but what ya'll are missing, is that obvously they do find moisture. they learn to range, and get tough. there is dew, there is spillage from the waterer, there is drain lines from the gutters. if they want to drink they will find it. if there is any weakness at all they are culled naturally. what your left with is the strongest of the strong. which is necessary for game fowl, and i tend to believe its needed in now adays in many show types. i no longer breed and raise for this b/c i became disgusted with the weakness of these. breeding for looks and standards over a period of time will eventually create weakness in other areas.
it also shows that chickens dont HAVE to be babied. we choose at times to do so, where as some chose to do so all the time. which is doing them and you no favors. i like to take more natural look at things. the wild chicken doesnt have all the things we give it. and they get by just fine. yes i have in the past treated with medication, i feed mine twice a day, they have water at all times. but they dont need this to get by and even to thrive. if you want to be technical,,,,a free ranged chicken should never need to be fed or watered except in height of winter. they should be able to fend for themselves most of the yr.
as for the yard hatch, when raised this way, i lose very few, except to hawks. they are the ones I dont want, but the mortality rate is the lowest.............imagine that.
read my posts or not. my methods are defineitly outside the proverbial box.