During the cold icy winter months stay in their coop, they only go out to the field for a short period of time to forrage. They have an outdoor run that is enclosed with clear corrugated plastic so it is quite warm and sunny, but by the end of the winter months the outdoor coop is well worn. I try to add things to the coop to keep the birds occupied. I don't think it is good for them to be bored. Here are a few things I add to the coop to keep them entertained.
1. Butternut squash cut in half and put into the coop. This occupies them for several days! Just watch out if you have white crested birds, it will stain their feathers.
2. Scratch. This is essentially a special treat for chickens. It is mostly made up of oats and seeds. I love to sprinkle it on the coop floor and the hens "scratch" around for it. It helps dig up the floor and keeps them occupied for hours. Scratch should not replace regular feed, it isn't as nutritious as regular feed.
3.I also go to the local farm and get their leftover tops from beets and carrots and put that in the coop. Both of the tops are different textures and flop around so this is very entertaining. The hens also need greens during this time of year.
4. Tennis balls. I put tennis balls into the coop. The hens think it is hysterical.