Fighting chicken boredom

Monek Marie
Monek Marie Posts: 3,541 ✭✭✭✭✭

We are finally getting a long cold snap. Luckily we are going to miss the snow dump but I think its 6 days of cold. My chickens have become spoiled this winter so I figured I need to go the extra mile to keep them happy.

All outdoor animals have been deep mulched to hold in warmth. Waterers have been filled and placed in a place when they hopefully will not freeze. I also put plastic on a few of my screen runs for them to stay warmer.

But my chickens are bored. I can tell - they are giving me the evil eye. So I just came back from one of our stores hoping fora veggie deal. I found lettuce about to be tossed, so for $1 I bought 10. (one may stay in the house) They are hung up high and hanging from the rafters from baling twine. I expect a very competitive game of lettuce volleyball to be starting soon. I also hid apple pieces and a few other snacks in their hay to keep give them a game of hide a go seek.

Later this week if the cold continues or they look distressed they will have a warm bowl of oatmeal. I am also feeding them a bit of corn to keep their body heat up. I normally only use corn for bribery purposes.


  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Denise Grant I think you are a great person for taking such good care of your chickens.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,541 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @shllnzl Chicken bribery. When they are happy they lay more eggs ;)

    Actually I adore my chickens. They make me laugh every day

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,602 admin
    edited February 2021

    @Denise Grant You can also give your chickens crushed chilis. It helps keep their body warm, increasing their body temperature to help give more eggs as well. It also helps to deworm them.

    This will be our coldest night this winter @ -36°C with windchill making it feel like -46°C. We will see how everything did in the morning, although tomorrow through the day isn't supposed to be much better.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,541 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning Good luck with all your animals.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,602 admin

    Thanks @Denise Grant. So far so good this morning.

    Our dog is very happy. This cold is Elkhound bliss. He wants to play...and we don't so much. 🙃

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't envy you. We have had a fairly mild winter this year. I think the coldest we have see was -23 F. But a couple years after I moved from Florida to Alaska we spent about a week at -50. I was close to being ready to move back to Florida. We had just moved into an unfinished cabin. Could not get the temperature over 58 F in the cabin.

    Now that we have critters we keep lots of straw in the pig house and they burrow right in. Can't even see them in there sometimes. We often cook up hot cereals such as oatmeal or brown rice cereal for the chickens and throw in raisins or apples or some kind of fruit they would like.

    When they see that bucket coming the come out to eat no matter how cold it is out. They love it. We do fermented food for both the pigs and chickens and recently we have had access to cows milk for the pigs. They are getting spoiled and when you don't have the milk they sniff the food and look at you like they want to say "Hey, you forgot to put the good stuff in there!" We have several friends who save scrap for us and sometimes I buy scrap at the grocery store for them all. Got a large box of apples today for $2. They love that too.