Are you looking to upgrade your chicken coop or run? We have an exciting suggestion – a chicken swing! Here are 15 DIY chicken swing ideas from which you can choose.
A chicken swing may not be the first thing you think of when doing an upgrade, but we believe it is a fun must-have.
Why Use Chicken Swings?
Chickens and swings? If you’re new to the chicken community, then you might have never thought of mixing chickens and swings together. You might be surprised to know, but chickens and swings do mix!
Many coops incorporate chicken swings for entertainment.
Keeping the chickens from getting bored is more than spoiling your birds. A happy chicken is a healthy chicken – figuratively and literally.
If a chicken gets bored, many problems could arise within your flock. It could be something as simple as a noisy bird, or it could be something serious as death and cannibalism.
Now, we know the importance of chicken swings in both the happiness and health of your birds. Next, let’s figure out the best chicken swing for you and your birds.
We have divided the different swings into different categories.
There is only one item in this category, but there are many materials you could use to make this one. Choose your preferred material.
The string swing only serves as a general guide for similar materials, as the installation using these materials is the same.
1. String Swing
There’s no step-by-step instruction for the string swing simply because it is so easy! It is probably the most simple chicken swing to make.
Find a strong rope and tie both of its ends to a post or something similar. Make sure you don’t stretch the line that it becomes straight. You want it a little loose in the middle so it could rock back and forth.
Tada! A chicken swing!
Branches and Logs
Branches and logs are great options if you live in an area where there are many trees. These materials would not only be easy to find but will also be budget-friendly. Additionally, if you’re not great with tools and such, using branches and logs in this situation would be more forgiving if you make mistakes.
The string swing is not for every chicken. Since ropes are usually thin for chickens to get a grip on it, some chickens will have a hard time with them. In that case, you might want to try the branch swing.
Using a branch gives the chickens a steadier base, making it easier to swing.
If you have some heavy chickens in your flock, then the branch swing might still not work.
Additionally, a branch could still be hard to grip for some chickens. It might take a longer time for them to get on it and use it. In that case, you can opt for a half log as a base.
As it’s wider, it gives the chickens more room and a steadier base.
You can also use a log without cutting it in half.
You might want to find a log that’s a little light. Using a heavy one might pose a problem as your chickens might not be able to rock it back and forth.
On the other hand, it’s more stable. It could allow the chickens to rest on it without having to worry about balancing themselves.
Not all chicken handlers and keepers live in an area with an abundance of trees.
If you’re going to buy the base of your chicken swing, we recommend you buy a plank or a board instead. This base makes it easier for chickens to get on and get the hang of it. No pun intended.
A plank swing is a good idea if your chickens experience problems getting on the previous swings.
Since a plank or a board is flat – at the right width – it would be easier for them to stand on. Additionally, a plank is not heavy. The chickens would still be able to rock it back and forth.
6. Indoor Plank Swing
Our next swing is similar to the last one.
Both swings are plank swings. The difference is in the building process.
However, if you plan to install your chicken swing inside the coop, then you might want to look at this one instead. This guide shows you how to attach a swing to a roof.
Swings for the Chicks
Making a swing for the chicks is a lot easier. If you’re going to introduce a swing to your chickens, we recommend you also make one for your chicks.
Introducing swings when the chickens are still young will familiarize them with the contraption. It will be easier for them in the long run. Once the little ones join the adults, they will know what a swing is.
So far, the swings we have been talking about are for your older guys and gals. If you want to make a swing for your little ones, then these next ones are for you.
As the name suggests, this one is for your brooder. Since it’s small, this chicken toy is easy to make and install. It would most likely take you less than fifteen minutes.
You don’t always have to spend money to make your chickens happy and entertained. Gagne Farms utilized her old chart stand to serve as a frame for the swing. But if you have an old clothes rack, that works as well. And to keep it intact, you can bury the feet of the frame on the ground to avoid tipping.
Alternative Swing Materials
The next swings are almost the same as our previous swings. If ropes, cables, and wires are not working for you and your chicken, then this next set might be the answer to your problem.
9. Chain Swing
We know that rope, twine, and other similar materials don’t work for others. If that’s your case, then the chain swing might be for you.
If you want to go for a chain swing, make sure you opt for a chain that will not accidentally hurt your chickens!
10. Bungee Swing
On the other hand, your chickens might be having a hard time trying to rock back and forth because your chicken toy is moving too much.
If that’s the case, then you might want to consider the bungee swing. This toy will offer more stability and control to your birds.
Since it won’t swing too much, it’s a good choice for small spaces too.
If you have a big flock or just some extra materials, it would be a good idea to make swing sets. This way, you will be sure that your birds will all have a turn on their toy. Let’s avoid pushing and pecking!
11. Playground Swing
But why do we have to stick with one seat? What if you have a bunch of birds who like to rock back and forth?
Well, let’s make a playground swing!
This swing set is for big flocks, and it’s also a great way to start a chicken playground. No more arguing among your birds who would go first!
Why does the fun have to stay on the ground? If you’re up for some heavy coop upgrade, then you can make high swings.
Of course, you’d have to make multiple roosts that your chickens would use to get to the swings.
If you plan to go with this idea, make sure your chickens will have a safe landing if they accidentally fall.
If you really want a chicken swing that will stand out, you might want to try the following. Some of these next ones are a little odd, but they can undoubtedly still rock your chickens back and forth.
13. Tire Swing
This next chicken toy will make you question if it is indeed a swing.
It still is! It might not have ropes on the side, but this will keep rocking your chickens back and forth.
Make sure you angle the tire swing right! Placing it at the right angle is the key to making it swing from side to side.
14. Fancy Swing
Most of the swings we have shown you so far are quite easy to do. Well, if you have time on your hands, then this next one might be for you!
As the name suggests, the fancy swing is truly stylish and sophisticated. It’s a great project to do if you want some extra flair in your chicken coop or run.
15. No Cost Chicken Swing
If none of the previous swings tickled your fancy, then you can try to integrate some of them or create something totally different!
This idea would teach you how to create a chicken swing out of anything. With a little bit of searching, we believe you’ll be able to create your perfect chicken swing.
Why Are My Chickens Not Using Their Swing?
Some chicken handlers might get confused about why their chickens are not using their new toy. Well, you don’t have to worry. It’s normal.
You could say it’s the same for your chickens. They are also confused. They could be wondering what is this new addition to their coop or run. Furthermore, it is very likely they don’t have the slightest idea how to use it.
You might need to teach or encourage them how to use it. Let us help you with that.
Here are some things you could do:
Put Them on The Swing
This method might take a couple of tries, especially if you’ve opted for a swing with a thin base.
Chickens can roost or perch perfectly fine despite the width of what they’re standing on. With this, you might be wondering why they’d have a hard time with a swing.
A perch and a branch swing have similar structures, after all. Well, you have to note that a swing moves back and forth. They’ll have to balance with this one.
Steady the seat and them put them on it. After that, gently rock them.
It might be a good time to mention that chickens would most likely never enjoy fast rocking. Don’t expect your chickens to go as high or as fast as kids on a swing.
Some chickens can learn with experience. But if you want to speed up the process, then you might want to offer some treats.
Additionally, later on, you can add some treats for them on the seat to find it. This way, they will associate their new toy with treats and would try it out more often.
Again, if you’ve opted for a thin base, then you will not be able to put treats on the seat. In this case, you can try to use a hanging treat feeder.
If you decide to go for a hanging treat feeder, then there are several things you have to take into account. You have to make sure it is high enough that your chickens won’t bump their head into it. On the other hand, you also have to make sure it’s low enough for them to reach it when they step on the platform. Still, you need to ensure that the feeder won’t bump into the toy so your chickens can still rock back and forth.
And that’s 15 DIY chicken swing ideas.
Chicken swings may seem like an odd addition to a coop or run, but it’s undoubtedly a great one! It’s easy to do, and it can bring joy to you and your birds.
It may look like it’s all about fun and games, but it’s so much more than that! It can help in keeping your chickens entertained and preventing all sorts of problems at the same time.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to add a chicken swing on your land!
Joseph Hudson has been raising chickens for over 15 years. In 2018, he completed the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. He currently raises over 1400 chickens on his 7.5-hectare farm. He keeps sharing his experience on raising healthy and happy chickens on Chicken Scratch.