Free Range
August 12, 2012, 10:11 am
Filed under: August 2012

A Black Giant hen enjoys her freedom

                                                     August 12, 2012

     Our hens free range in the two acre multi-purpose field where the pumpkins grow. It is a compromise between my wife and I.  I like to see the hens running loose. They do better, are happier and require less commercial feed. My wife likes to watch them anywhere but in her flower beds. The small field is the perfect solution.

     Once the hens had the run of the field, they changed right before our eyes. They became much healthier. Their feathers are shiny, their combs much brighter and I swear their eyes shine too. The egg production has increased with their vigor as well.

     My hens had been in a large old coop with a nice sized “chicken park” attached to it. The ground in that “park” however, was barren and void of vegetation. On rainy days it was a muddy mess. You could call it an excercise lot, but it is not a very good way to keep chickens, even though it was the old standard.

     Free range chickens pass their healthiness on to us. We get the benefit of their enjoyment. They eat fresh grass and forbs, as well as, bugs and grasshoppers. The omega 3 goodness found in the fresh eggs is surely a heart pleaser, but I just know they taste good.

     Recently, one of the hens started to hide a nest outside of the coop. Once started, the other hens laid their eggs outside too. We cleaned up the nest, mowed the weeds and kept the hens inside a little longer each day. The hens get turned out after the days eggs are laid.

     It is remarkable how much feed they eat when penned indoors. They still scratch and feed as soon as they get let out-of-doors, but commercial  feed consumption is up by 50%. I hope they soon forget about that old hide away nest 😮

     One thing for sure, everybody is happier when the chickens are out on the range!  I will say that I do like them pretty well in the oven too 😮


2 Comments so far
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I’m taking a break in the day and visitng with the happenings at Riceland Meadows. I can feel my blood pressure drop just by reading ( feeling) the serenity that is the farm. Thank you for the pleasure of seeing it through your eyes!

Comment by Kat

Kat, I am so very glad to have given your mind and soul a short vacation. I am glad to have you along. Visit often, it will do your body good! Thanks for your kind words.

Comment by ricelandmeadows

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