Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Chicken Gym ~ Cabbage Jump (Video)

You know how 5 minutes after summer break begins, the kids start complaining how they are 'So Bored!', well my chickens are no different then kids.  When we were on vacation in Colorado earlier this year the 'girls' were so excited the first day about chasing down all the new bugs that had moved into their run since our last visit.  The next day they lavished on all the weeds that grew up in their area with the help of all the chicken poop they left behind last time. But by the third day the bugs were either eaten up or smart enough to stay outside the fenced area and the grass had been devoured and the roots scratched up.  The chickens looked So Bored.  They had already put that fresh earth to use dust bathing all morning, then by late afternoon they were just laying around in the shade doing nothing.

I knew that if I didn't do something to entertain them they would get so bored over the remaining 11 days of our vacation that they would start bickering with each other.  So I tried to think of some way to get them busy, but I didn't want to have to be actively doing the entertaining myself...it was my vacation too ya know.  

I came up with this...a Chicken Gym!  Check out the 'girls' doing the Cabbage Dance in my video.  I swear I got more entertainment then they did...

[If the video is blurry you can click on the settings icon and adjust it to a higher resolution.]

Is that the just funniest thing?  I changed the music because the wind was blowing and it sounded horrible on the video, I kind of like the music, it is called 'Chicken Dance', very appropriate I think.  I loved watching their little legs flare out to the sides as they jumped up to the cabbage. This was so much fun for me!

What do you do to entertain your chickens?  Or is that entertain yourself with your chickens?

The 'girls' got hours of exercise, they enjoyed the 'treats of their labor', and I was just laughing my butt off.  And, we did it all for just the cost of a .69 cent head of cabbage.  I already had the jute twine laying around.

Here are the Easy Peasy instructions to make your own Chicken Gym:


You need:

A vegetable or fruit that wont immediately fall apart.  I found that cabbage is best but you can use a head of lettuce as well, or a large cucumber, zucchini, apples that are cored, use your imagination.


1/2" Paddle Drill Bit (really, any drill bit long enough to go through at least half the width of the veggie will work.

This is what you do:

Drill all the way through the thickest part of the veggie. If your drill bit is not long enough you can drill halfway through, then turn over and drill the opposite side until the two holes meet in the middle.

Poke the twine through the veggie (I doubled mine for more strength since the cabbage was pretty heavy.

Tie the ends of the twine above where the chickens will be 'working out'.  At home they have an arbor top in their run so I tie to that, on vacation we just had chain link fence panels and no top so I first tied a string across the top of two panels then tied the cabbage string to that horizontal string.

Important...you want to adjust the height of the cabbage so that it is just above the reach of the tallest chicken, this way they have to actually jump to peck a piece of it off.  You may want to start with it right at the end of their reach to get them started, then raise it a few more inches after they know what to do.  Mine now always know what to do so I keep it higher right from the start.

 No go build a Gym for Your Chickens!

Keeper of 1 husband, 2 grandkids, 3 dogs,
3 cats, and 17 Chickens!

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This post was included in the Simple Saturdays Blog Hop