Boredom busting treat basket!

Recently I got the idea that my Guineas may be bored. They've been chasing around the coop and run just a little too much and a few look like they had some feathers pulled recently. Just...ya know, boredom behavior! It's only the coop that doesn't get to free range and I can understand where they might need a little more activity then their 12X20 coop (and run the same size) might provide. I've been trying to come up with ways to keep them busy and I think I've hit the nail on the head with this one. I made them a hanging treat basket!


hanging treat basket, chickens

It's super simple, all you need is a basket with large holes and some twine to tie it with. I used a metal basket that I picked up at the dollar store a few months ago. It has large squares that they can pull the treats out through. I hung it on a perch with twine and filled it with treats! I put in some stale bread, cucumber peels, a few split cherry tomatoes, some lettuce and a marigold that I pulled apart.


They hesitated at first, but soon they figured out how to pull the treats out through the holes. The basket would sway every time they snagged a treat. It seemed like they enjoyed it and it took them more then an hour to eat the treats they normally would have devoured in minutes! In the summer I sometimes freeze their treats into a tupperware container of water for summer. Not only does it cool them down, but it keeps them busy. 

I have seen treat balls online. They cost from $5-$10 depending where you look. We all know that I'm always looking for a cheaper way to do things and I'm pretty sure my $1 basket qualifies! If you can't find a metal basket you can always use a suet holder, and lots of stores carry those for around $3. I'm not saying not to buy a treat ball....especially the lettuce ones, because after all a whole head of lettuce won't work in the basket! However, you might have something sitting around that will work also. 

~L

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8 comments:

  1. What a great idea! Every time I see one of those treat balls at the store I want to get one, but I can never bring myself to shell out the money for it. This seems like a great alternative!

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    1. Exactly! You can get any size too, depending how big your flock is. Give it a try!

      thanks for stopping by!
      ~L

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  2. I do this in our run for our chickens. I have some wire baskets I found on ebay and just hung two of those hanging flower baskets up - they will fit a whole head of cabbage or lettuce, you might want to try and find one of those. In the winter especially, its a great boredom buster.
    Lisa
    Fresh Eggs Daily
    www.fresh-eggs-daily.com

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    1. Great idea! I have some of those baskets with flowers in them now, as soon as it's time to pull them I'll re-purpose the baskets for the chickens! Thanks!

      ~L

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  3. Good idea, probably brings out their foraging instincts...

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    1. I hadn't thought about that. I bet your right! Thanks!

      ~L

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  4. I'll have to send this to my sister.
    Thanks so much for sharing at Tuesdays with a Twist!
    Come on over and link up your latest post.
    http://back2basichealth.blogspot.com/2013/09/tuesdays-with-twist-22-with-huge.html

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  5. Great Idea :)
    Thanks for sharing with us at the HomeAcre Hop!
    Sandra
    http://www.mittenstatesheepandwool.com

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