Chicken Swing

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About: I'm a middle school science teacher going on 15 years in the classroom. I've taught 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. I'm constantly looking to improve my instruction and Instructables is one of the places I sear...

Intro: Chicken Swing

Chickens are terrific pets. One of the many reasons they are so much fun includes the fact that they are curious creatures. Unfortunately, when chickens get bored, they tend to pick on each other. It's important to keep them busy. A simple addition to any coop is a chicken swing. A company called Foul Play Products manufactures and sells a high quality swing (made in the USA). I encourage you to visit their site HERE. They have a unique design that allows the natural perching action of the chicken to actually pump the swing.

It's a two step process... building the swing and mounting the swing.

Step 1: Find a Branch

Materials:
Wooden Branch
Hand Saw
Drill (for pre-drilling holes)
Bungee Cords (x 2)
Chain or Rope (length will vary)
"S" hooks
Lag screws with eye (x 2)
  • Find a branch for the chickens to grab onto. The branch should be between 16" - 24" long and have a diameter of 1" - 2". The branch does not need to be perfectly straight.
  • Cut the branch to size. Trim off any broken or pointy bits.
  • Optional: Shave off bark.

Step 2: Add Hardware to Limb

  • Pre-drill holes at each end of the branch (match the size of the hardware you have).
  • Make sure to stop and smell the cedar.
  • I used 3/4" x 4.5" lag screws with an eye. Why not attach the chain/rope directly to the swing? I find the extra hardware helps with the swinging action and also helps keep the swing more stable for when the chickens hop on and off.

Step 3: Add Bungee to Hardware

"S" hooks were used to attach the bungee cords to the lag screw eyes. The stiff bungee prevents the swing from over-swinging.

A second branch can be used approximately 24" above the swing to prevent the swing from twisting.

Step 4: Mount the Swing

Hang the swing and enjoy watching your chickens have fun. It's good to introduce the swing when they are young so that they know what to do when you move them outside.

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22 Discussions

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lafnbear

4 years ago on Introduction

Clever! Two questions: did you build your tractor, and if, so, do you have plans? Also, what's the smokestack-looking pvc pipe coming out of the tractor on the roofed side?Oops; I guess that's three questions!

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bananabunny7lafnbear

Reply 1 year ago

If you look closely, you can tell It's a feeder. The top cap can come off, letting you access the feed. It's a great idea, especially if you have chickens who tend to make a mess and doo in everything. We have a similar system for supplements for our goats, and it works great!

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cdstudioNHlafnbear

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

I'm guessing that is the crack pipe. It is a really nice tractor... hope he posts the plans!

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BiodynamiccdstudioNH

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

The pipe is actually a periscope for when the coop converts into a submarine. I purchased the plans from someone locally. You can find them at www.catawbacoops.com.

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Biodynamiclafnbear

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Hey, I purchased the plans from www.catawbacoops.com and built the coop with my 7th graders under very close supervision. The plans are easy enough to follow, but I had to complicate things by making the coop two feet longer. The coop plans only include the portion with the wooden walls at the top. My students designed the extension so that there would be more height to allow for the swings. They also designed the feeder (that pvc pipe). I created an ible for the feeder. You can search "Easy PVC chicken feeder" to find it. I also added a "feed meter" to determine how much food is left without having to take off the top each time. I got the idea from flodato who posted "PVC chicken feeder with meter".

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scottyboy24

1 year ago

Please let me know the best height to hang the swing off of the ground? Thanks! Awesome plans!

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BiodynamicAshwawa

Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

Thanks! It's good to start them swinging when they're young. It's so much fun to watch them when they figure it out and always a conversation starter.

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BiodynamicAttmos

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

There are quite a few different breeds. I don't know the exact number, but you can buy smaller breeds, larger breeds, brown egg layers, white egg layers, speckled egg layers, green egg layers, heritage breeds... The list goes on. My hens are all Rhode Island reds or New Hampshire reds. It's the breed Tractor Supply was carrying the day I visited. They had other varieties, but couldn't guarantee I wouldn't get a rooster (or all roosters). Thanks for the compliment! Hey, is your profile pic one of the robots from Mystery Science Theatre 3000? I used to love that show.

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AttmosBiodynamic

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Cool, I guess I hadn't even thought about selecting them by the types of eggs they lay. I'll bet it's really fun for your students.

Yeah, I used to love that show too. :) But no, my avatar is a robot from one of my favorite movies: The Black Hole. His name is V.I.N.CENT. It's an older movie but a great one, well, I think so anyway. :))

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tpatten-scheinost

4 years ago

great ible. getting back into chickens this time for myself not the chickdren...i mean children. thanks to you and some otger really fine people i may be happy er...happily... cooped again soon. lol btw the comments back and forth are nearly as entertaining as the ibles.

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jcannizzo

4 years ago

I think just as a precaution it should be noted that there are certain varieties of wood which are poisonous to birds. Should the chicken peck at the swing and ingest the wood, it could be deadly. I'd recommend investigating which woods are toxic to birds and staying away from those types of branches.

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Biodynamicjcannizzo

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Good call. I didn't find much research about wood toxic to chickens. Most of the information I could find deals with parrots. I haven't seen the chickens peck at the swings at all. Thanks for the recommendation.

Great project also. Based on the natural ability of wild chickens roosting in trees at night. Yup I had chickens too growing up and its natural for them to perch on high places so the swing is naturally a fun bonus. :)

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jmwells

4 years ago

Why debark the perches? The chickens will do it. It gives them something to peck at/eat. More of an anti-boredom I would think. Just curious.

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cdstudioNHjmwells

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Aesthetics. It makes them more beautiful. : ) I made some perches like this before but never thought about turning them into a swing. I LOVE this project and will be making a couple this weekend. Thank you for the awesome instructable!

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BiodynamiccdstudioNH

Reply 4 years ago

Thanks! I would love to see a picture when you're done.