Chicken Hamster Ball – The Rolling Chicken Run

A chicken run is a fenced-in area linked to the chicken coop that provides the flock with all of the outside space it requires without roaming free. Many backyard chicken enthusiasts are required to think out of the box regarding the needs of their chickens. Have you ever seen a chicken hamster ball, or a rolling chicken run?

A chicken hamster ball, a chicken orb as it’s called in Australia, is a spherical-shaped enclosure. Like a hamster’s ball, the rolling chicken run allows a chicken to forage in urban environments, limiting some destructive behaviours and allowing them to experience free-ranging.

There are numerous circumstances in which free-ranging is not feasible. Predators, space constraints, and damage to backyard gardens are all reasons to keep the birds in their enclosed run. Chickens who are allowed to free-range are healthier and produce better-tasting eggs, so how do you do the seemingly impossible? A chicken hamster ball could be the answer to your dilemma.

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Interesting Concept: Cruel Or Not?

Free-ranging the flock isn’t realistic for many if not most, backyard chicken enthusiasts. We’re talking about space constraints, HOA rules, and a grumpy dog next door. The chicken hamster ball was designed to help address some of the issues above.

As we all know, chickens let loose to free-range can be a destructive force, especially in well-maintained backyard gardens, with digging, scratching, and flicking their way of exploring a landscape, filling their diet with bugs, plants, and seeds.

There are many positives when it comes to the chicken hamster ball, but are there any negative or cruel ramifications when placing your chicken in a rolling chicken run?

Chickens Are Not Protected From Predators

Chicken hamster balls (Rolling chicken run) are designed out of steel wire and allow a hen to forage around the garden.

When you allow your chicken some free-ranging time inside the hamster chicken ball, you must be aware that the device will not automatically protect your chicken from its predators. Never let your chicken sleep in it overnight.

If you stay in an area where predators who prey on chickens are found in abundance, then leaving your chicken in the hamster ball unsupervised can be seen as cruel, as the cage does not protect them from:

  • Birds Of Prey
  • Foxes
  • Bobcats
  • Rodents
  • Skunks
  • Raccoons
  • Weasels
  • Bobcats
  • Snakes

Suppose you find these types of animals on your property regularly. It could be considered cruel to leave your chicken in the hamster ball while not watching them, as technically, they will be a sitting duck when Mr. Predator makes his appearance.

If your chickens are lucky enough to be able to free-range in your spacious backyard, the risk of predators catching them will also be very high should you stay in a high-predator-risk area.

The Benefits Of A Chicken Hamster Ball

The chicken hamster ball restricts the hen from certain areas in the garden and certain behaviours. They can experience free-range movement when free-ranging is not an option without the chicken hamster ball.

Keeping chickens has moved from the countryside to urban dwellings and even city areas. Anyone with a little backyard or garden and a desire for fresh eggs has found chicken keeping a fantastic hobby.

But as with all “pets,” there’s a certain degree of upkeep and requirements that makes keeping them a bit of a struggle – especially in confined spaces. Here’s how a chicken hamster ball, rolling chicken run, or chicken orb can benefit you and your cackling friends.

A Chicken Hamster Balls Preserves Your Garden

Chickens enjoy digging while foraging, but they have no idea what a plant and a weed are. The rolling chicken run was created to allow pet hens to browse alongside an urban garden without creating a mess, and ultimately destroying your garden, as they do when free-ranging.

To ensure that the chicken doesn’t gain access to your garden beds while in the chicken hamster ball, it’s recommended that you raise the non-entry areas’ edging by 8 inches above the surface. The raised edging will stop an average-sized chicken (5 to 6 pounds) from rolling past it.

Another option is to secure stakes around the areas you don’t want your chicken to enter. Use stakes 1′ x 1′ or thicker, a minimum height of 12 inches above the surface, and no more than 22 inches apart.

The chicken hamster ball was created to help urban gardeners benefit from having pet hens forage between the garden beds rather than in them, doing insect and weed control.

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A Chicken Hamster Balls Restricts Certain Behaviors

Chickens foraging in gardens are beneficial since they enjoy looking for pests and fresh greenery. The additional worm and insect diet results in delicious and nutritious eggs and should be encouraged, as it also benefits your garden.

Nobody wants to coup up their chickens in the coup or small chicken run all the time, but letting them out of their enclosure always results in certain “negative” behaviours. Natural behaviours for a chicken, when allowed to roam freely, is to:

  • Scratch
  • Dig
  • Run
  • Jump
  • Fly

Chickens flying into the neighbour’s property can lead to the hens destroying their flower beds and gardens and pooping on their property. This scenario isn’t very conducive to healthy neighbour relations.

Jumping their way into the neighbourhood will only result in a cat-and-mouse game, and getting them back into the coup is a mission, as they are tricky and fast customers.

Placing the chicken in a rolling chicken run will prevent it from running, jumping, and flying away while still allowing the chicken to move in the sphere. The sphere allows the chicken to naturally forage for food in your garden, resulting in better-tasting eggs.

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You Can Take Your Chicken To Free-Range Anywhere

Chickens need sunshine and a change of scenery every so often. The change of scenery can be due to the chicken run requiring a spring clean, the coup needing a wash and dry, and the rolling chicken run has you covered in such a case.

While your partner, or hired help, is cleaning the chicken coup, it may be a good idea to take your chicken on a mini road trip. Transporting them inside their chicken hamster balls to a nearby field where they can forage as much as possible is priceless.

The chickens are not messing up your lawn when you take them elsewhere to free-range; they’re getting some fresh air and are exposed to a more varied diet (bugs, grass, and plants) than found in confinement. You will have happier and healthier birds in the long run.

There is a significant difference in the colour of the yolks between a free-range chicken egg and a store-bought or caged chicken egg when cracked. The yolks of free-range eggs are a deeper yellow (often even orange) colour and are packed with vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.

The Chicken Coop And Run Is Less Dirty

Chickens held in confinement with no free-range opportunities will mess up a chicken coop and run quite fast. When your chickens spend most of their time outside, they are less likely to soil the run and coop.

A cleaner coop translates to fewer flies, as there will be a less concentrated chicken waste when your chickens spend time in the rolling chicken run. To keep your chickens healthy, you still need to clean them regularly, although considerably less frequently than when they were confined.

Chicken Hamster Ball Types

The main design of a chicken hamster ball is strong steel welded spherical structure with a gate that’s easy to open and close. Chickens need to be able to eat and drink through the enclosure naturally. A chicken hamster ball should resemble something like this.


Where To Buy A Chicken Hamster Ball?

The chicken hamster ball is not being marketed aggressively in the United States, with very little information on businesses manufacturing these chicken accessories.

On the other hand, Australia has a company called ChickenOrb that sells and ships chicken hamster balls (strong steel welded spherical structures for medium-sized chickens) to the USA.

Click Here To Buy

How To Train Your Chicken To Use A Chicken Hamster Ball

The hamster chicken ball may sound perfect for your chicken or chickens. But it will still take an adjustment period before your chickens can use it comfortably. Here are some tips for training your chicken to function inside the rolling chicken run.

Allow The Chicken To Familiarize Itself

Getting placed in a steel cage will freak anybody out. Allow the chicken to get used to its new surroundings.

Once the chicken is familiar, encourage movement by presenting your chicken with its favorite food, placed a short distance away from the sphere. You can gently roll the chicken hamster ball by pushing it in the direction that the chicken is facing.

Let The Chicken Learn Its New Boundaries

Once the chicken starts to move in the rolling chicken run, allow it to explore its new boundaries. Areas the chicken could access before are now out of bounds for her. Allow her to get used to the new restricted layout of the land.

When the chicken is flapping about, it’s more a sign of frustration of not being able to fly, jump, and run. Your chicken will soon get over herself and start enjoying the experience as it realizes its physical boundaries within the orb constitute.

Be Patient And Helpful While The Chicken Is Learning

Be patient, and lend a helping hand where necessary. The chicken hamster ball may get stuck once or twice, and helping your chicken become unstuck will lessen the frustration that your hen will be experiencing while she figures out the new gadget.

Take Your Chicken Back To The Coop When Flustered

If you see your chicken getting a bit flustered inside the rolling chicken run, take her out immediately, and return her to the coop for some rest. She may have some egg-laying duty to perform.

The more you place her inside the sphere, the better she will get at operating it. Please don’t force it. Soon you will be able to provide free-range opportunities to your beloved chicken anywhere you find a suitable flat section of land.

You can get them on Amazon! See prizes here…


If you stay on a farm, free-range chickens are the norm. Giving your chickens free-range opportunities becomes a little trickier when staying in urban environments. The chicken hamster ball will make your life and the life of your favorite chicken easier in many aspects, as listed in the article.

A free-ranging chicken is a much happier and healthier bird, and the rolling chicken run might be your answer to ensuring both.

You can get them on Amazon! See prizes here…