If you think your hens are bored, there are a few things you can try which will keep them more happily occupied. Hanging greens from the sides or roof of the run is a good way to help a hen pass the day and also keeps the leaves clean and prevents them from being trampled into the wood chippings. Things like cabbage, kale and especially broccoli tied up in a run are very popular and should keep them entertained for most of the day as they peck away at them. Another idea would be something like the seed blocks which are sold in petshops and garden centres for wild birds. Use the ones held together with a honey syrup rather than suet which isn’t good for them though. If you fixed one or two of these to the sides of the run, they too should keep their attention. Many people suggest tying old CDs up in the run too as the hens find them fascinating. However, from experience, our girls didn’t give them a second glance! Often putting something in the run for them to perch on will make them very happy so if you’ve got any old branches which have been cut up in the garden, you could try trimming them to fit inside the run so that they can sit and preen on them or just watch the world go by! Another trick if you have bark or wood chippings on the ground in the run is to scatter things like wheat, mixed corn or raisins amongst the wood chippings so that they can rootle around in it during the day to unearth a tasty treat. Depending on how much room you have in your run, a hen sized tray with sieved compost or sand in makes a terrific dustbath which will keep them happy for hours as they roll around and flick the contents everywhere!
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