After moving my flock to a smaller fenced in area I noticed that they didn't seem as happy as when they were in their original spot. So after reading an article about how chickens are very social and like to have things to do. I then decided to added some "play" items. Very simple items that required very little effort.
Step 1: Old stumps & shrubs
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*pictures 1, 5 and 7 are of old stubs I place and move in different positions for the chickens every few weeks. They love climbing on these.
*pictures 2-Rose bushes
Thr girls love to lay under these on hot summer days.
*pictures 3 & 6- wisteria vine
Offers a great shade and can be grown over a trellis, the coop or up a fence.
*pictures 4- plum trees
I placed one of these trees of each side of the coop area, away from the fence.
As these bushes and trees grow they will offer shade and protection to the chickens from hawks. Of course their are tons of things to plant in a chciken section. These plants and trees are just what I had and used.
I also have a few large rocks spread around the section for the chickens to perch on.
Of course we also buy them treats at the farm store.
Step 2: Compost
I used railroad ties around my compost. the chickens like climbing and standing on the rails. They also enjoy the compost scraps and use it as a dusting box.
Step 3: Garden
I used to have the chickens in my kitchen garden full time but as you know the girls tend to get in trouble together! so we moved them to a smaller garden. At first they hated it and would squawk at the fence in displeasure. Then I read an article about how chickens are very social and like to have things, etc......
Point of the story......Once a week I take my ladies over to the large garden to feast on insects and worms. This helps me with pest control and the chickens love it too!
With these little improvements I have noticed a lot happier chickens and regular egg production.
I also saw on here(instructables) a chicken swing!!! I plan on marking that soon to add to their playground.