If you keep chickens in a relatively small space, always check whether they have space to move around freely. Because if there isn’t much room to move around, chickens get bored quickly and could start pecking at each other.
They could fight or peck on eggs just to keep boredom away. Have you thought about getting them toys? The good news is; you don’t even have to buy them. Here are 30 excellent DIY chicken toy ideas that will blow your mind.
To compile this list, we looked for ideas whose materials you can easily find at home. Most of the materials could be lying idle in your house, chicken run, or coop. You will require little twitches, and you are good to go. Let’s dive in and look at some simple ideas that you could try immediately.
1. Cabbage vegetable
This DIY chicken toy idea is super easy to make. You will only require a cabbage, a drill, and a rope to hang your cabbage. Next, drill a hole inside the cabbage, tie your rope, and hang it high enough for your chickens to peck on it. The pecking will help stimulate their foraging instinct. Remember to supervise your chickens to be on the safe side.
2. Chicken hanging strings
This is one of the unimaginable ways to entertain your chickens. It is very pocket friendly as you only need hair strings of different colors. Tie the strings low enough for your chickens to reach them easily. Ensure that these strings are not harmful to your chicken. Now sit back and get entertained! Your chickens will be so amused that they won’t stop pecking on the strings.
3. Simple chicken swing
Your chicken will improvise their own swing, probably from useful things around the coop or run. So why not make them their own swing? It is easier than you thought. If you have untrimmed tree branches, perfect! Use those. Just ensure to trim off any part that could harm your chicken. When you are done, give them their first swing. They’ll love it.
4. Chicken treats in hanging plastic bottles
If your chickens are in a small apace and bored, make them these simple toys. They will love it. You will drill holes in a transparent plastic bottle. Ensure the holes are relatively big for your chicken to peck through but with a little difficulty. Then hang the bottle using a string. Your chickens will try to peck out the treats hence entertaining themselves.
5. A bale of hay treat
Chicken love scratching and pecking on a bale of hay. Find them an inexpensive hay bale, and you will be surprised at how much they love it. Hay bales have little insects hidden in them that will make a good treat for your chicken. They will mostly enjoy tearing down the hay and playfully searching for treats in the straws.
6. Chicken merry-go-round
Okay, chickens playing on a merry-go-round? How brilliant. The good thing is, it’s not a merry-go-round that will cost you an arm and a leg. All you need is to re-purpose your bicycle wheel and make a little fix, and you have it. At first, this toy may seem unsafe for your chickens, but chickens are clever. They adapt so fast and will absolutely love it.
7. The chicken sand bath spa
Chickens also enjoy a spa just like you. Make a sand bath spa for your chicken. You will be so surprised at how much fun they will have. It is simple; you can pour dust or sand on the floor of your chicken run or place it in a trough. Sand bathing cleans your chicken’s feathers and cools them off during summer. They also love shaking the dust off their wings after a bath.
8. Chicken pecking on board pendulum
This is a fun activity for your chickens. It is easy to make as you can recycle old wood and make a board where you would use strings to hang it off the ground. You’ll then put some chicken feed on the board and encourage them to feed. The board will sway as they peck on it,bwhich will make them more amused and busy.
9. Simple chicken tunnel
You will absolutely love this chicken toy idea if you have a garden, vegetable, flower, or fruit.. Making a tunnel for your chicken is a perfect way to have your chicken walk from their run to the coop and back while keeping your garden intact. This method will not only save your garden from pecking the garden, but it will also entertain your flock.
10. Chicken jungle gym
Chickens love perching as it satisfies their inborn instinct. So without perching areas, they will perch on anything off the ground. The jungle gym is easy to make, with a few pieces of wood and nails to assemble. You can place it in the coup or run for night roosting or day entertainment.
11. DIY backyard mirror
Who doesn’t love mirrors? But with chicken, you’d never have guessed! Of course, they love it. Keep your bored chicken busy by Installing a mirror in your chicken run to entertain your flock all day. Especially during the winter when it’s all cold and frosty. Fix your mirror correctly to minimize any accidents with sharp edges.
12. Chicken double wooden swing set
You would think that only children love double swings. Well, even chickens love it. This double swing is simple to design, although you will require wood and some cutting into sizeable pieces. Remember, your chicken may have no idea what the swing is. Teach them by prompting them to swing on it. With time, they will start to love it.
13. Simple chicken flock block
Chickens are more like children who love special treats. That is why your chickens will absolutely love the flock block. The recipe is simple and straightforward to make. This flock block is a baked chicken treat where you use a string to hang in your chicken run. Chickens will peck to release the treats which will make the whole block sway back and forth. How entertaining!
14. Kabobs chicken treat
Entertain your chicken while offering them their favorite treat. You need various treat types your chicken loves and put them on a stick and hang it on a string. Ensure your chickens can easily reach their treat. With kabobs, your flock will always be entertained. Remember not to go overboard with treats.
15. DIY chicken vending machine
A vending machine for chickens? Sounds like a revolutionary idea. Well, it’s possible to make one for your chickens. They will not only get entertained by pecking, but they also get their food (pellets). At first, your chickens may not get the idea, so try to stimulate them by showing them the way. Keep away from other sources of food until they focus on the vendors and learn this new skill.
16. Chicken ladder course
Have you seen chicken go up the ladder? This activity will be very amusing for your chicken and will help keep them busy. You only need a flat piece of wood and some tiny branches across the board to help your chickens from sliding while walking upslope. You can always make as many as the number of chickens you have.
17. Chicken picnic table
You were mistaken if you thought that picnic tables are only meant for humans. Chickens also love one. Make a picnic table for your chicken and place their feed on it. So that your chickens are entertained pecking the food on the tabletop. You will also save on the feed that spills on the ground. Your chicken will love perching on and off the table.
18. Chicken xylophones
Your chickens also play music and enjoy it as well. You don’t have to buy a brand-new xylophone; recycling works best. Use your old instrument and prop it somewhere in your kitchen run or coop. Chickens will be fascinated by the sounds produced when they step on the xylophones. You can also put it on bare ground, and chickens will still get curios
19. Chicken tyre swing
Do you have an old car tyre that is lying somewhere in your house? That is a great entertainment source for your chickens. You could turn it into your chickens’ toy. It is simple; use a strong rope to hang it in your chicken coop or run. At first, your chicken might be disinterested but show them until they get used and begin having fun.
20. DIY chicken pool
This improvised chicken pool will come in handy, especially during summer when you want to help your chickens cook down their temperature but not in a boring way. Put some water in a trough and place it in their run. Ensure the chicks are nowhere near the water as they could drain. Initially, you can also help your chickens by dipping their vent area in water until they get the concept.
21. Chicken-friendly vegetable garden
Chickens love pecking our vegetable gardens, but they can be very destructive. That is why setting up a vegetable garden specifically for your chicken is a brilliant idea. Your chickens will enjoy pecking without restrictions. Before setting up a garden for your flock, ensure the vegetables you intend to plant are nutritious and chicken friendly. Because there are poisonous vegetables such as eggplants, potatoes, and peppers.
22. PVC chicken roosts
Chicken love to roost. And you can make roosts from pvc, which is affordable and easy to make. Check that the climate where you live is not so extreme so that your chickens don’t get cold with hollow pipes. Because the whole reason for roosting is to keep warm, especially at night. If night roosting doesn’t work properly, your chickens can use it during the daytime.
23. Chicken roost tree branches
Like other birds, chickens have an innate instinct to perch, especially in a natural environment such as a tree branch. You can use a tree branch to entertain your birds in the backyard. And you don’t have to spend a million to make one. If you have trees that need trimming, make use of those branches to make a simple perching branch for your chicken to rest.
24. Chicken noodle jumping
Noodles can be a great way to keep your chickens entertained. It’s simple; cook your noodles, then hang them in your backyard. Put the noodles slightly higher off the ground so that your chickens can jump a little before reaching them. Your chickens will want to peck on the noodles, mistaking them for worms.
25. Hanging chicken pumpkin treat
As simple as it sounds, your chickens will thank you for this sport. You only require a pumpkin and a rope. Drill a hole in the pumpkin and hang it in your chicken coop, high enough for them to comfortably reach it. Ensure to slightly peel off the pumpkin skin for your chickens to easily access the flesh and seeds. It’s only a treat, remember!
26. Chicken swinging ladder
A swinging ladder? What an excellent way to keep your chicken entertained. Use blocks of wood and strings to make the ladder. Remember, this ladder should sway when your chickens walk on them. It imitates a spring bridge that sways when you walk on it. Your chickens will love their new toy.
27. PVC chicken feeders
Yes, chicken feeders can also act as a source of entertainment for your chicken. Especially if they are designed in a way to make the chickens eat from an extraordinary ‘plate.’ These PVC chicken feeders serve a dual purpose; they dispense chicken feed without wasting it and also entertain chickens when they peck into the U-shaped pipes in fascination. Try them out and notice a happy and entertained flock.
28. Chicken see-saw
Make a see-saw for your chickens. They will love it. You can use a rectangular piece of wood and arrange small ladders on each end. Place a pivot in the middle and help your chickens try out their new game. They will shy away at first but will enjoy it once they get used to it.
With these simple DIY chicken toy ideas, your chickens will never be bored again. You can design toys from what you have at home or purchase materials at an affordable price. Remember, when keeping your chickens entertained with treats, don’t overdo it or replace treats with regular nutritious feeds. Go keep your chickens entertained!
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.