Birds, as a species, have a tendency to perch. Regardless of the type of bird, they all seem to do the same thing, that being sit on a tree limb, ladder rung, railing or other type of similar surface. Hens are generally provided with nesting boxes where they can have a seat, but you can expand on that and give them other places to sit that can offer them a bit more fun and excitement. One such idea is to try out a chicken swing! That may sound bizarre, but those who have tried it have reported that their chickens liked it. Plus it is easy to make if you are the do-it-yourself type and even easier to buy if that is your preferred avenue of acquisition although at $52.00 each they are a little expensive.
If you want to make your own chicken swing, all you need is a snap or carabiner (many snaps will work for this purpose, so chose the type you prefer), some sturdy rope (or you can also use chain), and a thick section of tree limb or a log that is about 24 inches in length and 2-3 inches in diameter. You will want to find a location in your coop from which to hang your completed swing that is capable of bearing weight. Granted a chicken on a swing is not going to be terribly heavy, but you do not want to run the risk of anything falling or collapsing and injuring your chickens.
Mark a hole on each end of your tree limb where you plan to place your rope. Ideally this will be about an inch from the end of the log. Using a drill bit comparable in size to the rope you plan to use, drill a hole near each end. Take one end of the rope and thread it downward through the hole, tying it in firm knots large enough not to slip back through your hole that will not come untied. Take the other end of your rope and repeat the same process at the site of the second hole. Alternatively, if you do not wish to use a drill, you can wrap your rope around each end of your log and tie it firmly. Remember to use enough rope that your swing will hang off of the ground but not too high for your chickens to take turns enjoying it. When finished tying your rope, locate the center of it and tie an overhand knot to create a small loop. Attach a snap or carabiner to that loop and hang from a stable point in your coop. By using the knotted loop, you will keep your rope from sliding back and forth through the carabiner and making your swing uneven. You could also opt to use two ropes, one extending from each end of the swing with its own snap.
All that is left to do is introduce your chickens to their new swing! They may be uncertain at first, but given time will grow accustomed to and enjoy their new toy. Having a swing will provide entertainment and cut down on winter boredom which we all know is important this time of year. It will also enable them to get up off of cold ground. Plus you will be able to brag to your chicken-loving friends that you taught your chickens a neat trick! Sittin' on my chicken swing, just-a-swingin'...
(This video is great! Check it out!)