Chickens get bored, yes, you read right, they can get so bored that they start to pull the feathers of their coop mates and cackle out of discontent.
The easiest way to keep backyard chickens occupied while inside the coop is to introduce chicken toys or fun things. It is a simple and affordable way to encourage mental stimulation and prevent birds from turning on one another!
To keep your pet chickens happy and reduce coop boredom, consider the toys for chickens that will entertain them while providing a nutritious snack.
In this guide, we review the best toys that are safe, well-priced and the most effective at keeping chickens busy…
The 3 Best Chicken Toys
Chickens can be both happy and healthy with this hanging treat ball which holds different types of fresh vegetables that birds of all ages can pick at throughout the day.
Our top pick of hanging toys is designed for all poultry breeds and life stages. It offers a suspension hook design that is easily adjusted or extended according to the size of your chickens.
The large gaps in the ball allow you to stuff a whole head of lettuce and other treats inside of it.
Designed as an all-in-one chicken swing, ladder, and perch it will give chickens hours of entertainment and a place to comfortably roost or get out of harm’s way while inside the coop.
The Vehomy Ladder for chickens comes in two sizes of small and large so you can find the perfect length for one or multiple chickens to perch on. The soft wire rope with a metal clasp makes it easy to attach the DIY chicken toy to the inside of the coop.
The natural materials in its manufacture consist of pine wood making it a safe addition for all birds.
As an affordable and functional chicken toy, the pull-apart design makes this accessory easy to fill with your chickens’ favorite treats.
The Lixit Chicken Toy is perfect for bored chickens as the ball design allows you to conceal a tasty treat inside of it. Chickens will have to roll and peck at the ball to retrieve their favorite snacks.
- Easy to fill
- Stores all types of treats
- Fun and safe for chickens
Top 4 Chicken Toys
The Ware Manufacturing Treat Ball is the top pick of chicken toys. Its simple open and close design allows you to provide leafy greens that adult birds and baby chicks can peck at throughout the day.
The Ware Manufacturing Chick-N-Treat Ball is a simple and convenient chicken toy that combines durable and fun design with nutrition. It is made from a tough plastic that won’t warp or break when chickens are pecking at it or while you’re filling it with a healthy treat.
The round shape with openings is perfect to provide leftover produce, and even cabbage leaves to chickens. It is large enough to fit fresh fruits and vegetables such as sweet potatoes so you can keep chickens entertained while they receive nutritious food to keep your chickens healthy.
What makes the chicken treat ball our top pick from the other toys is its simple design. You can open and close it with ease to add the greens or fruits of your choosing. Once it is filled, simply use the chain to hang or place it on a metal fence and adjust it so that it’s easy for your backyard flock to reach it.
For a safe toy with bright colors that entertains chickens while supporting a healthy flock, this ball is the ideal choice.
- Wire and plastic
- Weight 4.48 ounces
- Size 7 x 7 x 5.5 inches
- Simple to hang and adjust
- Chickens peck it with ease
- Fill with large vegetables and fruits
- Not durable
- Difficult to roll
- Only large treats
The chicken ladder consists of natural materials including pine slats with wood beads. It is hung by steel suspension hooks inside the chicken cage allowing birds to climb, swing, and relax.
The Vehomy wood ladder for chickens is considered the best for its value, helping to keep chickens entertained while serving as a fun roost.
It is also an affordable toy and is available in both small and large sizes.
Birds can jump onto the chicken swing when chickens chase one another. Other chickens jump onto the ladder to relax and perch.
The climbing ladder motion in its upward curved design encourages chickens to engage their leg muscles when moving up and down the swing. It helps with exercise for chickens and other animals such as large parrots.
The large size is sturdy enough to hold multiple chickens and it is one of the more colorful chicken perches that you can add to the coop as decor. The ladder and swing design offers a perch, encourages exercise, and supports mental stimulation at an affordable price.
- Weight 1.81 lbs
- Wood slats and steel hooks
- Size 31.5 inches and 47.2 inches
- Encourages exercise
- Provides a colorful perch
- Easy to install suspension design
- Untreated wood
- Lacks sturdy design
- Too narrow for large birds
The treat ball is designed with hard plastic and is a fun accessory for keeping chickens both physically and mentally stimulated. It can be introduced to the coop or the chicken run as a backyard flock fill to provide hours of entertainment.
The Lixit Chicken Feeder keeps chickens occupied all day long. It is durable, easy to fill with chicken treats, and the perfect size for mature birds to roll around and peck at.
Chickens love searching for their favorite treats and as intelligent animals, they’ll quickly learn the concept of moving the chicken ball around to retrieve those tasty morsels.
It is one of the best chicken toys and the perfect size to stimulate chickens. It doesn’t consist of any small parts that could become a choking hazard and its durable plastic design withstands constant scratching and pecking.
These fun toys are sure to reduce boredom by encouraging chickens to collect their treats rather than engage in bad habits such as feather pulling and chasing one another inside the chicken coop.
The chicken ball is also a great way to introduce simple chicken treats such as berries, grains, and mealworms. The pull-apart manufacture makes it easy to fill and clean.
- Plastic manufacture
- Weight 0.16 ounces
- Size 4 x 2 x 4 inches
- Easy to fill
- Stores all types of treats
- Fun and safe for chickens
- Easily opened
- Only holds small treats
- May crack with pressure
This inexpensive chicken toy will not only entertain birds, but the smooth finish won’t crack or break when pecked. The bright colors, double-sided mirror, and jingling bell will capture the attention of most birds.
Curb bullying inside the chicken coop by keeping chickens stimulated with the wood mirror toy by Vehomy. Offering great value, it is cheap and is a beautiful accessory with bright colors to decorate your chicken coop.
The wood frame with a smooth finish stops chickens from injuring themselves on rough edges. It is sturdy enough to prevent damage to the frame caused by pecking and scratching.
The double-sided mirror intrigues chickens as they look at their own reflections while the bell attachment adds another layer of fun and interest. Aside from luring your chicken to attack the mirror, it also helps clean your chicken’s mouths.
Vehomy has shatter-resistant mirrors made from acrylic and won’t crack when pecked by curious birds.
It is suited to combative and isolated roosters as their reflections are meant to reduce loneliness and boredom.
- Size 16.1 inches
- Weight 5.3 ounces
- Wood and metal design
- Easy to install
- Safe for chickens
- Lead free metal bell
- Not durable
- Made for roosters
- Doesn’t interest all birds
How to Pick the Best Toys for Chickens
Chicken toys provide birds with mental and physical stimulation to prevent problem behaviors such as pecking and chasing.
Toys and treats for poultry are most effective for birds that spend long periods inside the chicken coop, particularly during the cold winter months, when chickens get bored and frustrated.
There are many types of toys for birds so to help you choose the best product for your chickens today, we learn about the reasons to use chicken toys and how to find the right accessories for your flock.
What are the Benefits of Chicken Toys?
Chickens love to explore their environment in search of seeds, grasses, and grubs.
As natural foragers, they are curious and enjoy their time free ranging which helps to keep them stimulated and exercised.
For backyard chickens that spend quite a bit of time inside their coops or confined spaces, they can become stressed and frustrated as each bird tries to assert their place in the pecking order and territory. There is too much competition especially when it comes to food.
Chickens that are bored, stressed, or frustrated start to pull feathers, biting, and chasing one another.
The purpose of introducing chicken toys is to reduce boredom and to encourage a healthy form of stimulation inside the coop. Chickens turn their attention and energy toward the toy rather than their flock members.
For chicken toys to work, you need to find good quality products that chickens will interact with. Let’s explore just what you should look for when buying chicken toys.
Factors to Consider when Buying Chicken Toys
Always check toys for any small parts that could become lodged inside the crop. Avoid toxic material or residue being ingested by chickens that would make them very ill.
Think about the number of chickens to one toy. Items such as the Ware Manufacture Veggie Ball can entertain more than 10 chickens while a swing ladder is best for one or two birds to use as a roost or perch.
Is it going to be easy for chickens to use? If a ball, it should be lightweight for them to move around with ease. Design is about the practicality of the toy and whether it is suitable for the size and breed of poultry.
Is it affordable? Toys for birds should be functional and well-priced too. The Lixit Feeder is a fair price to help entertain a few chickens.
The Best Types of Chicken Toys
There are many different styles of chicken toys from hanging treat balls you can fill with treats to musical instruments such as the xylophone for chickens.
To help you choose the right toy for your flock, we look at the best chicken toys below…
A ladder swing is designed with wood slats and attached to the sides of the coop using a suspension hook design.
It acts as a flexible perch that chickens can jump onto for exercise and get away from boisterous birds or bullies in the coop.
A fillable ball can be twisted or pulled apart so that you can fill it with treats such as small berries, seeds, and even mealworms.
Chickens will roll the ball around for the toy to dispense the treats.
Plastic easter eggs can also be a substitute for a fillable ball. You can poke holes in a plastic easter egg and fill them with berries or seeds.
Other styles of ball toys such as the Ware Manufacturing Chick-N-Veggie Ball has a wire design with gaps to hold leafy greens as chickens peck and pull at the vegetables. The suspended design will keep food clean and away from soil and dirt.
Swing ropes are ideal for bantam chickens such as Silkies that are small enough to perch on the rope. It is hung and positioned like the ladder, suspended from the sides of the coop.
Mirrors are not entertaining for every bird but most roosters find their reflection quite distracting and will peck at the toy. You can also find wood frame mirrors with attachments to entertain chickens.
If you are thinking about a mirror toy, it should always have kid-safe or acrylic mirrors. This prevents dangerous shards from spreading should the mirror break.
Xylophones for chickens are meant to entertain birds with musical notes as they peck at the keys but not all chickens will find these types of toys interesting!
How to Make Your Own Chicken Toys
In addition to the exciting toys mentioned above, you can also make your own chicken toys. Perhaps you are already giving your chickens toys without even realizing it. Even chicken scratch, hanging cabbage and a rotten wood log counts as a toy.
With a little bit of time, you can repurpose accessories to make DIY chicken toys that serve as a unique chicken treat. We check out a few simple ideas for DIY chicken toys below…
You can suspend kid safe mirrors from the top of the coop for chickens to enjoy their reflection or you can use thick branches and wood posts to create a jungle gym for poultry.
Tie a heavy duty string to a plastic ring, coat plastic rings in peanut butter and suspend it from the roof of the coop for your chickens to enjoy.
Hiding small treats such as mealworms and berries among their bedding is another inexpensive idea that will have birds rummaging through the material for a snack.
Use food coloring matter to stain shredded paper or natural grass and bundle it together with string so you can create your very own chicken loofah. Poke holes in the paper or grass and fill it with small fruits and vegetables for chickens to eat.
Do Chickens Really Need Toys?
When chickens are confined to their coop, they get bored and frustrated because they can’t roam and forage as they would naturally in open spaces.
They will pull feathers, screech all day, chase their flock mates and even eat their own eggs when they become stressed.
Chickens are also intelligent animals and need stimulation to prevent bad behaviors that can quickly turn into nasty habits.
By introducing toys and turning the coop into a chicken playground, you turn their attention away from other birds and towards their treats or activities. It is a great way to prevent boredom and trouble inside the coop.
DID YOU KNOW
Feather pulling can cause bald patches and wounds that can become infected.
Do Chickens Get Bored in a Run?
Without daily free ranging and foraging outdoors, all chickens will become bored.
If the chicken yard or run is large enough, it can provide the stimulation they need to prevent unwanted behavior. As a general rule, a run should provide a minimum of ten square feet of space per chicken.
Do Chickens Play with Each Other?
Young chickens constantly play with one another by jumping and flapping their wings.
Even the hens look like roosters when they raise their feathers and chirp during play.
When behaviors such as biting, constant pecking, and feather pulling occur, these are no longer considered play but an overly aggressive behavior or bullying and should be stopped before chickens become injured.
How Do I Keep My Chickens Entertained?
They should be given time to free range or forage for a few hours everyday. Introduce toys and healthy treats they can rummage through to keep them busy.
The coop should also be large enough to house chickens and offer places to perch such as ladders or stumps for entertainment and relaxation.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this review covering the different types of chicken toys and that you now have a better idea of which toys would be best for your birds.
Always think about the size and number of chickens when choosing a toy including the types of treats you can use with it. My personal favorite is a treat ball that gets all the girls interested in what’s hidden inside of it.
If you’re undecided, let’s quickly recap the top picks…
Ware Manufacturing Chick-N-Veggie Ball
If you want a stimulating toy that will provide your chickens with nutritious foods.
Best On a Budget
To encourage chickens to exercise, the natural wood ladder chicken swing by Vehomy is sturdy, colorful, and will motivate birds to jump on and off the slats throughout the day.
Keep chickens of all ages busy and bust boredom with the Lixit Chicken Feeder.
Its pull-apart design makes it easy to fill with your chickens’ favorite treats and the tough outer shell allows chickens to roll it around and retrieve treats.
Spread the Word
If you’re ready to pick out some exciting toys for your feathered friends, be sure to share some of your new found tips with your fellow poultry keepers.
They might be interested in keeping their chickens busy and out of mischief with the best chicken toys and treats too!