In this article, I’m going to answer; do chickens like mirrors and other reflective items?
Chickens can get bored, that’s a fact.
When chickens get bored their health can suffer, they might fight and peck at each other, and the quality and frequency of their eggs will go down.
So, if you’re looking for simple ways to keep your chickens entertained, happy, and stimulated, here’s how to use mirrors and other items in their coop and run!
Do Chickens Like Mirrors?
To be honest, the jury is still out on this one.
There are a lot of people who say that their chickens love mirrors and will spend hours staring at themselves, charging at the mirror, or generally just paying attention to mirrors if they put them in their coop/run.
Other chicken keepers say that their chickens avoid mirrors or don’t seem to care about them at all.
I think it really depends on the chicken.
Some chickens might be curious about their reflection and others might not even notice the mirror.
If you want to find out if your chickens like mirrors, try putting one in their coop and see what happens!
If they seem interested, try putting a few more mirrors in different places.
If your chickens do take notice of what they can see in the mirror, this is awesome as it will help reduce their boredom and provide some easy entertainment.
Why Do Chickens Get Bored?
Chickens are curious creatures and they need stimulation just like we do.
If they don’t have anything to do, they can get bored which can lead to some serious health problems.
Boredom can also make them stop laying eggs as frequently or produce lower-quality eggs.
So, it’s important to provide as much space as possible for your chickens to roam and explore, and find ways to keep your chickens entertained and engaged.
Do Chickens Recognize Themselves in Mirrors?
This is another chicken behavior that’s still being studied.
There’s some evidence to suggest that chickens do recognize themselves in mirrors, but it’s still not definitive.
There is something called the ‘Mirror Test’ that is used to determine if an animal is capable of recognizing itself.
There are some studies showing that chickens do, in fact, pass the mirror test.
But when I look up a list of animals that pass the Mirror Test, I don’t usually see chickens listed.
The best evidence is anecdotal, I’ve spoken with a number of owners who say there is no doubt that their chickens can see themselves in mirrors.
Although it’s hard to know if they really know it’s a reflection of themselves.
Some chicken keepers say that their chickens will avoid mirrors or try to attack them because they think it’s another chicken.
So, keep an eye on how your chickens respond if you provide a mirror. It’s supposed to be fun for them, not stressful!
How Do I Keep My Chickens Entertained?
There are a few different ways that you can keep your chickens entertained.
You can provide them with toys, give them access to different areas to explore, and put mirrors in their coop/run.
Toys for Chickens
You can buy toys specifically for chickens or you can make your own!
Some popular chicken toys include;
- Chicken swings
- Hanging mirrors
- Vine balls
- Cardboard boxes
- Empty plastic bottles
You can also give your chickens access to different areas to explore.
This might include;
- An outdoor run
- A chicken tractor
- A sandbox
Putting mirrors in their coop or run is probably the easiest way to keep your chickens entertained.
You don’t have to buy a heavy full-length mirror, you can hang up old CDs (arguably the best use for old CDs these days!) or other reflective items.
Why It’s Important to Keep Chickens Happy
It’s important to keep your chickens happy for a few different reasons.
As I mentioned before, boredom can lead to some serious health problems in chickens.
So, by providing them with mirrors and other reflective items, you can help reduce their boredom and keep them healthy.
If you provide your chickens with a stimulating environment, they will be more likely to lay eggs regularly.
And, finally, happy chickens just make for a better overall experience.
How Can I Make My Chickens Happy?
There are a few different things that you can do to make your chickens happy.
You can provide them with plenty of space to roam and explore, give them toys and other objects to keep them entertained, and put mirrors in their coop/run.
You can also try giving them treats like scratch or mealworms, and generally mixing up their diet and keeping things interesting.
Visiting your chickens and spending time with them is also a good way to ensure they’re stimulated and feel loved – even if they run off and don’t show it!
Making sure your chickens have everything they need to be happy and healthy is the best way to ensure a good experience for both you and your chickens!
For me, owning chickens has always been an interactive experience. I’m happy when I see my chickens are happy.
Mirrors are a great way to help keep your chickens entertained and less bored by their surroundings.
Most chickens do like mirrors, and interestingly there is evidence to suggest that some chickens will recognize themselves in a mirror.
It’s certainly worth trying if you’re looking for a way to provide some free entertainment for your flock!
Image credits – Photo by Andrew Peluso on Unsplash