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Bad Weather leads to Flock Boredom

For half of my flock this is their first experience with cold and the snow on the ground.

They have been gathering at the door each morning trying to decide if they should step outdoors. It’s kind of comical to witness but at the same time I completely understand why they look at me as if to say ,“ Are you out of your mind ? Thank you but NO THANK YOU!”

We have more than adequate room in the coop and newly built huge covered run that provides more than the recommended 2 to 3 feet of floor room and the bare minimum suggested 8 to 10 feet in an outside run. In addition we have provided the recommended 8 inches per chicken of roost space. Even so, chickens need to spread their wings , move their legs , and fly up to roosts . Then there is the hierarchy pecking order to consider. We certainly want to ensure there is more than enough room for those at the top to get their prime spot and the others lower in rank are not bullied due to lack of room. This includes keeping plenty of clean nest boxes available. A few of our hens are particular to 3 out of the 9 nest boxes available . I have witnessed them push a lower rank hen out of their nest which is why we had a large nest box built to accommodate the hens we have now and any future ladies.

To prevent boredom and bullying we hang feeders and cabbages Inside the coop . The cabbages keep the hens entertained and busy.

In the run we built structures made of small logs, placed some fallen limbs and tree stumps in the chicken run . Providing climbing structures adds space, lets them get off the cold run floor and provides a means of exercise. Our goal is to promote harmony while providing ways to keep the flock busy . For example: suspending vegetables such as summer squash , zucchini and pieces of pumpkin around the run. We placed a flock block made of their favorite seeds and sunflower. Pine and leaf piles in the center of the run allows an area to scratch . At times I will add scratch grains to keep it interesting . Place tennis balls or fill dog treat toys with whole peanuts . Its important to the flock‘s physical and psychological well being to be offered a means of keeping them healthy, happy and busy or all heck can take place.

In conclusion:

1. Ensure there is enough space inside and outside for each chicken.

2. Provide ways to prevent boredom and pecking on lower ranking hens by providing perches and other types of climbing apparatus, mounds of leaves or pine, hang. Cabbages or vegetables, scratch grains or a flock block . 3. Place toys or treat stations around the run to keep the hens happy.

4. Your flock and you avert boredom and possible bullying if you put in place these efforts . There is nothing nicer to witness than a happy, peaceful flock.❤️



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