Although chickens do not 'play' in the same way as a dog will play with a stick or a cat will play with a ball of wool, they still enjoy a bit of fun.
Chicken toys are best described as objects that the birds can interact with - things that stimulate them, and that appeal to their instincts and natural behaviours.
At its simplest, the classic accessory for chicken downtime is the perch. Omlet has the perfect weatherproof Chicken Perch that fits anywhere in your chicken run. The birds will use them to relax, and to snuggle up together after a busy afternoon scratching and pecking.
Like any pet, chickens can become bored if they run out of things to occupy them. Chicken swings may sound like an odd idea at first. But chickens love to swing just as much as, say, a pet budgie or finch. It appeals to their instincts on many levels. Chickens like to perch, and they also like to find a good lookout spot. That's why they often flap to the top of their coop, or hop on to an upturned bucket or box to get a better vantage point. The swing fulfills these needs, with the added bonus of swinging.
Omlet's Chicken Swing has a unique design, enabling the birds to 'pump' the swing themselves, and with a textured grip for their feet. Anyone who doubts a chicken's ability to seek and enjoy a bit of fun will have their doubts blown away when they see the birds jostling for the next ride on the swing.
Chicken Peck Toys
Chickens enjoy searching for their food, by scratching the ground or prying into corners and beneath stones to see if they have overlooked any tasty morsel. This instinct is catered for by chicken peck toys. Omlet can supply you with Peck Toys that hang from the chicken run (the Pendant model), or stand in the ground (the Poppy model). Like a wild bird feeder, they drip-feed the food to the pecking chickens. The birds can see the reservoir of food, and this type of feeding is very stimulating and satisfying for them.
The Caddi Chicken Treat Holder is a variation on the peck toy theme. It holds fresh greens and vegetables, and combines the fun element with practical considerations too. It keeps food off the ground, preventing it from becoming soiled, and improving run hygiene. It also reduces wastage and keeps ground-dwelling pests away. Perfect!
The Caddi Chicken Treat Holder keeps hens happy
You can also buy fruit holders, which serve the same purpose. Omlet can supply you with a single apple holder, and skewer-type fruit and veg holders, all custom-made for your birds and available in the online store. They combine those two important elements of chicken's life - natural pecking instincts, plenty of food, and lots of fun.
The food ball is arguably the most 'fun' toy. The treats are packed into a ball which the chickens can peck at, releasing small amounts of food. The football game will soon be in full swing, with the birds showing some fancy beak-work as they dribble the ball across the lawn, pecking the released treats along the way. And it is, of course, great fun to watch!
Not all peck toys involve food. Chickens are stimulated by anything that hangs down, and will respond eagerly to pinata-like objects that they can peck at, or even shred. Omlet can supply you with a colourful range of these hanging peck toys.