The Best Toys for Chickens
by Jennifer Behm – Chicken farmer| Last Updated– 04 January 2021
- Chicken Ladder Swing – Safest Option & Most Comfortable for Chickens
- Chicken Pecking Xylophone Toy – Best Musical Option & Easiest to Install
- Chick-N-Veggie Treat Ball – Budget Option & Best Nutrition Pick
- Chicken Swing Rope – Best Value & Most Accessories
- Wooden Chicken Flexible Swing Ladder – Best Overall & Largest Design
If you have chickens, then you’re well aware of the emotional capacities that they have opposing the general public’s conception of them. They’re very intelligent animals, and they have the ability to explore their limits when they’re placed in the right environment to do so. Giving them toys to play with is one of the best ways to do this.
Safest Option & Most Comfortable for Chickens
|Chicken Ladder Swing ||
Best Value & Most Accessories
|Chicken Swing Rope ||
Best Overall & Largest Design
|Wooden Chicken Flexible Swing Ladder ||
Best Musical Option & Easiest to Install
|Chicken Pecking Xylophone Toy ||
Budget Option & Best Nutrition Pick
|Chick-N-Veggie Treat Ball ||
You must supply your chickens with the right kinds of toys to have fun with to increase their livelihood. Chicken toys can be anything from ladders to treat balls to swinging ropes and steps. Whether you have chickens to raise as pets, eggs, or meat, keeping them stimulated and happy can increase their emotional wellbeing throughout their lives.
But you may be wondering, “How do I keep my chickens entertained?” This guide contains all of the information you need, from reviews of chicken toys to some general helpful information about chicken toys.
There are even FAQs surrounding many common questions, like “What should you put in a chicken run?” This guide ultimately contains all of the general information regarding the best chicken toys for entertaining your backyard chickens.
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Different Types of Chicken Toys – Buyer’s Guide
Chickens and birds, in general, are known to eat small amounts of food periodically throughout the day. That being said, they likely will always want some snacking food, so treats and snacks in the form of toys can be a great way to encourage and motivate chickens to play with toys to get the food.
This can involve anything from handing fruits and vegetables from ropes or strings from the top of the cage to placing a probe down the center of a corn cob. You can even place treats within the center of balls or other types of interactive toys to encourage chickens to mentally think about how to get the treats out. Just make sure that you don’t make the food too difficult to gain access to since they may become frustrated.
Chicken balls are one of the most popular types of chicken toys since they come in a range of different designs, styles, and sizes. They can essentially be made out of any type of material, ranging from string, rope, or even plastic or straw. Balls are an effective way to help chickens stay active during the day since they can peck the ball at each other or chase after it and stimulate physical activity.
Ladders or Swings
Ladders and swings are also great ideas for chicken toys because they’re affordable on the market, or you can even make them at home with materials you have in your house. Chickens’ talons naturally tend to grasp things, so having a swing or a ladder with a wooden and round shape can allow them to remain comfortable while swinging or walking across the ladder.
You should make sure that you review the different materials used in producing certain swings and ladders since some can contain toxic and harmful chemicals in the colors and paints they use. Lastly, you may even want to consider purchasing a swing ladder on the market since some chicken toys combine the idea of the two toys and make it even more fun and engaging for chickens.
Lastly, you may want to consider purchasing or building chicken toys that make music or sounds. Chickens are stimulated through all their senses, so you can motivate them to play more often by having bells, keys, or other toys that produce sound.
Anything that can be used as a peck toy is also a great idea. A peck toy adds the stimulation your chickens need and helps fight the boredom of an otherwise usual routine. It has also been shown to help improve the overall behavior of the flock.
TOP 5 Chicken Toys for Entertaining Your Backyard
Chicken Ladder Swing
Toy – Ladder Swing
Measuring almost 16 inches by 3.5 inches, this chicken ladder swing offers a safe and sanitary place for your chickens to relieve their boredom in the coop. The overall product is larger than expected when you first receive it, but the larger design helps keep the chickens comfortable by providing them with more room to play. You can easily connect this swing ladder to any cage or coop using the steel hooks at either end of the swing.
Design & Materials
The swing itself is made of a sturdy, natural wood material that’s safe for any chickens or roosters to chew on or peck at. And it’s made from all non-toxic materials. In addition, the suspension hook design helps keep the ladder from bouncing around too much when chickens or roosters are on it.
I’d recommend this Vehomy Swing Ladder to anyone that’s worried about a non-toxic and safe toy for their pets.
- Suspension hook design provides additional comfort and safety
- Steel hook clasps at the top hook securely to the cage or coop
- Made from sturdy, non-toxic and natural wood
- The swing may not be as supportive for multiple chickens at once
Chicken Pecking Xylophone Toy
Pecking Xylophone Toy
For those wanting the chickens to have a more musical toy to play with, this Vehomy Chicken Xylophone toy is a great option. The xylophone delivers crisp and full tones when the chickens peck the colorful keys, encouraging them to play and be more active.
Design & Materials
Each of the keys on the xylophone is brightly colored to stimulate chickens’ senses and encourage them to play with the musical toy. And the xylophone itself is produced out of durable pure wood material. It is specially designed for chickens. On the bottom of the xylophone, you will find a floral grinding stone rich in minerals and perfect for your chickens to peck at and play with.
This pecking xylophone from Pranovo is highly suggested for anyone that wants a quick and easy toy to install while offering chickens hours of entertainment. It features two chains with hooks so that it can be hung easily in your chicken coop. The xylophone can easily be fixed onto a range of coop designs, cages, or even fences.
- Easy to install on any cage, coop or fence
- Made with pure wood, so it doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals or toxins
- Presents bright colors and makes crisp sounds to encourage engagement
- The sounds aren’t as loud as expected
Chick-N-Veggie Treat Ball
Treat Ball for Chicken
To offer chickens a nutritious and entertaining toy to play with, the Chick-N-Veggie Treat Ball from Ware Manufacturing can help to keep chickens healthy and happy. This treat ball for chickens can hold veggies inside it to encourage chickens to play with it while also getting a snack. There is an easy open and close design that you can use to add and remove treats from.
Design & Materials
The ball itself has a diameter of seven inches, so it’s able to hold as many veggies as a whole head of lettuce. The ball is made with durable plastic rings held together by strings to keep all sorts of veggies contained within the ball.
I would recommend this chicken treat ball to those that want to provide their chickens with nutrients and fun while remaining on a budget.
- Easy open and close design
- Ball measures 7” in diameter, making it large enough to hod a full head of lettuce
- Sturdy plastic ring keeps veggies securely inside the ball
- It may be difficult to fit smaller types of veggies inside the ball’s design
Chicken Swing Rope
Toy – Swing Rope
The BWOGUE Swing Rope fixture comes with a chicken ball that can provide double the entertainment for chickens and roosters. Available as a two-pack, you can provide entertainment for more chickens at one time while a few are swinging on the ladder and one is playing with the ball. To install the rope, you just have to hang it with metal clasps. And the ball itself can hold veggies or other treats.
Design & Materials
The rope itself is a steel wire that’s encased in cotton rope material. The rope measures 59 inches and the ball is around eight centimeters, making both the perfect sizes for multiple chickens to play with. That being said, the rope can be curled or straight, and it’s easy to adjust.
I’d recommend this BWOGUE Swing Rope and Chicken Ball for anyone wanting a two-in-one feature to entertain multiple different chickens at once.
- Comes with a rope and a ball
- The rope’s design is easy to adjust
- The ball is able to hold veggies or treats
- The rope is a little thin, making it difficult for multiple chickens to balance on it at once
Wooden Chicken Flexible Swing Ladder
Toy – Flexible Swing Ladder
The colorful swing ladder from BWOGUE is specifically designed to hold multiple chickens at once and allow them to confidently walk across the ladder. There are sturdy metal clasps that help securely connect the ladder to the cage or coop, and the quick link fastener makes the process fast and easy. There are even additional buckles to help prevent the risk of the wire pulling off of the cage.
Design & Materials
The ladder itself measures 47.2 inches, which is much larger than most other toys on this list. In addition, the wooden, colorful design features a steel wire that runs throughout the entire ladder, making it durable and sturdier than other ladder toys.
This ladder swing would be a great idea for any of you needing a more secure ladder toy for multiple chickens to play on at once.
- Metal clasp, link fastener and buckles make the ladder more secure
- Colorful design encourages chickens to be active and play
- Steel wire runs throughout the entire design
- More expensive than some of the other chicken toys on this list
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing
Before purchasing chicken toys for chickens, there are a few considerations to keep in mind as you make your selections.
How many chickens do you have?
You should consider how many chickens you have to figure out how many toys you’ll need to place in their living space. If you only have one or two, you can get away with a smaller amount of toys. But if you have quite a few, then you’ll want more.
It’s also important to consider how many chickens you have because, for ladders and swings especially, you’ll want to make sure you have toys that are big enough for multiple chickens to play with at once. If not, then you risk not only breaking the toy, but you could also harm one of the chickens if they fall off.
Regardless of how many chickens you have, you should still consider switching the toys out every now and then because they may get tired of playing with the same toys over and over again.
Do you have a coop or free-range conditions?
There are difficult types of toys that can cater to a range of living conditions. For example, some toys will work best in smaller coop conditions, while others are more suited for free-range conditions. For instance, smaller toys like keys, small balls, and treats can be placed in small coops. But large swings, ladders, and other larger-sized toys should probably be reserved for wider living spaces.
DIY Chicken Toy
What about a DIY chicken toy? Yes! You can also make your own chicken toys in addition to the great recommendations we have included in our review above.
Here are just a few homemade toys you can make to entertain your chickens.
Repurpose the Fruits and Veggies
We all know our chickens love food, so why not use some leftover produce to entertain your chickens? You can hang lettuce or cabbage from twine in the chicken coop. The chickens will then start jumping up, trying to grab at the treats.
You can even hide small berries in the bedding. It is like a treasure hunt for your chickens. However, when hiding the berries, make sure the chickens see you do it, so they know there are treats there to be found.
It can get hot during the summer months, even for your chickens, so you can use ice not only to hydrate them but also to entertain them as a DIY peck toy. You can freeze large treats inside of blocks of ice, and your chickens can peck at it to get to the treats. We suggest mealworms for this. It makes a great boredom buster!
Repurpose Old Toys
Finally, you can repurpose your children’s old toys to help combat coop boredom. Kid-safe mirrors hanging in the coop, plastic rings coated with peanut butter, and even old jungle gyms are all great toys you can use to repurpose for your happy chickens.
Overall, you need to provide your chickens with toys and other objects to prevent their boredom in the chicken coop. Giving them the right kinds of toys can help stimulate their mental and physical health and improve their overall wellbeing. Whether you choose to purchase the swinging ladder, treat ball, or something other, your chickens will love the extra engagement while in their coop.
Why do I need to keep my chickens occupied?
It’s important that you help relieve chickens’ boredom and stimulate their activity because sitting in a coop all day and doing nothing is unhealthy for them and decreases their livelihood. Many people aren’t aware that chickens are social creatures, with both other chickens and even other creatures as well.
They can easily recognize humans and know which ones are their owners or not. That being said, they’re capable of creating relationships and trust with people around them more. Simply leaving them in a cage or a coop all day alone can potentially lead them to live depressing and lonely lives.
Not only that, but chickens with boring lives are known to eventually engage in negative behavior or other issues. For instance, bored chickens are known to engage in meaningful actions towards other chickens, eating their own eggs, pulling out their own feathers, unhealthy eating habits, and even cannibalism. Bored chickens are mentally unstimulated and can result in their being overall stressed.
How do I keep my chickens entertained?
To best keep your chickens entertained, you should give them living conditions that make them the happiest while also providing them with other chickens and toys. This question also relates to questions like, “what should you put in a chicken run?”
Good living conditions for chickens range anywhere from a clean environment to allow them to free-range within a fence. If you’re keeping them outside, then you’ll want to make sure that they’re safe from any predators, especially at night.
Other basic needs entail healthy food and clean water. Since chickens bathe in their water, you should change their water more often than not. And you’ll want to make sure that their water is at the right temperature. Overall, they will need space. Chickens love to roam around and explore, so you should offer them free-range conditions whenever possible.
Aside from good living conditions, chickens will thrive while being around other types of chickens and birds like themselves. They’re social to other beings, and they like to play and interact with others. Lastly, providing them with toys and good treats is a great way to help build a relationship between your chickens and themselves as well as with you.
Do chickens like bright colors?
Chickens are actually attracted to the color red. So, if you want to attract your chickens to the chicken coop, you can paint the coop and nesting boxes a bright shade of red. Bright colors are especially stimulating for backyard chickens. So, hanging toys adorned with the colors of the rainbow are sure to make for happy chickens.
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