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    • CommentTimeSep 20th, 2013 8:12pm (Sep 20th 2013) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Or rather they are birdbrains, but that's a compliment rather than an insult! :clap:

    Studies have found that chickens have the comparable intelligence to a three year old child, and can be trained using positive reinforcement exactly the same as dogs! Here are some videos:

    Seeing as they're such intelligent creatures, it's important to keep their minds busy and keep them interested in their surroundings. They should have the biggest run possible, and there should be plenty of things to keep them occupied. You can do this in hundreds of ways, some of which are very simple...

    - Put perches of different heights in their run / the garden (eg. stones, logs, benches etc)

    - Provide them with a box / barrel of dirt or sand, and scatter pellets or mealworms in there to keep them interested (also helps overweight hens lose weight!)

    - Hang a basket (wicker ones work well) at just above chicken head height, and regularly fill it with treats (raisins, grass, salad and grapes work very well)

    - Fill an empty plastic bottle with mealworms, corn and other treats (remove lid and labels first!), or alternatively put small treats in, leave the lid on, and prick holes in the side of the bottle

    - Provide a healthy scattering of straw or grass clippings and toss food amongst it

    - Pop a mirror in there for them, some chucks love the sight of their reflections!!

    - Practice chicken agility - as you can see it's great fun! :smile:

    - Hang vegetables at chicken height; this can easily be done using a laundry hanger, the pegs are great at holding veggies!

    - Pet shops are also (finally!) becoming aware of the growing number of pet chicken owners, and how lovable and intelligent chickens are. As a result there are now a number of toys that can be bought for chickens, either online or in pet shops.

    Below are some links to chicken toys for sale on the internet (UK pet shop Jolleys also sells a variety of Rosewood toys for chickens):
    • CommentTimeMay 27th, 2016 6:27am (May 27th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    I'm adding to this thread as I discovered a really cool summertime treats for chickens recently; funnily enough this is something that I've tried with dogs and even rabbits, but had never even considered for chickens.

    - Add some of their favourite treats to water and freeze; an interactive treat that will last a good amount of time, and help keep your chucks cool!

    I love this idea as you can really tailor it to your chickens' preferences :smile:

    - Similar to the plastic bottle puzzle feeder above, a lot of cat / dog / rabbit treat balls can be given to chickens,and wire treat feeders can also be filled with veggies that most chickens will enjoy

    - There are a range of DIY rodent / parrot toys which chickens could also enjoy - the bottle cap one especially is cool as you can hide mealworms and treats between each lid!