5 Cool Things to Add to Your Chicken Run

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 17 July 2020

the chook coop blog - summer

Hello chicken keepers,

While we would all love for our chooks to be freely foraging in picturesque pastures, urban chicken keeping has to be a compromise between freedom, available space and flock safety. Keeping your girls challenged, happy and healthy while protected from neighbourhood predators in a backyard space is a juggling act. A chicken run is a great solution that will protect your chickens and give you options for egg-cellent flock entertainment. These 5 chicken run additions make it a fun and fresh place to be, for any chicken and their keeper.

chicken using treat shaker

Treat shaker

Get your girls pecking with this easy to make chook toy. Simply make some holes in a clean and dry plastic bottle and fill with their favourite scratch mix, Mealworm Treats or cracked corn. Your hens will be active and challenged for hours as they try to scratch and peck those treat treasures out.  

chicken using chicken swing

Chicken Swing

Chickens like to be challenged and are curious and playful at heart. A Chicken Swing provides boredom busting fun and keeps your girls active and happy. Chook swinging isn’t just fun for your chickens, it gets you out into the coop and interacting with your ladies on a daily basis. Here are the top tips for getting your girls familiar with the Chicken Swing!

chicken in chicken run with hemp bedding

Hemp Bedding and Diatomaceous Earth

Keeping the ground in your chicken run fresh and pest repellent is a breeze with these two wonder products. Create a chicken run base with a layer of clean river sand or soil. Then add a sprinkle of regular grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) - this will help prevent pests and moisture build up. Finally, pop down some super absorbent Hemp Bedding. This will help soak up droppings and is naturally pest repellent. When it’s time to clean up simply rake the used bedding out, replenish the DE and lay down a fresh layer of Hemp Bedding.

Veggie Piñata

Making your hens some hanging toys is a cheap and simple way to keep them happy and healthy. It can be as elaborate or easy as you wish! My flock favourites include corn cobs, cabbage, broccoli, silverbeet and herb bunches! All you need is some leftover veggies and some string to get the poultry party started.

chicken run with stumps and perches

Natural perches and stumps

Giving your girls branches and stumps to explore in their chicken run is great fun. Set natural perches at different heights and hide some Mealworm Treats in holes or loose bark on a stump to encourage your chickens’ natural foraging behaviour. Change up the position of your perches and stumps every few weeks to keep your chooks challenged.  

chickens in mansion coop and chicken run

Bonus - Chooks in space!

The more space your hens have the happier and healthier they will be. If you can’t free range your girls full time it’s essential they have plenty of secure chicken run space to keep them challenged. If you’re looking to upgrade your run space have a peck at the Mansion Run. It’s walk-in height, lockable and easy to adjust to your needs. If you want to let your hens out to forage but worry about your veggie patch being pecked then our Poultry Fencing is the option for you. It is demount-able and keeps your cheeky chooks where you can see them. 

As well as choosing an amazing run, finding the best coop to keep your flock happy and safe is a daunting task with so many options. To build or to buy? Do you know how many nesting boxes & perches you need? Do you know how much space you need & why? Choosing the perfect coop requires the right knowledge and equipment. You don't want to have all the gear and no idea!

Cluckily for us, our friends at Chickenpedia have created a Coop Sweet Coop course filled with advice and information to help your search. Find out all the options when buying or building a new coop including the best materials, sizes and locations. This extensive course will give you the confidence to make the right decision on a suitable and safe home for your feathered friends. This is why I recommend Chickenpedia to all my readers!

Click here to check out their beginner-friendly courses today!

After some more cheeky chook action? Of course you are! Join the flock on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest!

Feathers Forever,

Kassandra X