Building Play Areas For Your Chickens
I would love to tell you that I’m a DIY queen and that I know my way around power tools and the lumber yard, but I’m not and I don’t! I enjoy watching people do it though, so does that count? Haha!
Last summer, I was scrolling through what every DIY “wannabe” does to grab ideas for the flock to enjoy. I came across a picture of a really fun “playset” for chickens. I sent the picture to my husband and a few hours later, he and our daughter had it built!
We strive for excellence around here and not for perfection. So, they honestly looked for wood we already had and put it together according to that. The chickens’ playset is 100x60x36 because we have a large run. If you have a smaller run, you could build a smaller one. Some people use tree stumps, old logs, or other materials. Just be sure the material isn’t slippery or something they could get their feet cut on or slivers in.
Every once in a while I’ll add something small to the playset such as switching a chair or moving the sled a bit. Just remember though, too much switching around and changing items can be stressful for your chickens. So, I don’t recommend doing it too often.
Chickens are funny birds with big personalities. Giving them different areas to explore, scratch around, and lounge prevent them from becoming bored. Boredom leads to pecking on each other which can lead to sickness or injury. This is what I told my husband anyway! Haha! It is true though.
Your play area doesn't need to be extravagant. I do have the playset with their treat ball, but I also have a board on 2 landscaping blocks as shown below.
I also have 2 swings, an old sled filled with water for hot days, and a couple of chairs. There's also 2 perches in the corner of the run so they can roost and rest there if they want.
My chickens don’t free range due to the large amount of predators in our area, so I like to give them “entertainment” options. If your chickens free range, you may not need these.
Most people think I’ve lost my marbles when they see all of our chicken toys. But, if you’re reading this blog, I’m assuming your love for your flock runs just as deep as mine. My philosophy is that happy hens are healthy hens!
Until next time,
--The Wing Lady