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How to Make a DIY Hanging Cabbage to Keep Your Chickens Entertained

Country Living logo Country Living 7/13/2020 Lauren Matthews
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Do you have a bunch of bored, out-of-shape chickens on your hands? Then this could be the DIY solution you've been looking for. Chicken owners have been making their own hanging cabbages to place in their chicken coops or runs, which are designed to stimulate chickens' natural foraging instincts and help them get a workout by offering a challenging feeding source. They're especially useful during the winter when your chickens are all cooped up, so to speak.

a flock of birds sitting on top of a chicken: Keep Chickens Entertained With Hanging Cabbage © Courtesy of City Girl Farming Keep Chickens Entertained With Hanging Cabbage

It's actually super easy to make your own hanging cabbage; you just need to gather up a cabbage, a drill, and a piece of rope, according to a tutorial from the blog City Girl Farming, which calls the set-up a "low tech chicken gym."

Additionally, a forum on BackyardChickens.com has some alternative DIY ideas, including using an apple corer, a metal coat hanger, and a landscape nail.

This DIY comes with an important warning, though: You may want to supervise your chickens when they're using a hanging cabbage, as some commenters have reported that they've seen chickens eat twine used to hang cabbages, or become tangled in the rope. One commenter on BackyardChickens.com wrote:

"I went to a chicken chat at the local grange & the avian vet shared a story about a chicken w/ a dislocated wing. The owner left the chicken unsupervised & found the bird tangled in the string & hanging by a wing, unable to touch the ground (possibly all day). Unfortunately by the time they got the poor thing to the vet, it died on the table. I'm not saying don't do it, just be nearby & keep an eye on them."

Or, if you want to avoid using rope or are simply not into the DIY route, you can buy a treat ball, like this one from Precision Pet, available on Amazon.

Just fill with cabbage and clip to the top of the coop—the bell even provides some extra entertainment for your chickens!

If you're just getting started on your journey as a chicken lady, check out our list of chicken coops you can buy, gifts for chicken lovers, and guide to the best chicken breeds.


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