Photo from Fresh Eggs Daily
The above photo and comment from Fresh Eggs Daily Facebook page (thank you) was a great reminder for me (and others, hopefully) about all he different uses for stumps and logs!
We are new chicken-keepers and this will be our first winter with them. To give them a dry place to jump up on when the run is wet (and for playtime when it's not) we stocked up on logs and stumps last summer! They were free...another good thing, as 'Martha Stewart' would say!
My husband's brother and his wife have a place in the country with acres and acres of woods. They had to have several huge trees taken down last summer and we were the lucky recipients of as much wood as we could haul away. We brought home a few logs/stumps in different sizes and shapes (still have to go back and get wood for our fireplace though).
At that time the chickens were smaller younger and funnier and the stumps/logs were great entertainment for them and us. I think I've mentioned that our chickens remind me of a six-ring circus...I've come to the conclusion that they are going to carry on their circus act for a long time! We had stars in our eyes just thinking about the great 'playground' the chicks were gong to get! Once we got home with the wood though, we realized that it could be dangerous -at least till the chickens got a lot bigger.
There were suddenly dangers we'd never thought of and we needed to do a test run. We put a log, upright, in the run and we watched the chickens play with it for a bit. Okay, so two of them fighting to sit on top of this log could actually make it fall over...bad news if there was a chicken looking for bugs at the base. We turned the log over on its side and felt that way was much safer for them. All six wanted to sit on the log together and since it was on its side there was plenty of room. They could peck at the bark, look for bugs around the bottom...and being chickens they all wanted to do them same thing at the same time. Next we added a shorter, wider, much, safer stump...to wide and bottom heavy to tump over. They love the logs. We go out and move them around frequently and there are always fresh bugs and other goodies under them.
Now that they have gotten somewhat bigger we are going to add two more logs, upright, that they can stand on. We can keep moving them around for entertainment, etc., (all I have to do is go out there and roll a log over and it is a brand new playground)!
Their run is covered but it does get wet from blowing rain. We don't get a lot of snow through the winter but ice seems to be a constant. They also have some other perches to hangout on during the day. They all will have plenty of higher ground for keeping their feet dry!
This might be over-mothering a bit, but while the chickens are young make sure the logs/stumps you collect are smooth, do not have weird stuff growing on the bark and that they won't tump over easily.