Have you decided to raise free range chickens on your property? The great thing about raising chickens is that almost anyone that has the willingness to try can raise free range chickens. Most communities will allow residents to keep at least a few egg-laying hens but not always roosters. No matter if you will be raising your chickens for eggs or for food, you need to think about a free range chicken coop .
What is the down side for farmers of free range chickens? Protecting your flock. To be responsible when raising your chickens, you do have to protect your chickens from predators, bad weather and other issues that you may not have thought about when you decided to raise your own flock of chickens. Most people that raise free range chickens really do want their animals to have a free and healthy life where the chickens are able to engage in their natural behaviors such as nesting and foraging. Free range chicken farmers are also at the top of the list when it comes to humanely killing the animals. If they are not able to butcher the chickens themselves, they will go out of the way to find someone that will humanely butcher their animals.
So how should you protect your chicken flock? The easiest way to do this is to provide your chickens with a chicken coop that they can access when necessary - and most importantly, quickly. Free range chicken coops can be any shape. You can buy them or you can build them yourself although it may be better to purchase your first chicken coop so that you know your flock will be safe. Chicken coops are retreats for chickens, where hens can breed as well as lay eggs. Make sure your chicken coop enters into an open-area for the chickens to roam freely. Hens are sustainable, fairly easy to take care of, offer great natural fertilizer, and are surprisingly quiet and will fit right in even if you are raising them in larger cities.
Even though your chickens will be free range, you do need to protect your flock from dangerous health problems that can occur from improper ventilation of your chicken coop. To do this, we strongly recommend placing your flock in a protected or fenced area with your chicken coop at night when coyotes or other predators are most likely to roam. With proper ventilation your birds will be healthier and more productive. Protecting your chickens from cold drafts or other sorts of poor weather should be your main concern when building your first chicken coop. While keeping a flock of chickens can be fun and rewarding, it is very sad if your chickens unexpectedly get sick and you lose your flock.
Most importantly, free range chickens can roam outside and engage in natural nesting and foraging behaviors. Free range chickens are never given drugs or other antibiotics so they are not exposed to chemicals like commercially raised chickens are and are that much healthier. Many people prefer the taste and texture of free-range chickens, however, their quality can vary widely and they are generally more expensive so it is a benefit when you are able to raise your own chickens. Free range chickens have white skin, clean meat, no large amounts of fat. Overall, free range chickens raised correctly are healthier - both for the chicken and for you.