Feeling “all cooped up” is literally true for many chickens at this time of year. With all these snow storms and cold snaps, my girls have been confined to their coop more this year than any other in their short chicken lives. It has got to be pretty boring.
I bought a large NEW square suet cage from my local wild bird seed supplier. (It is important that the cage be new and not used because wild birds carry all kinds of bird diseases.) I suspend the cage on a chain that I hang from a nail in a rafter of the coop. I use chain to make it easier to change the height of the hanging cage. As the amount of bedding in the coop rises and falls over the course of the winter, I can easily adjust the length of the chain to suit.
I hang the cage of treats just high enough that the hens have to stretch a little to reach it. I use a double-ended snap to attach the cage to the chain. It also makes detaching and attaching the cage to the chain easy. When not in use, I hang the cage itself on the same nail in the rafter that supports the chain.
As the birds peck at the greens in the cage, it swings around wildly, requiring the hens to judge the swing of the cage to get their next bite. It keeps their pea brains stimulated and their naughty beaks busy. It’s the chicken equivalent of tether ball! Begonia