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Poultry Benefit from different types of Enrichment

Poultry benefit from several types of environmental enrichment. Perches and nest boxes provide structural interest. Perches are used primarily by younger birds, as larger birds may have difficulty alighting due to their body size. Perches should be free of sharp edges, and made of non-slip materials that can be sanitized.

Nest boxes are important for laying hens. Nesting and egg laying involve a complex series of behaviors; lack of a nest box can cause frustration in the form of agitated pacing.

Different types of bedding on the enclosure floor allow opportunities for foraging, which can decrease the incidence of pecking and cannibalism in a flock. Scattering feed in the bedding increases foraging behavior, which is a pleasurable, time consuming activity.

Dust baths provide opportunity for improving feather conditioning. Some birds will interact with ropes, hanging chain, and other objects. The presence of novel objects may evoke interest or fear, so monitoring the response to new objects and understanding bird behavior is important. There is some research that indicates birds respond to bright, moving video images, which in turn, reduces their fear of new places.


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