Free-Ranging Solution Against Predators for Backyard Chickens

| 12/17/2012 8:47:45 AM

The chickens free ranging in the garden 

Other than a good dust bath, there is no other place that a chicken would rather be than free-ranging about their environment.   Chickens love to scratch in the dirt. They love to discover bugs, worms and tasty grubs as they explore their surroundings. However, most folks never free-range due to the risk of predators.  Those that allow their chickens to roam freely on their property accept and understand the risk of losing members of their flock from time to time.  This was not an option for me nor was it a risk that I felt comfortable with. One of the best solutions that I came up with three years ago was supervised free ranging.  Supervised free-ranging allows your flock to be out and about in the yard as your presence keeps predators away.

Some Benefits of Free Ranging 

Better tasting eggs

Eggs with more nutritional value

Healthier, happier Hens

12/18/2012 10:44:14 PM

Melissa, Thanks to your suggestion I too supervise free ranging. Especially since our dog Teddy got bit by a coyote the first month we lived here. Our Girl's are secure in a large run with a solar powered hot fence around the entire run and coop. When it is a nice day I sit out or work in the gardens and let the Girl's have some fun. Teddy helps keep an eye on them too. Mine get out about once every couple of weeks. Thanks for the great tips. Susan

12/18/2012 2:27:08 PM

Melissa, how long do your chickens get to free range? You mentioned doing other chores while the chickens scratch in the yard and working in the garden while they are near by so the time is double duty. I have wild turkeys as my free range garden, bug eating, compost turning, weed seed eating flock. If predators get too near, they just fly way up in the top of the trees far away from the predators. The hawks take care of the mice and snakes and the squirrels .... well they are the entertainment of the garden. We all should take some care free lifestyle lessons from the squirrels. Have a great chicken holiday season day.