Making Chicken Toys - January 9, 2020 @goldenoakfarm

in #homesteading2 months ago

Chicken toys - Australorps and grapevine crop January 2020.jpg

On Thursday when my helper friend was here, I decided to clean up and decorate the mirror wreaths for the hens.

Chicken toys - xylophone and mirror crop January 2020.jpg

I also had 2 new toys to prepare for them: a xylophone and a small mirror.

Chicken toys - wreath and basket mirrors before crop January 2020.jpg

I’d brought the wreaths up from the coop months ago and they’d lain on the kitchen floor since. First thing was to give them a good vacuuming. The basket one’s mirror had come loose and needed repaired. The little mirror had come off the frame and the needed repaired too.

Chicken toys - making mirror wreaths crop January 2020.jpg

While my helper friend vacuumed them and cleaned the mirrors, I repaired the basket one with the hot glue gun. I also fixed the small mirror and got the xylophone ready to hang up. Then he chopped the vegs and we started tying them on.

Chicken toys - grapevine wreath crop January 2020.jpg
The grapevine wreath

I find the brightest root vegetables in the farmers market as attractants.

Chicken toys - basket mirror crop January 2020.jpg
The basket wreath

The vegs are cut horizontally, and the hole made through the stem ends. The vegs survive the pecking better this way. I also use thick string as it doesn’t cut into the vegs as easily.

Chicken toys - xylophone crop January 2020.jpg

I put 2 of the brightest vegetables on the xylophone. The idea is they will hit the bars and make sounds as they go for the vegs.

Chicken toys - finished crop January 2020.jpg

I’d found hooks for the 2 new toys and they were ready to go to the barn.

Chicken toys - mob at basket2 crop January 2020.jpg

This flock had never seen the mirrors. The spelt grain in the lip if the basket mirror was a big hit.

Chicken toys - mob at basket3 crop January 2020.jpg

The Barred Rocks are the minority in the flock, but they had no problem pushing the Australorps out from the basket.

Chicken toys - rosecomb being a pig crop January 2020.jpg

Miss Rosecomb, who I suspect might not be all Barred Rock but maybe Dominique, made a real pig of herself on the grain.

Dominique hen crop.jpg
A Dominique hen on Cackle’s website

Chicken toys - Australorp and grapevine crop January 2020.jpg

This wreath got scant attention until the grain was gone. The Australorps were the first to peck at the vegs.

Chicken toys - xylophone in coop crop January 2020.jpg
The xylophone by the feeder

Chicken toys - mirror crop January 2020.jpg
The small mirror behind the waterer

We’ve got a lot of rain coming and then cold. I like to provide things to keep them occupied in the coop in an effort to prevent boredom behaviors when they won’t go outside due to weather.

Creating the wreaths: here

More about decorating them: here

Source: https://www.cacklehatchery.com/dominiques.html

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I like to provide things to keep them occupied in the coop in an effort to prevent boredom behaviors when they won’t go outside due to weather. I had no idea that chickens would need stimulation, but if I think about it, this makes perfect sense! They are intelligent creatures and if cooped up, could cause chaos! Toys are an excellent, and very pretty, idea 🌱

For the umpteenth time, where do you find the time for all that you do?! Toys for your chickens? I think about doing this for them often, but have never once actually gotten around to it. I love these ideas. One of these days.

Well, we only work here on the homestead, no 40 hour week to work around. And I do have my helper friend.

But in the case of chicken toys, it was a case of "must needs". The hens were locked in for a very long time due to snow that could come off the barn roof and flatten them. (Problem since resolved.) I HAD to try to find anything to occupy them. Once made, it's simple to redecorate them as needed.

Orr eat them 🙃

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Those are some healthy looking chickens. Do they actually know what to do with the toys?

They figure it out over time. There's not much to the mirrors. Some of the chickens like looking at the "other" chicken in the mirror. They have started on the root vegs. As far as the xylophone, it just makes noise when they peck at the vegs. I doubt they'd mess with it without food there.

Please make a video of them playing with it. Chickens playing vegetable xylophone will break the internet

I wish doing videos was easy for me, but it is not. That's why there are never videos on my posts.

Sorry about that. What stops you from doing videos?

I can't seem to load them or make them play properly. I don't know why. I gave up long ago.

Even with YouTube?

Yes, both YouTube and DTube.