Best Chicken Toys
Keeping your chickens entertained is an important part of keeping them healthy. Bored chickens turn on each other and can cause injury and even death of other chickens in the flock. It increases the chance that a hen will go broody and increases the frequency of egg-eating in hens.
Winter is the most common season for boredom. Plus, chickens that are kept in small areas are also more likely to be bored. While you can make many chicken toys easily- they can also be purchased for convenience. The following are my favorite commercial versions of the best chicken toys.
A chicken swing will keep your ladies occupied for hours. It adds new fun to one of their favorite activities: perching.
Having chickens make you aware of things you never considered before, such as chicken glasses. Chickens are particularly attracted to the color red. It’s instinct and helped to cull the weakest in the flock when chickens were wild. When another chicken gets hurt, the others will peck at the blood. This can result in a more injured and sick chicken. It can even mean death.
I once had an injured chicken peck at its own wing when it started bleeding. Chicken glasses are red-tinted and make it so that chickens can’t see the color red any more than other colors. I don’t think there are many brands out there, and they can be hard to find. These ones are found on Amazon and come in a pack of 50.
Ceramic Chicken Eggs help to train hens to lay in a nesting box. Free-range chickens will often find a hiding spot and start laying eggs in it. Chickens lay every 25 hours on average so there are weeks and months when chickens will lay later in the day or evening. This makes it hard to keep them cooped up, especially if you want to mostly free-range your chickens.
Ceramic chicken eggs are hard and show hens where to lay. They are ceramic so when, or if, hens try to peck at them, they won’t break. This helps to discourage egg eating.
One of the ways to check for fresh eggs, and to watch chick embryos growing in the eggs is through a candle lighter. This LED candle lighter from Amazon is one of the best ones out there and provides consistent light to help you “see” through the eggshell.
Best Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is sediment that is found in lakes and rivers. It is used to kill parasites and bugs. Food grade diatomaceous earth is safe for your animals to consume and will help them to keep their wool, feathers, or hair clean. Sprinkle it in bedding to keep pests away. It can also be consumed. This one is food grade and safe for human consumption also. It even comes with a duster.
Poultry Dust For Mites
Prozap Garden & Poultry Dust helps to control foul mites and lice in chickens. It controls aphids and other bugs. It has .25% Permathin. It’s helpful with Vent Mites. If DE isn’t effective enough, then this is a stronger solution. Treat the bums of your chickens and their bedding.
Best Brewers Yeast
Brewers yeast is a dietary supplement. People eat it, but it is also really good for animals. Add it to chicken or duck feed for better digestion. This brewers yeast on Amazon is food-grade quality. This one also works great and is formulated for poultry.
When your birds get hurt, it helps to have something to help them heal better. Vetericyn Wound Spray helps chicken wounds to heal without getting infected. Surgical Spirit helps when you have really deep wounds such as a broken leg that needs to be wrapped and kept clean.
Best Chicken Food
Chicks need a started formula. The non medicated formula from MannaPro comes in pellets so the chicks are less likely to choke. It has 18% protein and can be used for ducks as well. Layers need more calcium and protein than meat chickens. They also have a Layer formula feed for hens that is pretty good. But my favorite layer feed is the H and H feed. It comes corn-free – which means more nutrients for your hens. It also has 19% protein, which is best for laying hens.
Chickens, quail, and ducks need grit to help with their digestion. Chick Grit works great for that and includes probiotics to help with digestion.
Chickens, quail, and ducks all love mealworms as a treat. You can raise your own or buy them. I like the Picky Neb mealworms on Amazon for a fast treat. If you are buying them in bulk, then these mealworms are the best value and option.
Crickets are another treat that’s loved by chickens and packed with protein.
Chicken Feed Containers
One of the very best chicken feeders out there is the Grandpa’s Automatic Chicken Feeder. It keeps the food mess to a minimum, which doesn’t attract rodents as much. Fewer rodents mean fewer predators following the rodents and less danger to your chickens. I don’t have one yet, but this is definitely on my list of things to buy before winter when free-ranging won’t be as good of an option.
Chicken waterers are an important part of keeping water cool or warm, depending on the season and temperatures. Chickens need water. It is more vital to them than food. In the summer, they prefer and do better with cooler water. This galvanized watering tub helps to keep the water cooler during hot months. In the winter, unfrozen water becomes the biggest watering issue. This Little Giant Black Rubber Feeder absorbs more of the sun’s rays and keeps water unfrozen for longer. You can also try these tips.
If you decide to raise chickens for meat, then plucking them is probably your most dreaded task. This automatic plucker will save you about 20+ minutes a bird and the hassle of plucking. Another option is to simply skin the chicken and freeze it skinless.