourite scratch mix, Mealworm Treats or cracked corn. Your hens will be active and challenged for hours as they try to scratch and peck those treat treasures out.
Chickens like to be challenged and are curious and playful at heart. A Chicken Swing provides boredom busting fun and keeps your girls active and happy. Chicken swinging isn’t just fun for your chickens, it gets you out into the coop and interacting with your ladies on a daily basis. Here are the top tips for getting your girls familiar with the Chicken Swing!
Hemp Bedding and Diatomaceous Earth
Keeping the ground in your chicken run fresh and pest repellent is a breeze with these two wonder products. Create a chicken run base with a layer of clean river sand or soil. Then add a sprinkle of regular grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) – this will help prevent pests and moisture build up. Finally, pop down some super absorbent Hemp Bedding. This will help soak up droppings and is naturally pest repellent. When it’s time to clean up simply rake the used bedding out, replenish the DE and lay down a fresh layer of Hemp Bedding.
Making your hens some hanging toys is a cheap and simple way to keep them happy and healthy. It can be as elaborate or easy as you wish! My flock favourites include corn cobs, cabbage, broccoli, silverbeet and herb bunches! All you need is some leftover veggies and some string to get the poultry party started.
Natural perches and stumps
Giving your chickens branches and stumps to explore in their chicken run is great fun. Set natural perches at different heights and hide some Mealworm Treats in holes or loose bark on a stump to encourage your chickens’ natural foraging behaviour. Change up the position of your perches and stumps every few weeks to keep your chooks challenged.
Bonus – Chickens in space!
The more space your hens have the happier and healthier they will be. If you can’t free range your girls full time it’s essential they have plenty of secure chicken run space to keep them challenged. If you’re looking to upgrade your run space have a peck at the Mansion Run. It’s walk-in height, lockable and easy to adjust to your needs. If you want to let your hens out to forage but worry about your veggie patch being pecked then our Poultry Fencing is the option for you. It is demount-able and keeps your cheeky chickens where you can see them.
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