Do you now, have you ever, or are you thinking about owning some chickens in the future? If you didn’t already know, chickens tend to be curious creatures who are easily bored and constantly looking for something to do. That’s a lot of why chicken owners everywhere have been flocking towards this easy, DIY chicken entertainment project. Rather than letting their chickens roam aimlessly, owners have been creating and hanging cabbages in chicken coops to help stimulate their chickens’ natural instincts for foraging. Here’s how you can make your own DIY Hanging Cabbage! (1)
DIY Hanging Cabbage Warning
DIY Hanging Cabbages might sound like a ridiculous project, but they actually provide many benefits for chickens kept in a coop or run! Not only does it provide a place for food and entertainment, but when hung well, this DIY project encourages chickens to move more and get a good workout due to providing a challenging feeding source. This might not be as necessary in summer months when chickens can roam about more freely. However, during the winter when chickens have more pent up energy, it can be an excellent source of food, action, and entertainment. (1, 2)
Anyone attempting this DIY project should also be fully forewarned that this project comes with a small amount of risk. Some chicken owners who’ve attempted this projects suggest you supervise your chickens while they play with the cabbage since some have seen chickens eat the twine used to hang the cabbage or get tangled in the rope to the point of injury. According to one forum commenter,
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.
How to Make a DIY Hanging Cabbage
Believe it or not, it’s incredibly easy to make your own DIY Hanging Cabbage. All you need to do is pick a good cabbage, find a drill, and get a piece of rope long enough to hang it. Begin by drilling a hole completely through the center of the cabbage, through the hard part or the “core.”
Next, run the rope through the hole. Voila! You’ve made a DIY Hanging Cabbage! The only thing you have left to do is to hang it where your chickens can get to it. (1)
When hanging a cabbage in a chicken coop or run, be sure to hang it low enough that your chickens can easily peck at it. They might not know what it is starting off and might need encouragement to taste it. Once they’ve gotten a taste of the cabbage, raise the cabbage a little bit so they have to reach up to get it, but not so high that they need to jump. Once they’ve mastered this step, feel free to raise it a little more so they have to stretch or jump to reach it. That’s the last step! You’ve finished your low-tech chicken gym and can sit back and watch while your chickens enjoy their entertaining dining experience. (1)
As mentioned, sometimes the chicken can get caught in the twine, eat the twine, or somehow end up mistreating the DIY Hanging Cabbage. Keep an eye on the project to be sure all of your chickens are safe. Many chicken owners admit to never having experienced any drama with a hanging cabbage, but if you decide the project is altogether too risky, you can try purchasing hanging treat balls from a pet store or online, or pick up a nifty wire cabbage hanger, no assembly required. The goal is simply to keep your chickens healthy and moving, as well as entertained and well fed.