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Chicken Swing Hanging Tips!

Updated: Jul 31, 2023


Happy and healthy hens thrive in a flock that gets plenty of enrichment, especially during the seasons when they are cooped up. My flock, The Breakfast Club, stays active with plenty of opportunities to forage during the warmer months, dust bathing, and being entertained with new elements being added to their environment - some DIY toys and others a little less homemade, but equally as fun! If your backyard flock is confined to a run their ability to explore is a little limited, but there's still plenty of ways for your chickens to have the best of times by staying active and keeping those little bird brains busy. Let's build some hen-durance! A fabulous boredom buster for your hens is the Macrame Chicken Swing!


Hilarious hen antics are guaranteed! Your backyard chickens will love their new coop toy, and you'll love watching them swing back and forth like little feathered acrobats. There's no better way to enjoy the long summer days then with chickens in motion! Here are my best tips for getting your girls familiar with their new Chicken Swing!

 

Location, Location, Location


A sheltered area in the run or chicken yard is the best place for your chicken swing! This will keep it protected from the elements, avoid high winds, and give your hens a shaded place to perch. We don't want any obstructions that will impede your swing’s motion, so give it a push to make sure you've got plenty of clearance in the front and back. P.S. You can even setup a chicken swing in the brooder for your baby chicks, so they're fully acclimated to this toy and enjoying its benefits before they graduate to the big girl flock!


Familiarization


Let's get started by helping the flock get acquainted with their new toy! Initially, you'll want to hang your chicken swing at your chickens eye level. This will encourage them to peck and investigate the swing, so they can get comfortable with this new element in their environment and adjust to its unexpected motion. They may have the hang of it already or they may need a few incentives to grow more comfortable! For the next few days keep the chicken swing at eye level and add some meal worms, scratch or your flocks favorite treat ontop of the wooden swing.

Up, up, and away! After a few days, it's time to start raising the chicken swing higher off the ground. Raising it in 3 inch increments over the course of a few days will help the transition be gradual. Continue to add treats on the chicken swing and directly under it. The target height is going to be about 18 inches off the ground. This might seem high, but remember this is the average height of the roosts in most chicken coops because when chickens perch up off the ground they feel much safer! Tag in a Feathered Friend

Invite your friendliest chicken to show the flock how it's done! If you have a chicken that enjoys eating treats from your hand they are a prime candidate for some chicken swing training. Work for a few minutes every day encouraging your flock fav to interact with you and the swing for extra treats and plenty of attention. The flock will catch on before you know it! Perch Pals


Chickens are naturally curious, but also cautious, so don't be discouraged if they seem to avoid the swing at first. Spend time working on getting them used to being held and placed gently on their new perch. Repetition is key, so try this for a few minutes everyday for a week! This will not only lead to getting them accustomed to the chicken swing - it will also be helpful for health checks and any care and maintenance you need to tend to while you're spending quality time together.

  • Make sure the swing is hanging at a height above their heads.

  • Have some treats nearby for rewards.

  • Gently pickup your chicken, tucking wings in, and offer a treat from your hand.

  • Hold your chicken with wings tucked into their body and place on the swing, holding gently until they have stable footing, and ensuring the swing isn't in motion.

  • Gradually release your hold on the chicken and the swing.

  • Immediately reward with treats!

Repeat this activity until your chicken is relaxed and comfortable on the chicken swing. Don’t add any movement to the swing just yet to avoid startling them and undo all your bonding.


Hens in Motion


Once your chickens have grown confident enough to perch on the chicken swing it’s time to get moving! Place your chicken on the swing and slowly push back a few inches to add a soft swinging motion. Give them a treat when they swing and if they jump off simply place them back on. If they get stressed, stop and try again another day. Keep things fun for your feather puppy who is still learning!


Feathered Acrobats Chickens can learn how to swing using their own weight distribution, just like people do! While your chicken is moving on the swing you can encourage them to reach a little further for a treat with every swing by holding your hand just out of reach, then reward their efforts with a treat. Once they they get the hang of it you won’t need to give them a treat with every swing - they will be having oodles of fun!


By now, you should be seeing your flock fly up and swing on their own. If not, stick to the training plan above until you have atleast one chicken who's a total pro and can help you teach the others. Every flock is different and takes to new things in their environment at different rates.


Ready to get swinging? Check out the Chicken Swing here!



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