Chicken Run Balls: The Innovative Solution for Active and Happy Hens!

Picture this: a flock of vibrant, lively hens, feathers fluffed up with excitement as they peck and play with a brightly colored ball in their chicken run. Not only is it an amusing sight that’ll leave you grinning, but it also has countless benefits for your feathered friends. Chicken run balls are the innovative, fun-filled solution that turns a regular chicken run into a poultry playground

And just to be clear, this article is about play balls and feeder balls you can give your chickens for entertainment in the run. If you’re looking for information on the hamster ball the chicken can roll around inside you need to see this article here…

Contrary to popular belief, chickens display playful behaviour in their unique way. They might not fetch a ball or purr at a stroke like our cats and dogs, but they certainly know how to have a good time!

For instance, some chicken keepers have noted how their flocks delight in pecking at a hanging head of cabbage or lettuce, suggesting a love for interactive food games. The birds seem to revel in the challenge, getting quite excited and animated in their pursuit of these suspended snacks.

Moreover, chickens also engage in what appears to be social play. Observers have seen them dashing, chasing, and running around after each other. While this could sometimes be misinterpreted as pecking order disputes, closer scrutiny reveals that it is often simple fun and games between friends in the flock.

Chickens also seem to enjoy toys designed to stimulate their curiosity and natural instincts. From bird toys and mirrors to platforms for hopping onto and off, these interactive elements provide plenty of amusement for our feathered friends. They even have a soft spot for cuddly objects, with some chickens seen snuggling up to small stuffed animals.

Some chickens have been seen engaging in a form of ‘tag,’ chasing each other around in what appears to be a lively and enjoyable game. It’s also not uncommon to see chickens playing ‘football’ with soft food items, like scrambled eggs. They’ll peck at and kick around the food until every last morsel is gone.

Chicken Run Feeder Ball for Treats and Play

Interactive chicken feeders have gained popularity among poultry enthusiasts for their role in providing entertainment and stimulation for the birds. Among these, treat balls and hanging feeders have emerged as particularly intriguing options, but not without their share of pros and cons.

I love how these feeders turn snack time into a fun activity, allowing chickens to peck away at their leisure throughout the day. I do have a positive experience stating that despite the treat ball being smaller than I expected, it was an effective tool for providing snacks.

However, these treat balls are not without their challenges. Some customers have found the opening and closing mechanism of the ball difficult to manoeuvre. Users have reported pinching their fingers while trying to secure the metal prongs. Additionally, durability issues have been reported, with some users noticing the bars coming off after a few weeks of use.

Hanging feeders designed to hold vegetables and other treats are another favourite among chicken keepers. With a diameter of 5.1 inches, these feeders are said to be capable of holding sizable vegetables such as tomatoes or lettuce heads, creating an attractive and healthy pecking target for the birds.

Despite these challenges, there’s no denying the entertainment and stimulation that these interactive feeders bring to our feathered friends. Whether you choose a hanging feeder or a treat ball, ensure it meets the needs of your chickens while providing them with a fun and enriching feeding experience.

Will chickens play with balls?

Yes, chickens will play with balls, and it can be quite entertaining to observe! Chicks are especially known to interact with balls and it can be a great way for them to expend energy and keep boredom at bay. Items like tennis balls or smaller, clear plastic balls with bells inside are popular choices. However, it’s essential to ensure the ball doesn’t have any parts that could be accidentally ingested or cause harm to your chickens, such as loose fuzzy bits on tennis balls.

Can pet pig balls or dog feeders be used for chickens?

Pet pig balls and dog feeders can potentially be used as toys for chickens. However, the suitability of these items would depend on their size, material, and safety features. Anything with small detachable parts or sharp edges should be avoided. Equally, if a toy is too large, it may intimidate the chickens rather than engage them.

Nutrition and benefits of chicken pecking balls

Chicken pecking balls are not just toys, but also provide an interesting method of feeding. These are usually filled with nutritious feed or treats, encouraging the chickens to peck, which is a natural behaviour. This not only keeps them entertained but also provides nutritional benefits. As the chickens peck the ball, they receive food rewards, promoting a healthy diet. These types of interactive feeding tools can also reduce aggressive pecking behaviour amongst the flock.

Chicken run feeder ball / treat ball

A chicken run feeder ball or a treat ball is a popular toy that doubles as a feeder. These balls are typically designed with holes, allowing feed or treats to spill out when pecked or moved around. This engages the chickens’ natural foraging instincts and provides a source of amusement and physical activity. They’re excellent for stimulating the chickens, keeping them active, and promoting a healthy feeding pattern.

What are fun things to put in a chicken run?

There are plenty of fun things you can put in a chicken run to keep your feathered friends entertained. Aside from balls and feeder toys, consider adding chicken swings or roosting bars for them to fly up to and perch on. Hanging treat dispensers, such as a head of lettuce or cabbage, can provide a ‘pecking party’ for them. Mirrors can also be used as chickens are attracted to their own reflection. Remember, variety is key to keeping your chickens happy and engaged.

How do I keep my chickens happy in a run?

Keeping chickens happy in a run involves providing them with a stimulating environment. Include a variety of toys, such as balls, feeder toys, and mirrors to provide both physical and mental stimulation. Install perches at different heights for the chickens to fly up to and roost. In addition to providing high-quality feed, occasionally offer fresh vegetables or fruits for pecking. Regularly change the items in the run to keep the environment novel and interesting. Cleanliness is also crucial, so regular cleaning of the run is necessary. With these measures, your chickens will stay active, engaged, and happy.

Alternatives to chicken run balls

I can remember the amusing tale of one chicken owner who introduced a ping pong ball into the brooder for their 4 1/2-week-old chicks. There was an immediate dash to inspect the ball, but soon after, the chicks just started knocking it back and forth, providing a source of entertainment and alleviating the general monotony. While the ping pong ball was a hit, other users warned against teaching chicks to peck round white things as it could encourage egg-eating behaviour in the future. I learned that this could be combated by using a coloured ping pong ball, reducing the risk of mistaken identity.

Exploring further, I’ve also stumbled upon experiences with bird toys made for parakeet-sized birds. With their colourful bits and little jingle bells, chicks seem to love them. However, there was an important lesson in safety too – we should watch out for toys with potential choking hazards, like jingle bells. A more fitting alternative might be the use of golf balls or even mini soccer balls, as long as they can fit in the enclosure. There’s something almost enchantingly hilarious about watching chickens interact with these objects.

Fake chicken eggs can be golf balls

Adding to these amusing tales is the use of a simple household item – the toilet paper roll. This hollow cardboard cylinder can become a surprising source of fascination for chickens. Owners can leave it empty for the chickens to peck and push around, or fill it with treats to make it an engaging puzzle toy. They’re safe, biodegradable, and easy to replace, making them an excellent and affordable option. However, it’s important to monitor their use, as they can become soggy and fall apart if left out in the elements, or if water spills onto them. It’s a delight to see how something so simple can provide so much enjoyment and stimulation for our feathered friends.

While there’s certainly playful humour in all these stories, I’ve also come to appreciate the importance of such toys in keeping our feathered friends entertained and engaged. From tennis balls to cat balls with bells, the goal is to make their environment as stimulating and natural as possible, which goes a long way in ensuring their well-being. All this, however, underscores the need for careful consideration when choosing these toys, especially in terms of safety and suitability.