October 13, 2020by Jenna Dooley
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A lot of of people love the idea that free-ranging their chickens and I’m definitely one that them. Like with something in life and also homesteading, there are some pros and also cons to free-ranging chickens.

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Free-Ranging Chickens- The advantages vs The Cons

Chickens are known as the “gateway animals” in homesteading. So, you acquire a couple of baby chicks and also then they gain big. What do you do with lock now? “To free-range or no to free-range?” the is the huge question.

We’ve been increasing free-range chicken for numerous year., In the time we’ve learned fairly a few things around it. When I choose the free-range an approach (because elevating pastured poultry is essential to us), I understand it is no for everyone.

Don’t feel negative if girlfriend decide not to have free-ranging chickens. That just can not it is in a good option for you. If you have actually a tiny property, live in a neighborhood, have a most predators, or any type of other factor it’s ok to raise castle confined. Just be sure that they have enough room for them come stretch your legs and also scratch around.

Another great option for free-ranging chicken while maintaining them certain is a mobile coop or chicken tractor. This provides you the capability to move them as needed and also keep them for sure all at the same time. The services of free-range and the security of confinement. Finest of both worlds!


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The pros of Free-Ranging Chickens

Broader Diet

Free-range chickens space able come forage for bugs, grass, and herbs. They will have actually a much much more diverse diet than as soon as raised in confinement. This makes them happy and healthy birds!

Less feeding Costs

Because the chickens room foraging, this will certainly supplement few of their feed. You will still need to offer them chicken feed however the amount will be greatly reduced by free-ranging. Conserving money and also cutting costsis constantly a good thing in life!

Free-Ranging Chickens space Fun come Watch

One of my favorite things to do is sit outside and also watch my chickens roam around. They’re very entertaining creatures. If you’ve never ever watched chicken fight end a worm or 2 roosters present each various other who is the boss, you’re missing out ~ above a lot of fun entertainment!

Richer Eggs

When you cracked an egg from a free-ranging chicken and also compare it to a save bought or confined chicken egg, there is a noticeable difference in the color of the yolks. The free-range egg yolks are a much deeper yellow (sometimes even orange) and are complete of vitamins, minerals, and also healthy fats. Ns think castle tase much much better too!

Healthier Meat

When chicken free-range, they have tendency to have actually a healthier and much more natural diet. They space also an ext active and exposed to much more sunlight than their confined counter parts. In my an individual opinion, I think this outcomes in healthy eggs and also meat because that the consumer.

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More exercise for Free-Ranging Chickens

Like i said, free-range chicken are an ext active. Us all understand that exercise is much better for all creatures large and small, human being or otherwise. Girlfriend may likewise find yourself obtaining exercise in the case of do the efforts to record your free-range chickens. Those jokers room fast!

Coop and Run remain Cleaner

When her chickens spend the bulk of your time out and also about, they aren’t in the run and also coop to dirty that up as much. You still should clean castle on a continual basis to store your chicken healthy but much less frequently than as soon as confined.

Fewer Flies

When the coop continues to be cleaner and there is much less chicken mess concentrated in one spot, it is less attractive to flies and also you’ll have fewer pests on the farm.

If you raise other varieties of livestock, free-ranging chickens might even discover their manure and also scratch with it making it less attractive to paris to lay your eggs in. However if lock do, the chickens will discover the larvae and eat them. Fewer flies on the house is constantly a an excellent thing!

Compost

Remember all of the chicken poop and bedding you cleaned native the coop? Throw the stuff right into a heap and also you’ve gained a compost heap in the making. Chicken waste requirements to break down for a year to mitigate the overabundance nitrogen (this can burn her plants) but once that stuff is aged, it’s an amazing additive to her garden soil.

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The defect of Free-Ranging Chickens

As you can see, there room a lot of benefits to free-ranging chickens but there are some downsides together well. Let’s struggle on those clues now.

Predators

Free-range chicken are an ext susceptible come predator attacks because lock aren’t confined to a safe enclosure. If you live in an area that’s at risk to a lot of predator attacks, you might need a much more confined solution or perhaps a breed boy guardian dog to keep your chicken safe.

Rogue Chickens

Oh yes, chickens choose to walk rogue. Why execute they cross the road? because the grass in the neighbors yard need to be greener or maybe the bugs are juicier. At any type of rate, free-range chicken will start to wander beyond their enabled area. I usually remedy this by keeping them locked increase in the coop because that a few days and also then lock behave because that a while afterwards.

Free-Range chicken Poop Everywhere

Oh the poop! They will certainly poop on your porch, they will poop on your sidewalk, they will poop everywhere. If chicken poop anywhere the location bothers you, free-ranging may not occupational for her situation.

Garden Mayhem

Chickens will shot to uncover a method into the garden. I mean why wouldn’t they? they see all of those bright tomatoes and beautiful pumpkins…. They’ve just gotta have a taste. We make extra efforts to fence the chickens out the the garden due to the fact that they will destroy the harvest and devour it all for themselves.

Egg Hunting

We shot to train our chickens to nesting crate by maintaining them up because that a couple of weeks until they room laying well in their designated nesting box. This works yet sometimes, you’ll have some chicken decision they’ve discovered a much much better place for eggs. Unfortunately, girlfriend often discover the colony after the eggs are too old to consume. Retrain her naughty hens by locking them up for a little bit again. Easter egg hunts all year round!

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Intimidating Non-Homesteading Guests

If girlfriend aren’t a chicken person it might be fairly scary to it is in chased by small dinosaur prefer creatures. Ns promise lock aren’t assault chickens, they’re just curious and maybe you brought them a snack?

Annoying delivery Personnel

Your mailman, UPS guy, or FedEx shipment personnel may be annoyed (or even terrified) when trying to provide packages. Those pesky chickens space all roughly their truck, under their feet, and also sitting appropriate where they need to leave the package. Friend may also come home to chicken poop on your package. Yay!

Space Requiredfor Free-Ranging Chickens

Free-ranging chicken will require a tiny extra an are than confined chickens. If friend don’t have actually a many room because that them or possibly a high fence roughly your yard, your next-door neighbors may finish up v chickens at their place. This can an outcome in the chicken messing up your flower beds, gardens, and also pooping on your property. Doesn’t really make for great neighbor relations.

What that Boils under To

If you have actually the space and capabilities come safely free-range your chickens, walk for it! most chicken difficulties (wandering off, laying eggs arbitrarily places, etc….) have the right to be solved by cooping (literally) lock up for a few days come a week. I think you will discover it funny to clock your chicken in activity from your porch.

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If friend decide that free-ranging isn’t the finest or safest alternative for her birds, girlfriend may find ways to provide them access to much more grass and also bugs. You deserve to get an imaginative with a mobile coop, grass clippings, herbs because that them, enjoy the meal worms, or also raising some kind of an insect farm to feeding them from. Maintaining them happy, healthy, safe, and also comfortable is the all at once goal no matter how you raise her chickens.

I great you the ideal of lucky in her chicken increasing ventures free-range or otherwise!