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I know a lot of you are in the same position so I’m hoping you can help. Due to the bird flu outbreak my chickens are now stuck in their eglu cube and although they have a 3m run they’re used to running around our garden. I’m unable to get extensions for them and I’m hoping to get feedback from people who are in a similar situation. My main problem is not being able to move the coop but not being able to clean the lawn for months - we do it every week! 

Also what can I do over the coming months to keep them interested? What about dust baths? Is a lower appetite normal? Toy rotation - hygiene on the floor? They seem to be bored already and just sat in one corner. How can I cheer my girls up?

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I have 4 chickens (rooster and 3 hens) stuck in a 3m Eglu cube run but lucky had just bought a 2x3 walk in. Mine looked bored stiff- they spend all their time in the walk in run and don’t use the Eglu cube run much.

So far to keep them entertained I have put some large logs and tree trunks in to make different height perches, an old toy chest filled with dirt for dust baths (undercover), I hang cabbage up on strings, throw meal worms in late morning and corn just before bed and also built an extra level in the Eglu run part (try and get you some photos). They have a hanging corn peck toy that keeps them busy which I fill twice a week.

with regards hygiene, my walk in is on mud so they pop mostly there and it decomposes (they have logs they can stand on if too muddy) and the Eglu cube run is on concrete slabs with hardwood chips to I use ground sanitiser for that every so often.

mine like yours, are used to free ranging all day so this is all very boring for them so I try to stagger treats throughout the day for something to look forward to and find I provide entertainment for them by gardening!

i just opened the top door of the run to take these photos and you can see how desperate they are to get out- one flew at the open section!

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My girls have 2 children's benches in their run which they love to perch on.

They also have a pretty big log which they are often sat on.

One of their favourite things to play with are some cat treat balls. You can vary the size of the hole to make it easier or harder to get the treats outs.

They also have a jungle gym from Flyte So Fancy which is not such a big hit and a little purple shelter which I can't remember where it came from - they use that sometimes.

I think sometimes at this time of year they often look a bit sad, I think it is just to make us feel guilty.

I did get mine some Cheer Up Chicken from The Little Feed Company - they have eaten the small bag already - and they certainly sounded very happy every time I gave them a little bit for supper. I think it was meant for chickens that are moulting or feeling a bit peaky but mine loved it anyway.

You could get them some hardwood woodchips to scratch around in  - that will certainly keep them busy, especially if you put it in a small heap and let them dig around on it.

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Hi, so I had a similar problem, and still do, with my 5 chickens and rooster. My lawn was basically Mud and my coop is so heavy I can’t move it, so instead I got some chicken bark, which I put on the floor of their coop instead of moving it, and they love it! It isn’t expensive and you can get it in so many places, they like to search through it, and once you have finished with the bark after the lockdown, you can easily pick it up and put some grass seeds down. I like to put leaves and sliced banana and mix it in with the bark, to give them something to do. I also put a lot of bedding where they sleep because it gives them a job to try and push it away into the corners where they want it. I completely recommend getting the bark and making them treats daily because it’s a real boredom breaker! 

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Thank you so much everyone for your ideas, you’ve given me such inspiration! I’ve already bought some things and am researching the rest. I’d love to put some logs in but I worry about anything coming from outdoors and the bird flu situation, I’m thinking I could chop up my Christmas tree? Or shouldn’t I worry? Where can I get ground sanitiser? Sorry for the daft questions this is my first winter. 

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I got ground sanitiser from Flyte So Fancy (I think Omlet have it on their website too).

Like you - this is my first winter and I think you just learn as you go along - trial and error, you see what your girls like.  I made a chicken swing (tying string to the ends of a thick stick/branch and hanging it from the roof of my Eglu Cube Run- thought it would be a bit of entertainment but they completely ignored it (infact they found it quite annoying!) and I took it down but other people's chickens love them.

I also put a cat carrier I had hanging around in the garage in there with some straw as an extra shelter or nesting box which has been very popular!

I wonder if logs could be placed in there if sprayed with disinfectant and then hosed down after?  Not sure (but may save your Christmas tree!).

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