Chickens aren’t terribly different from other domestic animals that humans keep, such as cats or dogs. Just like other pets, chickens are likely to become mischievous and get into trouble when they become bored. This can lead to damaged property and unhealthy chickens in the long term. Luckily, the solution is quite simple – give your chickens some toys to keep them entertained!
You might have noticed that there’s no chicken aisle at your local pet store. That doesn’t mean you’re out of luck though! Rather, it just means you’ll have to get a bit creative, roll up your sleeves, and build something yourself. Thankfully, chicken toys are pretty easy to build, and we’ve gathered 15 great DIY options for you to toy around with.
15 DIY Chicken Toys
1. Chicken Swing
Children absolutely love swings. A swing set is a perfect device for occupying children over long stretches of time. But it’s not just children who are open to the allures of a swing. Chickens love swings just as much as children if you give them the chance to try one! Luckily, building a chicken-sized swing isn’t that hard, and here you can even find directions to follow so you can easily build a swing for your chickens.
2. Stuffed Treat Ball
This is about as basic as DIY gets. You just have to get an open ball that you can stuff with treats for your chickens. Go for healthy options like greens and fruits so you know that your chickens are benefitting from the nutrition as well as the fun. You can try doing this with either a kids toy or a dog toy; you should be able to find compatible balls made for both.
3. Chicken Seed Roll Treats
These might remind you of crafts you made back in art class in elementary school, and in truth, they’re not all that different. Chicken seed roll treats are extremely easy to make, and they don’t take long at all. Best of all, you probably already have everything you need. You don’t need to buy much for this; you can recycle most of the required materials, like the old cardboard tubes from your empty toilet paper rolls.
Ok, to be fair, there’s not a whole lot of DIY here. You’re going to attach this to the wall, but aside from putting in the screws that hold it up, you’re not building much. Still, it’s a great way to repurpose an old kid’s toy and watch your chickens get endless hours of enjoyment from it. You can probably find a similar kid’s xylophone at any yard sale for just a buck or two.
5. Chicken Playground
Entertaining chickens isn’t really all that different from entertaining children. When you want to occupy your kids, you take them to the playground. Well, the same thing works for chickens. Give them a playground and they’ll get near-infinite enjoyment out of it. There are many ways you can build a playground for chickens. Try using this as a starting point, but don’t be afraid to use your imagination and build something truly unique.
6. Chicken Boredom Buster
This Cheep-n-Easy DIY boredom buster for chickens is easy to make and inexpensive as anything that might occupy your chickens. All you need is an old water bottle and a way to put some holes in it. Then, you can fill it up with chicken feed and watch your chickens all go nuts over it!
7. Easy DIY Chicken Dust Bath
Chickens love dust baths, and you can build one with very little effort if you just find the right items to repurpose. All it takes is finding something large enough for a chicken to stand in that can hold the dust. Then, get the right material to fill it with. Don’t worry, it’s very simple and if you click on the picture, you can find all the information you need.
8. Jungle Gym for Chickens
Here’s a modification of the playground idea. You can build a jungle gym for your chickens, which is perfect for flocks of more than just a few birds. If your jungle gym is large enough, all of your chickens will fit on it at the same time without being cramped for space. Best of all, you can make this from repurposed materials so you don’t have to spend anything!
9. Flock Block
Flock blocks are like hanging treats for chickens. As they try to peck off a bit of seed, the block keeps moving, making it quite a bit of work for your birds to get any seed. It will keep your whole flock entertained for hours, and you’ll probably get a pretty good laugh out of it as well.
10. Cucumber Tetherball
Who doesn’t love tetherball? Well, chickens probably wouldn’t be too interested in a tetherball, but when you replace a traditional ball with a cucumber, they get very interested very quickly. This is about as simple as a DIY project gets. Just put a string through a cucumber and hang it up; your chickens won’t even know what minimal effort you invested in their new toy!
11. Chicken Teeter Totter
If you haven’t noticed the trend yet, it’s that chickens like all the same toys and fun things that kids enjoy. Here’s a teeter-totter for chickens, also known as a see-saw, which is a very common amusement at parks. Kids love them, and so will your chickens.
12. Chicknic Table
Cute names aside, this is a great feeder toy for your chickens. They can perch on it and play around, but it also serves to keep their food up off the ground. Part toy, part utility, this is one that you’ll be happy you made. However, it does take a bit more skill than most of the other projects on this list, and you’ll need a few tools as well.
13. Repurposed Bicycle Wheels
Have you ever seen a chicken play on a bike wheel? Turns out, if you mount one horizontally, it can become a great spinning perch for a chicken. This is a perfect project to repurpose that old bicycle that’s sitting outside rusting right now.
14. Chicken Kebab
Here’s one that’s part toy and part treat. Chicken veggie kebabs are full of nutrient-rich foods that will help keep your chickens healthy and happy. But since it’s on a string, your birds are going to have to work for their food, which is going to keep them occupied for quite a while.
15. Chicken Roosting Bridge
Regular chicken roosts are boring. Step up your chickens’ roost game with a roosting bridge. If it’s long enough, many chickens can roost at once, and since it’s so unstable, it’ll make them work hard to hold on, offering exercise that your chickens can definitely benefit from.
Chicken toys don’t have to be complicated. In fact, some of the simplest toys seem to provide the most entertainment. After all, they’re not the smartest creatures in existence; occupying birds isn’t that complex. In just a short time, you could construct any of the simple DIY projects on this list and entertain your birds with little more than your imagination and ingenuity. Remember, these are just ideas. Feel free to make them yours by adjusting and tweaking them as you see fit.
Featured Image Credit: JPR03, Shutterstock
An avid outdoorsman, Dean spends much of his time adventuring through the diverse terrain of the southwest United States with his closest companion, his dog, Gohan. He gains experience on a full-time journey of exploration. For Dean, few passions lie closer to his heart than learning. An apt researcher and reader, he loves to investigate interesting topics such as history, economics, relationships, pets, politics, and more.