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Digital Subscriptions > Chickens > CC and Playgrounds > Chicken Playground DIY

Chicken Playground DIY

Help stimulate your birds with these interesting enrichment ideas.

Grandma’s chickens spent their days walking around pastures, scratching and pecking for breakfast, lunch and dinner; they consumed few, if any, treats and racked up the miles in search of meals. Many modern-day chickens are confined to a much more limited space due to the risk of predation or legal restrictions; if they wore tiny pedometers, their daily totals would pale in comparison to grandma’s active birds.

Whether free-range or confined, today’s backyard chickens generally exercise less and are fed far too many treats in addition to their layer ration. Research tells us that a great many of today’s pet chickens are dying prematurely from obesity-related health complications. Fortunately, we can turn that around and optimize the health and lifespans of our backyard locks with a few common sense modifications to their lifestyle that sound hauntingly familiar: a balanced diet and exercise.

Ring the Bell, IT’S TIME FOR RECESS!

Inadequate living space puts chickens at greater risk for obesity and behavioral problems, such as feather picking and eggeating.

The bare minimum outdoor space allocation is 10 square feet per bird, but more is always better.

Just as with children, bored chickens can get into mischief. Providing enrichment activities within a spacious outdoor area keeps chicken minds busy with no time for unapproved extra-curricular activities, so let’s build an outdoor recreation area that provides ample opportunities to exercise their bodies and their minds. A collateral benefit to all this activity just happens to be endless hours of entertainment for human caretakers.

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